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Bebop Spoken There

Mark Walker: "A drummer in a big band is always happy. It's like driving a big bus." - (Downbeat, August 2019)

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 Tuesday July 23

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden. See above.

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

Evening

Jazz

Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood; Paul Grainger; Matt MacKellar.

Archipelago & J Frisco + Mark Williams Trio - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 8:00pm. £9.90.

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

Monday, December 09, 2013

ALT – Splinter @ the Bridge December 8

Alan Law (Piano) John Pope (D Bass) Jonathan Marriott (Drums)
(Review by Kath Jobes)
Wow what a busy Sunday! First I went to the inaugural Jam session at Salsa… great to see some new faces… long may it continue… you can never have too much Jazz!   After a bite to eat at and a natter to a couple of folks, I moved on to Splinter at The Bridge… well, I thought, why not make an evening of it?
I think I was the first one there… apart from the band, but slowly the numbers grew, although not quite as well attended as expected…but that’s the way it goes sometimes. 
The first set commences with Tyneside Blues, an original number written by Alan Law, filled with 13ths in recognition of a mate he used to play with who would often shout out that the chord in bar so and so is a 13th… sorry I missed the guy’s name but anyone who plays with him may well recognise this reference.  This tune began with a very laid-back piano but quickly gained momentum into a nice improvised section between D. Bass and Piano.  The next number, Ending, was described as ‘not swing’  and indeed that soft piano introduction with occasional swishes from the brushes of Jonathan Marriott that grew as ‘Thee Pope’ added his bass was certainly not swing… the progression onto an intricate bass solo and variation of timbre  of percussion and piano enthralled the growing audience.  A lovely ballad ensued, I Remember Clifford, and this tune exhibited the wonderful combination of Bass and Piano, with just the occasional tickle of the cymbals from Marriott… enchanting!
A Don Cherry number, Brown Rice was introduced by Popes unique style -  skilfully slapping and tapping his bass with only the occasional pluck of a string… the piano and drum grew into the tune giving it an organic quality, the feel of the music modulated between soft and vibrant sections… the drums really came in to their own in this piece, as Jonathan switched between brushes, to sticks and on to timpani mallets, booming out,  bringing images of a thunderstorm turning to a softer rain and, just as you thought the storm was over, we were rapidly  returned to the cacophony of the storm… simply stunning!
The last number of this set, Mixed with Glass, was written by John Pope and described by Alan Law as, “a lullaby that gets kinda shouty!”  This tune really spoke to my soul, it started off so gently with soft brushwork joined by a tranquil piano, and the occasional ‘heartbeat’ from the bass drum. 
As the layers of instruments were added, and the timbre modulated between soft and gentle to crazy and mixed up, then back to soft and gentle… the internal changes of emotion continued and grew with the resounding percussion to a roar as we reached the pinnacle…that simply faded away.  Phew!  What emotional dynamic music… and how could it get any better… but it did!
*****
The second half was a free jazz session, having been at a recent free jazz event at the Sage I thought I was prepared for this next piece, jovially named by Alan Law as ‘Half Past Nine on a Sunday Night at the Bridge  in December’,  but later christened as A Journey of Consciousness.  I would think that every member of the audience would have their own take on this piece of music, but as I listened, I jotted down my thoughts and imaginings which I shall share with you…
For me this emotive piece brought forth a passionate journey, with streams of consciousness varying between strolling along to suddenly crashing into oblivion… becoming quite insistent as the musicians ‘lost themselves’ in their own instruments.  A sudden lull in the music was filled as the piano exerted its presence to be joined by bass and percussion…. Anxious confusion and turmoil ebbed away to softer gentler flutterings, flowing on like an unstoppable river to a more insistent sound until it reaches the sea… and the waves gently crash against the shore.  A song of renewal and new beginnings brought forth new life and developed a new and exciting theme heading out into the cosmos before being brought back to earth by a deep and reverberating bass solo as we were thrown into the uncertainty of not knowing where we were going.  Suddenly we are running to escape this reality and uncertainty is revealed again… the repetition of a phrase by both bass and piano led us ever onwards to who knows where… perhaps to the deepest corners of our soul in search of the soul bird… searching the corners of one’s mind to where internal destruction has hidden all thought of what was before … thoughts… where am I?  Where am I going? What will I find… a new start… a broken heart… life goes on and I will survive this journey and go ever onwards… intertwining petals of a flower spiral around and growth returns, determined, strong and feisty… ebbing away to a steady flow before the insurgence of tension builds to bursting pitch! 
… And ten minutes later I was still feeling the emotive storm raging within deep in my solar plexus… yes indeed this was a Journey of Consciousness!
Thanks to Kathryn Lowdon for her thoughts and input, and the ‘stolen’ phrase, ‘streams of consciousness’.
Kath J.

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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