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Bebop Spoken There

Cécile McLorin Salvant: "She [Melissa Aldana] makes us realise how terrible it is to be complacent." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Thursday June 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Arc, Dovecot St., Stockton on Tees TS18 1LL. Tel: 01642 525199. 7:00pm. £12.00. + £0.10. bf. ‘Jazz & Tapas’ - booking essential.

Ruth Lambert Quartet - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00.

Heller-Glendinning: Billie Meets Kurt - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm (doors). £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Acoustic Infusion - The Forum, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £5.00. Line-up: Alan Thompson (tenor sax); Rick Laughlin (piano); Bruce Rollo (double bass); Ian Halford (drums). Now Abbie Finn on drums.

Durham University Concert Band + Grollingwood Big Band - Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ. 7:30pm. £10.00., £9.00., £8.00.

Durham University Big Band - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00 concs.). JNE.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax), Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

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

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Vasilis Xenopoulos with the Paul Edis Trio @ The Traveller’s Rest. October 25

Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor & soprano saxophones), Paul Edis (keyboards), Tony Abel (double bass) & Adam Sinclair (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Having attended an event at Sage Gateshead, it was unseasonably mild as I strolled across the High Level Bridge to Central Station in time to catch the 19:03 train to Darlington. The Opus 4 Jazz Club at the Traveller’s Rest in Cockerton, Darlington had secured a return visit by Vasilis Xenopoulos. It was the Greek tenor player’s sole engagement in the north east this year making it a ‘must get to’ gig. Central Station was crowded, more so than usual. Trains were going nowhere fast, at a standstill at platforms, stationary on the King Edward Bridge. Down the East Coast mainline at Chester le Street there was an ongoing trespass incident. Don’t you realise this is Friday rush hour? Don’t you realise there is soon to be some great tenor being played in Darlington? One wag said: Run the b****** over!
Arriving half an hour late, Vasi would be in full flow. Walking into the Traveller’s, there was pianist Paul Edis standing outside, mobile in hand. What are you doing out here? I said. Vasi’s late, said Edis. Time for a Guinness. Vasi arrived (six hours and ten minutes on the M1 from London), unpacked his horn and started to play…and how! One astute listener, with no little admiration, remarked: To arrive, take the stand and play - like that! Absolutely right. What a player!
Paul Edis’ friendship with Xenopoulos diffused a potentially difficult situation (big name arrives, tired, ‘difficult’ etc). Fantastic tenor, fantastic trio. A full house too. Noisy at the bar, the sound not the best from certain vantage points. It was one of those nights. A great night in spite of, perhaps because of, the circumstances. Xenopoulos’ full, rich tone, imperious technique, infinite ideas (replete with quotes!) made this a gig to remember. Centrepiece, Blame It On My Youth, A Night in Tunisia, I’ll Remember April, top tunes all, a Vasi ballad composition, great piano from Edis, the superb Adam Sinclair (exemplary brushwork) and the dep for a dep Tony Abel held it together like the true pro he is.
Xenopoulos and Edis are at Zefferelli’s in Ambleside tonight (Saturday 26) – if you are in the vicinity get yourself along, you won’t regret it. Vasi should return to play a series of dates in the north east. He needs to be heard. Here’s a dream itinerary…the Maltings, Berwick, Exchange Café, Hexham, the Black Bull, Blaydon, the Lit & Phil, Newcastle (Edis at the grand), a return to the Traveller’s, Saltburn Community Hall. That’s six dates to be getting on with. Add a festival date or two (Sage Gateshead, Scarborough)…all perfectly possible, Promoters, make it happen. A post script - thanks to PB for the lift across town, much appreciated on the night.        
Russell.               

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