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Bebop Spoken There

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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Jazz North East All-Day Jazz Extravaganza @ Bridge Hotel and Jazz Café











(Review/Photos -l/r - by Lance)
A day of many highs and only one low. Set in two venues within walking distance of each other Jazz North East presented 16 different line-ups in an attempt to fill the coffers left bare by the lamentable decision of the "Arts Council" to withdraw funding. The artists gave their services free and it is to be hoped the event was a financial success as well as an artistic one.
Both venues were never less than near full with audiences moving back and forth between the two according to their stylistic preferences. Split evenly between straight ahead jazz and the current improv scene - several artists such as Jason Yarde, Corey Mwamba, Andy Champion and John Pope were at home in both genres - the programming avoided clashes between the two.
Too much to review in detail save to say all acquitted themselves admirably. Zoe Gilby (with Andy Champion, bass, Mark Williams, guitar and Adrian Tilbrook, drums), gave an impressive opening set. Matt Anderson (tenor) in the company of Graham Hardy (trumpet), Lloyd Wright (guitar), Mick Shoulder (bass) and Adam Sinclair (drums) excelled before it was time to trek over to the Jazz Café for the Alex Hutton Trio. Hutton played a blinder! Ably supported by John Pope (bass) and, first Tilbrook and then David Carnegie on drums, the pianist entertained - not just with his dazzling technique but also his easy microphone manner as he related humourous tales re each piece.
Next up was to be a highlight - Simon Spillett and Matt Anderson in a two tenor front line - possibly recreating the legendary Jazz Couriers of yore. It was not to be. Simon, didn't make it. Fortunately Matt did and, having warmed up earlier at the Bridge he now laid down a solid set of standards with the Paul Edis Trio (Edis (piano); Shoulder (bass); Sinclair (drums).) Even without Simon it was still a highlight!
A break for tiffin or rather a Haggis Scotch Egg and Chutney (leftover from Burns Night?) at the Bridge followed by the Graeme Wilson Quintet which became a septet with the addition of Corey Mwamba on vibes and Alan Law on keys alongside Wilson (tenor); Dennis (trumpet); Williams (guitar); Champion (bass) and Tilbrook (drums.) A cracking set that occasionally verged on the free.
Back over to the Jazz Café for Jason Yarde and the Northern Express - as he retitled the band for the evening. Hardy, Wright, Shoulder and Carnegie gelled with Yarde who blew scintillating alto and curved soprano.
Up from Birmingham, the Jonathan Silk Quintet did give us a two tenor front-line with John Fleming and Nick Rundle. A good choice of original material by drummer Silk drew much applause from the now crowded room. Andy Bunting on piano and Chris Mapp on bass completed the ensemble. Five of Birmingham's finest.
The final set was by Paul Edis and Friends but, by this time - 8 hours of sitting, listening, walking, sitting, listening, walking was taking it's toll so I reluctantly bid adieu to what had been a day to go down in the annuls of north east jazz history.
Lance.
PS: As I didn't make it to the improv. sessions I look forward to hearing from those who did.
PPS: Link to Photos by Ken Drew.

1 comment :

Lance said...

Apologies from Simon Spillett for his no show. Suffering from a bad back. He did email his apologies to the organisers which unfortunately weren't passed on to me.
Get well soon Simon.

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