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Bebop Spoken There

Lou Donaldson: "(On Art Blakey) Everything changed. Especially when the women came in, sat down in the front row, and raised their skirts above their knees. Then the drums got louder, the tempos got faster, and every tune was a drum solo" - (JazzTimes, November 2019.)

Archive

Today Saturday December 14

Afternoon

Jazz

Anth Purdy - Isabella Community Centre, Ogle Drive, Blyth NE24 5JF. Tel: 01670 543773. 11:00am-1:00pm. Free. Christmas Fair.

Jazz Attack - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 3:30pm. Free (concourse). Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival.

Jambone - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 4:00pm. Free but ticketed (Sage Two). Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival.

Evening

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. Second night of two.

Sold Out!

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Blues/Funk/Soul

Loft Boys - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Dean Stockdale Trio @ Salsa Café December 7

Dean Stockdale (piano) Paul Grainger (D. Bass) Steve Doyle (Drums)
(Review by Kath Jobes).
My evening didn't get off to a good start… I went along to take a look at the opening night of the Jazz Café on Pink Lane… what a disappointment … total lack of ambience, sterile… not even a Christmas decoration… it’s become a trendy wine bar with almost every aspect of the previous history eradicated… quite a shock to the Jazz Community… my favourite cosy bench seat where I could be found many a Saturday evening gone… and all that was left of the Crombie days were a couple of mirrors and a light fitting… It saddens me that the renovation was not more in a more sympathetic way… but times move on and I suppose new brooms like to sweep clean… let’s hope that the addition of a few pictures and perhaps some jazz artefacts will bring back some of the ambience… it was nice to see Pete Gilligan back in his spot at the Piano, and although I didn't stay long the audience seemed to enjoy his playing… 
So on to the real event of the night… Salsa Café - a lovely Jazz venue, full of ambience, friendly faces and fabulous food.
The first set commenced with a lovely arrangement of  Like Someone In Love, the key change was a delightful aspect and a most agreeable start to this part of the evening… well things could only get better… so as we moved onto Oleo the lively and varied percussion of Steve Doyle as he used his hands to pat out the rhythms and it was all beautifully coordinated with the occasional nod of the head from Dean…. The language of Jazz never ceases to amaze me. 
The Michael Legrand number You Must Believe In Spring brought visions of walking down lanes of blossom laden trees in the warm spring weather as skilled variations effused from Dean Stockdale’s Piano.  The visions continued as we walked along the sea shore to the melodious Wave featuring an easy-going bass solo from Paul Grainger.   The foot tapping Kelly’s Blues, wasn't at all blue and Steve Doyle displayed his skill with a cheerful drum solo that brought a smile to the faces of the other musicians.  My favourite number of the night came next with a carefree arrangement of the Beatles number – Blackbird… although from the concentration on Paul’s face I could see that the interesting changes in the arrangement were not as carefree as it seemed to the general audience, but I found it to be lovely, soft and engaging.  The next number had us bobbing along to I Want to be Happy… the final number of the set had a leisurely introduction to All The Things You Are… the tempo picked up and a skilful bass solo brought this set to an  amenable end.
A wistful start to the second set in the form of Nostalgia in Times Square with another lovely arrangement from Dean Stockdale followed by a bluesy God Bless the Child with delightful trills from the piano.  High Heel Sneakers retained the bluesy feel with another superb drum solo from Doyle and then we went Somewhere Over The Rainbow as the wizardry of Dean’s arrangements continued to bring a little of his mischievous character out… as he tinkled out… ‘You’d better watch out’ … just a little bit ‘Wicked’! (but if you have seen the musical, you will know, no one mourns the wicked)  And there was no one in mourning as Dean went on to play his truly lovely arrangement of Honeysuckle Rose, with a spectacular piano solo that again brought out the playful side of this highly talented musician… with a riff of pop goes the weasel!

The set moved on to a Gershwin tune in the form of Lady Be Good, with more of the exquisite walking bass and soft brushes accompanying Dean’s skilful playing.  Sonny Rollins’ St Thomas commenced with a light tinkling from the keys as the gentle piano arrangement moved onto an intricate bass solo from Grainger before returning to the magic of this accomplished trio.  The final number of the night was an expressive Georgia On My Mind and a simply gorgeous soft piano bringing an evocative end to the evening…but we were not quite at the end… a quick reminder about the Jam Sessions on Sunday afternoons 3 – 7pm at Salsa Café, and then a few emotional words from Abi Lewis to thank the Jazz community for all of their help and support, particular acknowledgement to Mr Paul Grainger who has been ‘her rock’  in raising the funding to enable the documentary about the highly respected Keith Crombie to go ahead… Abi we are all looking forward to seeing this… thank you for this legacy, I am certain Keith is looking down and smiling.
Kath J.

2 comments :

Lance said...

Well Kath, I agree the new Jazz Café is a work in progress and it has not attempted to capture the ambience of the old place. How could it? It took Crombie nigh on 20 years to create the jazz slum (and I use the expression endearingly) that was "The Caff". To try and even half achieve the ambience of the old place would never work. Crombie was the ambience not fixtures and fittings. Rather than slag off after a visit on opening night let's just be pleased that another venue for jazz in the city has opened its doors.

Anonymous said...

Is it a jazz venue? Or is it a wine bar with jazz in the background (for now)?