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Bebop Spoken There

Camila Meza: "Some tonalities or chords are colors to me: G major is blue, D major is orange and B minor is totally yellow." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Monday June 17

Afternoon

Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Tenement Jazz Band - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:30pm (doors). Free (donations).

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

Monday, May 13, 2013

Miles Ahead by BOP @ Tyne Theatre May 5, 2013


Dollie Henry (choreographer) Paul Jenkins (musical director/flugel) Jason Yarde (alto) Julian Seigel (tenor) Jay Phelphs (trumpet) Jo Caleb (guitar) Graham Harvey (piano) Neil Charles (bass) Shane Forbes (drums)
(Review by Dave Parker)
This was an unusual evening’s entertainment put on by an innovative company with a total commitment to jazz. Sadly there was only a small audience to enjoy it.
Body of People (aka BOP) is a contemporary jazz dance and music theatre company set up in 1999 by choreographer Dollie Henry and jazz trumpeter Paul Jenkins. BOP aims to promote and develop jazz music and dance through performance and education.
The first half of the show was called Footprints in Jazz and it told the story of jazz from African roots to West Side Story. It was 40 minutes of creative dance sequences involving different combinations of the nine dancers. The music featured Paul Jenkins’ clever arrangements of Footprints, Blues in the Night, Caravan and other standards but it was all recorded. I was beginning to think I had been misled about the live music.
I was relieved when the second half started and there, on stage, were eight of the UK’s finest jazz professionals playing Miles Davis’ compositions including All Blues, Solar, Flamenco Sketches, So What, Milestones, Tutu and more. This wasn’t a tribute band, it was contemporary interpretation of well known tunes with top quality improvisation. Jason Yarde’s alto solos were fast and furious, Seigel on tenor was masterful and Phelps’ muted trumpet at times sounded just like Miles. Some numbers featured just the band, others featured the dancers who clearly responded to the live music.
This was exciting music, expressive dance and excellent entertainment. So why did so few people come to see it? Perhaps it is the problem of being a cross-over concept – jazz enthusiasts may not want dance to ‘spoil their music’ while ‘jazz’ sounds old fashioned to many contemporary dance lovers. A show like this needs a lot of promotion – which it didn’t get.  
But there’s hope for the future. The majority of the small audience was teenage girls, probably aspiring dancers and they will have learned something about jazz in general and Miles Davis in particular. Also they will have heard for themselves how exciting live improvised music can be.
Dave Parker.

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