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Bebop Spoken There

Kenny Davern: "Now I like traditional jazz, but I don't like Dixieland per se, and the reason is that there's not enough ensemble playing or interplay." - (Melody Maker September 22, 1979)

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Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

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11,807 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1047 of them this year alone and, so far, 74 this month (Sept. 28).

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IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON.

OCTOBER

THURSDAY 1

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

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Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00 -10:00pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish. CANCELLED! Back on October 8

Smoove & Turrell (Unplugged) - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 7:00pm (6:00pm doors). £25.00. Limited capacity, book at www.hoochiecoochie.co.uk.

FRIDAY 2

Smoove & Turrell (Unplugged) - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 7:00pm (6:00pm doors). £25.00. Limited capacity, book at www.hoochiecoochie.co.uk. SOLD OUT!

Lee Bates - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm-10:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity. A Blind Pig Blues Club event.

SATURDAY 3

Emma Wilson Blues Band - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7DN. 8:00pm. Limited capacity, in the first instance register for the live stream (£5.45.) at: www.jazzcoop.

SUNDAY 4

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Tel: 0191 691 7090. Free.

Gerry Richardson Quintet - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7DN. 8:00pm. Limited capacity, in the first instance register for the live stream (£5.45.) at: www.jazzcoop. The band’s 25th anniversary celebrations!

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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