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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, October 07, 2013

Bill Harper Remembers Part 3.

Numerous trombone players spring to mind, Slide Hampton was terrific & after the gig he regaled us with wonderful stories about Dizzy, Monk, Bird etc.George Masso, Jiggs Whigham, Phil Wilson, all great players, were a pleasure to work with but who can compare with Mark Nightingale & my all time personal favourite Roy Williams who has to be the most musical trombonist & all-round good egg of my generation. His selection of material & finely crafted solo work make him revered throughout the world & I have good memories of the friendship we had.
Tal Farlow was a lovely man although Willie Payne gave him a run for his money that night!! But it was not all plain sailing. Joe Newman was a complete pain in the ass & almost came to blows with drummer Dennis Healey but other guys confirmed that his irrational behaviour was quite normal for him. I worked with him again some years later at Ulverston & he was a shadow of his former self. He didn't seem to have a clue where he was & his "chops" had gone. He opened with Bye Bye Blackbird which was barely recognisable & it all went downhill from there.
He couldn't think of anything to play & I had to call the shots-- he was virtually gaga. It must be the sea air at Ulverston because we had a similar problem with Alan Elsdon who was in the first stages of Alzheimer’s & kept asking "I haven't already played this tune', have I?”. Ted Curson was another whose chops had gone & if Sid had not joined him on stage to take some of the weight, he would never have got thro. the night. All very sad
But the daddy of them all was Kenny Davern who was trouble where ever he went. I first met him at Redcar with Roy Williams where I took my elec. piano -- there was no piano provided at the venue which was a big old dance hall. He objected to my piano, he didn't like electric instruments but he changed his opinion when I threatened to go home. Halfway thro . the set he fell out with the sound engineer & instructed him to turn all the mikes off which immediately upset the audience who were complaining that they couldn't hear. The gig ground to a very unsatisfactory conclusion.
The following year I was asked to support him at a pub in Marton which had no piano. I had just arrived at the venue but hadn't yet unloaded my keyboard when he appeared. "What kind of piano do we have tonight?" he asked in his usual sarcastic manner. I said that I would use the house keyb'd & pointed to the far wall to a huge column radiator covered in an elaborate wooden cover which ,from a distance, looked like an old bellows organ. I said that I was sorry that it wasn't electric but that once  I got the front off I should be able to pump it OK! A terrified look appeared on his face until he realised that I was kidding. "You bastard !!!", he said.  (part3)
Bill Harper.
(Photo Bill Harper and Roly Veitch)

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