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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie Paris: "A singer's got to be able to tell a story. Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole are best at that; Mel Tormé too. I like to take a lyric that means something and sing it right to the person it was meant for." - (DownBeat October 11, 1962).

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Tuesday September 17

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see above).

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Acoustic Infusion with the Mighty Horns - Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm (doors 7:00pm). £5.00. Rick Laughlin & co.

Strictly Smokin’ Sessions - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £8.00. & £6.00.

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 819845. 8:00pm. £4.00. Guest: Don Armstrong (reeds). Note earlier start.

Blues

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

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Robert Cray Band + Jon Allen @ The Sage Gateshead. March 11, 2013

(Review by Russell)
The blues greats are all but long gone - Buddy Guy is still around, Taj Mahal, Dr.John, very few others (Magic Slim left us a little over two weeks ago). The next generation (no longer young guns) includes one Robert Cray. British blues aficionados were quick to pick up on Cray when he was little known, his earliest recordings on the Tomato label prized possessions (some collectors sought Japanese imports).
One of Cray’s first gigs on Tyneside attracted those-in-the-know to the Students’ Union of Newcastle University. Decades later the man from Columbus, Georgia, USA walked out onto the stage of Hall One at the Sage Gateshead to a considerably larger following! Cray said it was a pleasure to be back at the Sage Gateshead, turned to his band mates and said: Let’s get to it! 
Cray’s band - the long serving Jim Pugh (keyboards) and bassist Richard Cousins with Les Falconer on drums - tours the world more or less non-stop, resulting in the tightest of professional performances. Ninety minutes of classic Cray material - from his latest CD Nothin But Love to a spoilt-for-choice back catalogue - flew by. The sound was superb, testament to Lord Foster’s building design, the talents of the in-house technicians at the Sage and Cray’s road crew. Cray’s incomparable soul-blues voice, undiminished after years of life on the road, at one with his signature Fender Strat guitar sound, is a rare combination.
Strong Persuader and Smoking Gun were but two of many highlights. Organist Jim Pugh drove Cray to ever greater heights, Richard Cousins’ sinuous bass lines floated then danced, then floated and danced some more and Les Falconer’s in-the-pocket drumming was a master class. Cray’s vocals - arguably non better since Sam Cooke - left one thinking the next number couldn’t possibly be as good as the last, but it was, time and again. The wrought emotion of Chicken in the Kitchen has to be one of the best things heard in the nine year history of the Sage.
Robert Cray’s guest on this tour is Jon Allen. Singer, songwriter, guitarist, harmonica player, Allen was a revelation. Unannounced, the man with the Ford Focus (he felt inclined to tell us) strode onto stage and sang with no little confidence. Possessing a strong voice with an edge to it (think Steve Marriott, the best of early Rod the Mod) he writes songs about situations (Dead Man’s Suit) and relationships (Happy Now). Great voice, great lyrics, perhaps best  illustrated by Happy Now The lyric, delivered despairingly, if not with distain, goes…’I hope you’re happy now?’ Great stuff. Allen likes vinyl. His material is available on LP or the lesser option - CD. Check out Jon Allen, he’s good.
A great night at the Sage drew to a close with Robert Cray about to walk off stage yet he had the presence of mind to thank his special guest Jon Allen. Robert Cray is a class act.
Russell.                                  


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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance