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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Otriad @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle. May 26 , 2013

Alex Roth (guitar & effects), Joe Wright (tenor saxophone & electronics), Nick Roth (alto saxophone), James Opstad (electric bass) & Simon Roth (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Firebrick, the recently established micro brewery in Blaydon vied for attention on the bar at the Bridge Hotel. A good start to another Splinter at the Bridge Sunday night session! The upstairs room sparsely populated, guitarist and band leader Alex Roth took to the stage with tenor player Joe Wright (earlier pre-occupied setting-up his Apple Mac) and for the next half hour or so the duo painstakingly created a pastoral electro-acoustic soundscape, dissolving, fading, resolved. 
Roth's command of his Gibson was obvious yet he steadfastly refused to play. That is to say he didn't grandstand, not yet. To end the first set Roth's alto-playing brother Nick belatedly joined the band and we got, as they say, something completely different. Nick had something to say, something to get off his chest. Did he blow? You bet! The second set promised much.
Down at the bar things were looking up. The George N Porter Brewery (Whitley Bay) had dropped-off a barrel of Horn. Yep, a beer for the jazz-loving beer drinker (the pump clip sported a composite image of your favourite tenor player). How could one resist? Meanwhile Bebop Spoken Here contributor JC arrived. Any good? he enquired of the band. Hmmm was the reply. We were wanting more. 
We got more, numerically, as the fully-fledged band, the quintet, played the second set. Family Roth produce musicians. The drum chair belonged to Simon Roth. Lovely old kit, north east drummers should have been there, they would surely have drooled over it (hopefully not literally). And Simon could play. So many fabulous drummers. Get to the Bridge - they turn up every other week! Five string electric bassist James Opstad kept things simple or rather made it look deceptively so.
The second set took the form of a suite - the Bielski Suite - written by the band leader, taking as its inspiration the story of the heroic Bielski partisans - the Bielski Otriad - during WWII in occupied Poland. This was the stuff! Cracking playing from all concerned. Tenor and alto horns in unison, then solo. Guitarist Alex let fly. A brilliant technician, a contemporary stylist , fluent ideas, catch this guy next time he's around. Hey JC, this was a contender for this week's Gig of the Year!   
Russell.       

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

As I am only too happy to acknowledge that Russell has more extensive knowledge about jazz in his little finger than I have managed to garner over an intermittent career as a fan (so I do hope this wasn't the digit injured in the recent 'incident') I am always interested in his view of what's happening at a gig. Therefore a Hmmmm as an interim review at half time in this gig was a significant pointer, if a little unspecific. However another attendee I met outside the Bridge as I arrived was a bit more enthusiastic, 'Yeah, good, man' he said.
So as I took my seat for the second half with my fairly ordinary pint of Deuchars, my heart sank a bit when the band leader said the second set was going to consist of one continuous piece only.
However, this did not last long as I was instantly intrigued by the story behind the Bielski Suite and as Russell says, this was the business. Great playing and continually engaging music, so much so that I never got to get a second pint as I was not wanting to miss anything.
So double Hmmmm, definitely last week's Gig of the Year!
JC

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