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11,772 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 912 of them this year alone and, so far, 49 this month (August 13).

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August

Saturday 15: Anth Purdy - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Purdy’s solo ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’ show. Limited capacity.

Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, 27 Sunniside Rd., Gateshead NE16 5NA. 8:30pm. Free.

Friday 21: Lindsay Hannon - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity.

Monday, April 08, 2013

GIJF: Some Highlights A personal view from Ann Alex

First things first –food.  I like the new arrangements in the cafe, where you can order your meal, then sit down with a number till it comes.  I had Aracini – risotto in breadcrumbs – delicious.  Why not try the posset, a dessert from the new bar at the west door?  A delicious milk pudding with fruit compote which I believe they ate in Medieval times.  And the only time in the year that I get to eat caviare is with the nibbles provided at the press reception which opens the festival.  No, I haven’t become a food writer, so what about the music?
I loved the enthusiasm of the band ‘Dropping Bombs’, made up of students from the Jazz, Popular and Commercial Music degree, who played on the concourse on Saturday, especially their version of Monk’s Well You Needn't, with the usual Monk quirkiness, stops and starts, and delightful trombone and sax solos.  Then there was the fun of our vocal improvisation workshop, when we sang repeated riffs in 3 groups, quite beautiful, and encouraging for singers.  The Bireli Lagrene Quartet was enjoyable, and from my seat on level 2 of hall 2, I had an excellent view of the drummer.   These musicians are fascinating to watch (yes, drummers ARE musicians) as they have so much to do at once, cymbals crashing or tinkling, drums being struck or brushed, then there’s stuff to do with your feet as well, and sometimes extra percussion to shake, how do they do it?
Then there was the best dressed man of the festival, as nominated by Lance, John Taylor, who could be seen on the concourse on Saturday, sporting startling red trousers and a pinkish shirt.  I understand that a prize for you may well be in the post.  Half the fun of the festival is meeting people that you don’t usually see, and you could certainly see John, no doubt about that.
But the highlight of highlights was definitely the ‘Saxophone Massive’, lead by Andy Sheppard and Chris Sharkey, on Sunday teatime on the concourse.  This is reviewed elsewhere, but I just had to mention it, what a fitting end to the festival!  The Sage became a cathedral when it started, it sounded quite spiritually inspiring, then the jazz came on.  Wonderful stuff!  I want a saxophone!
Ann Alex

3 comments :

The LondonJazz site said...

Nice piece!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I wonder if by any chance you're a drummer? Ann Alex

The LondonJazz site said...

No Ann, sorry to disappoint!

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