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Bebop Spoken There

Dayna Stephens: "I always tell them [students] there will never be anyone who will play it [EWI] as technically proficient as this cat [Michael Brecker] did." - (JazzTimes June 2019).

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Today Tuesday June 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, 59 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free. Trio Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ North Shore. March 1, 2013

(Review by Russell).
The curtain-raiser to the tenth annual Great North Big Band Jazz Festival featured a new name as guest performer and competition adjudicator – multi reeds virtuoso Pete Long. A star-studded quintet led by Paul Jones (alto) and Long (clarinet) breezed through a selection of tried and tested numbers. 
Opening with Cherokee at quite a lick introduced the rhythm section; Colin Haikney (keyboards), Neil Harland (electric bass) and drummer Adrian Tilbrook. Stone Fox Chase (the theme tune of the Old Grey Whistle Test) worked well in showing off Long’s command of his instrument. Altoist Jones, an alumni of the County Durham Youth Big Band, blew vigorously and the tunes flew by including Creole Love Call, a Chick Corea number and a Rollins’ calypso. 
The second half of the evening featured the fearless young composer James Hamilton working with a hand-picked festival big band. One and a bit rehearsals over recent weeks (snow drifts made things difficult) was scarcely time to get acquainted, let alone knock into shape a big band and produce a concert performance. Hamilton was able to draw upon senior professionals to join the sections of promising young players from the north east of England; Bill Watson (festival organiser), Gordon Marshall and Thomas Hill* ensured that the trumpet section was up to snuff, pianist Colin Haikney stayed on and the talented Dave Mckeague held down the drum chair. The purpose of this endeavour was to highlight the talented stars of tomorrow. The genial Hamilton spoke warmly of his charges and gave every encouragement to stand up and take a solo. All the more impressive that four pieces were compositions from the pen of the bandleader. 
A newly commissioned piece - Open Season - put the band through its paces and none flagged. To think that the seasoned pros were once in the position of these aspiring young musicians, generations apart but together in music. Fantastic! Bill Watson took the baton and called up Jones and Long together with Neil Harland to join the band to run through a few standards. Where is the Love? featured Susie Roberts (alto) and James Burchmore (tenor) and the young duo went for it. The select audience sensed this was their big moment and the applause afforded these young musicians typified what this event is all about. 
The concert ended in rabble rousing fashion with C Jam Blues on which everyone got the chance to blow (Pete Long briefly grabbed a flugelhorn!). A great start to the weekend. Saturday and Sunday is when the competition proper gets under way with workshops for the early birds and prize winning big band performances from around midday ‘til late. Literally hundreds of young musicians will play across the weekend. If you’re in the area call in to North Shore (Sunderland University’s Students’ Union) on Charles Street in Sunderland – you’re in for a treat!                
Russell.
County Durham trumpeter Thomas Hill has won a place at Leeds College of Music. Hill can be heard on the local scene standing in the trumpet section of any number of bands - and you can’t mistake him, he takes after Maynard Ferguson and frequently tries to take the roof off! Congratulations Thomas and good luck.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Good to meet you Russell. I and my 2 friends also enjoyed the night. They had not previously been to the festival and liked it. I hope they will return with me next year
Elaine

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