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Bebop Spoken There

Marc Myers: " If the original group with Baker was Dover sole, the group with Brookmeyer was beef stew." - (JazzWax, December 7, 2019).

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Today Tuesday December 10

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

Jam session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Mark Williams, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

Tyne Valley Big Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

Blues/Soul/Folk etc.

?????

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

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Wayne Shorter 4tet /ACS @ Marseille Jazz Festival – July 23

ACS : Geri Allen (piano), Terri Lyne Carrington (drums), Esperanza Spalding (bass) 
WAYNE SHORTER 4TET:  Wayne Shorter (saxophone), Danilo Perez (piano), John Patitucci (bass), Brian Blade (drums).
(Review by JC)
After an entertaining (but hot) motorized meander through France, we arrived as planned at Marseille in time for Wayne Shorter’s appearance at the local jazz festival. Cooling down in an air-conditioned room overlooking the old port, the view from the window was very pleasant, even if there was no sign of a pork pie hat – neither Popeye Doyle’s nor the ‘Prez’.
Arriving at the venue by taxi, the Palais Longchamp had that quiet, understated elegance so typical of France, with a towering entrance of fountains, statues and pillars at least six stories high and curved staircases running up each side. We had expected something outdoors but not quite as grand as this and so had brought some bottles of water and bottles of wine. The smiling security at the gate were quite happy for us to bring in as much wine as we wanted but insisted that the tops were taken off all the bottles. When asked why, the mimed explanation was that they might be used as missiles (fair enough, but just imagine an open air gig in England where the audience would throw full bottles of alcohol at the stage).
Of course, we needn't have bothered bringing anything, as there were a variety of bars and stands selling every kind of food and drink. There was even an open-air silver service restaurant and champagne bar, unfortunately only available to VIPs, liggers and other hangers on. The concert area itself was more Glynebourne than Glastonbury with plenty of space for people to stretch out with chairs, tables and picnics. 
The gig was billed as a celebration of Wayne Shorter’s 80th birthday and the support band were identified as part of the process. This was the all-women jazz group of Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding, which I was looking forward to hearing. However, I found this set to be a disappointment, for although the three were clearly excellent musicians and soloed together in a complex manner, the music itself never really took off for me and a lot of the tunes sounded quite similar. Even the sound of the cicadas in the trees became a little repetitive and I don’t think that the continual clicking of the membranes in their abdomen is ever going to get them an ‘On the Outside ‘ gig, even in the insect jazz world.
So although the band seemed to be well received there were quite a lot of people around us lying flat out on the grass counting the stars or catching up on beauty sleep.
Another disadvantage of having a ‘support’ band was that it was now 11pm and still over 80 degrees, I could sense my accompanist getting a little fidgety and starting to dream of some shut eye in a nice cool bed.
However, I needn't have worried – the moment Wayne Shorter and the 4tet started playing everyone in the audience was gripped. This was exquisite music as each of the musicians listened closely to each other, sometimes joining in and adding something or else leaving spaces for their colleagues. For the first time I saw the value of having giant screens at a gig as the cameraman didn't just show a general view of the stage or an individual musician but focused in on the key board of the piano or Wayne Shorter’s hands on the keys of his saxophone so you could see musical ideas being worked out. Occasionally it focused on Shorter’s face, usually furrowed in concentration but occasionally giving a slight hint of a smile as he listened to some idea from one of the other band members. What he and the band played I don’t know but the music was beautiful and enthralling. A magical gig.
Fortunately, unlike the No. 27 bus, the Marseille metro was still running at one o'clock in the morning….
JC


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