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Bebop Spoken There

David Binney: "In this age, we musicians need to do anything we can to make a living, and ninety-nine percent of us will have to do a wide variety of things." - (Jazz Times May 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.

Until July 21

Today Tuesday July 16

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

Gala Big Band w. ALAN BARNES: Strictly Come BRASSing - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £15.00. (£12.00. concs.). A Durham Brass Festival event.

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 813983 (info). 8:00pm. £5.00. (inc. raffle). RCJ with Don Armstrong (clarinet, saxophone, penny whistle, vocals).

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SOLD OUT!

Zoe Rahman & Laura MacDonald - Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192.. 8:00pm. £12.00. (£10.00. concs.). JNE.

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

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

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Marilyn Crispell & Raymond MacDonald + John Pope & Greta Buitkute @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. December 4

Marilyn Crispell (piano) & Raymond MacDonald (alto & soprano saxophones), Andy Champion (double bass)
(Review by Russell/Photos by Ken Drew.)
There was a huge turn out in Armstrong Building, Newcastle University. The Congregation exited King’s Hall – academics, graduates and guests – following an awards ceremony. Photographs taken, bouquets discarded, within minutes the building stood deserted. The scheduled gig in the Recital Room proved problematic as the space functioned as a cloak room for the duration, coats racks everywhere, the Steinway in there somewhere. Only one thing to do, hold the gig in the King’s Hall. Rows of empty chairs from the earlier assembly would surely fill up. Of course they didn't. Platform with ceremonial chairs and throne made for a surreal backdrop. Steinway in position, bar set up, the audience started to arrive. 
The usual faces, first name terms, the state of the music in these difficult times for the small scale promoter. Small promoter, big gig. American pianist Marilyn Crispell joined forces once more with reeds virtuoso Raymond Macdonald. A relationship born of their meeting at Jazz North East’s On the Outside Festival, the duo have gone on to play concerts and document their music making on CD.
The ‘product’ sold like hot cakes (mince pies?) on the night, testament to the exceptional performance heard by the lucky few. Crispell appeared in Newcastle way back with Anthony Braxton and years later in the King’s Hall the self effacing American reaffirmed her rare talent. Head bowed, hunched over the keyboard, Crispell’s two handed note clusters inspired Raymond MacDonald to ever greater heights. Alto or soprano, the amiable Scot gave the performance of a lifetime. Notes reached up into the cloistered rafters ringing crystal clear to the echo. MacDonald’s keen ear responded to the acoustic, incorporating the delay of cathedral like proportions into his playing. Possessing imperious technique, the jazz – and it was ‘real’ jazz – took some believing. The rapport between the musicians telepathic, the playing stonkingly good. One piece recalled In a Sentimental Mood, another infused with gospel sounds, the truth. 
At the close the duo invited double bassist Andy Champion to join them for an encore. Three string Champion (one string broke!) slotted in comfortably, as one has come to expect.
Earlier John Pope (double bass|) & Greta Buitkute (voice) played a short opening set. Pope’s recent improv outings have seen him take giant strides, looking and sounding increasingly at home in the genre. Buitkute chooses to explore the possibilities of the human voice, pushing boundaries, as they say. Working acoustically on this gig, her quiet excursions required concentrated listening, lower register guttural sounds projected without the aid of a mic. An interesting set, a wonderful evening, a contender for Gig of the Year! 
Russell.

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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