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Bebop Spoken There

Sting: "It was great. They [the River City Jazzmen] all wore blue suits. The band had been together for about twenty years, which was the same age as the suits." - (Melody Maker Sept. 22, 1979).

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 Monday October 21

Afternoon

Jazz

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

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

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 3:00pm/5:30pm. Screening of Stanley Nelson's documentary film (2019, cert. 15, 1hr 55mins).

Evening

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

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Leo Blanco @ Sage Gateshead July 5.

Leo Blanco (piano).
(Review by Lance).
A solo piano recital that defied definition although brilliant will do for starters. The tall, slightly greying, Venezuelan pianist nodded to the audience before sitting at the Steinway. It was a percussive start as Blanco got into his rhythm by stamping his feet, clapping his hands, slapping his thighs and having a few raps on the wood of the grand piano - it set up a groove for him  to start rolling.
And roll he did. From South America to Africa to maybe the Moon. This was a composition, like most of his repertoire, that crossed the genre. It was indefinable, impossible to pigeonhole, wait a minute, of course it's definable - it's Music!
Each piece featured multi rhythms, changes of mood - from fff bravura flourishes to ppp tenderness - Czerny on Tequila.
Occasionally an almost imperceptible smile fleetingly appeared as he executed some technically demanding phrase, almost as if he were saying, "I made it!"
The piano really is the greatest orchestra in the world and never more so than in this man's hands. The jazz content was maybe slight but who cared it was compulsive listening as thundering appassionata passages merged into melancholic tenderness.
Gateshead on a Sunday Afternoon was the title he gave to one piece although I'm sure I've heard it on YouTube with a different title! An improvised piece with a hint of Tea For Two and later Jeepers Creepers it again displayed his awesome technique. Dramatic, with strange, but not displeasing, harmonies it brought the first set to a close. Touchingly, he looked at the Steinway and applauded the magnificent shiny beast.
Apart from displaying his faultless technique Blanco also engaged the audience with odd bits of information eg; in Venezuela the cows are all given individual names!
A piece celebrating Afro/Peruvian music preceded an Arabic influenced composition that saw the pianist remove the music rack and produce some oud-like sounds from the piano strings before blowing up a desert storm on the 88 notes. This was wild then, suddenly, it mellowed  An oasis in the tempest or was it a mirage?
At times he appeared to be singing along with his phrases. we couldn't hear him but it was so well synced we didn't need to.
And then it was over and our heartbeats returned to near normal - it had been that sort of night.
Well done to The Sage and the Vamos! Festival for combining to produce such a memorable evening.
Lance.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Slightly greying?

Lance said...

Yeah I suppose there are degrees of greyness - I have passed the 'slightly' level! Who cares? it was what he did with the black and whites that counted.
Hope you enjoyed the concert.

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About this blog - contact details.

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