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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Tuesday May 21

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

Kamasi Washington - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4461. 7:30pm. £30.00.

River City Jazzmen w. Maureen Hall - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NN. Tel: 01670 813983. 8:00pm. £5 (raffle inc.) Bob Wade, Gordon Solomon, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford, Tommy Graham.

Lindsay Hannon 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.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Alex Baker Quartet @ The Forum, Darlington. March 30

Alex Baker (tenor saxophone), Dean Stockdale (piano), Amy Baker (electric bass) & Stephen Fletcher (drums)
(Review by Russell).
The Forum on Borough Road, tucked away behind Darlington Civic Theatre, presents a range of arts activities across the week including music, cinema and workshop sessions. Early Sunday evening Darlington Jazz Club opens for business. Jazz musicians from the north east and occasionally further afield play two sets to an attentive audience in the bar. This week’s guest Alex Baker (tenor saxophone) was on home ground. A local lad now living in Sheffield, Baker met up with bass playing sister Amy and the ‘award winning’ drummer Stephen Fletcher (Baker was to gently tease Fletcher about his recent success) One hour before the gig Baker made the acquaintance of pianist Dean Stockdale. 
The jazz world is perhaps unique in matching musicians at a moment’s notice and making it work. The club organisers, well aware of Stockdale’s abilities, knew they had nothing to worry about, it would be good, the one question being: how good? A pint of Yard Dog (Ferryhill’s Yard of Ale Brewery) at hand and a chat with one or two regulars as the quartet ran through a couple of charts and before we knew it the first set started bang on time. Bessie’s Blues, This was going to be good! Solar. Two tunes in, it couldn’t get any better, could it? Mature, full toned tenor playing, it is worth travelling a distance to hear Alex Baker. 
A tenor and drums intro to the next number made for one regret – the whole of the north east’s jazz community should have been at the Forum to hear it. Fletcher (the award winning drummer!) and Baker taking Giant Steps. Stockdale and Amy Baker got on board Baker’s Trane and positively kicked ass (as the Americans might say). Superb bass playing (if Amy isn’t you’re favourite bass player it is simply because you are yet to hear her), chords and more from Dean ‘McCoy’ Stockdale, Three numbers into the set and the gig had leapt to the top of the Gig of the Year list! In a Sentimental Mood took it down, the musicianship up there. The interval. The consensus – fantastic!
Second set, more great piano from Stockdale on  Afro Blue and again on Moment’s Notice. A ballad was called for. Naima showcased Baker (Alex). Majestic tenor playing, rhythm section right there. A gig celebrating the music of John Coltrane, certainly. A gig celebrating the great tenor playing of Alex Baker. More Trane – Impressions. A gig of exceptional quality, the quartet should do it again, soon. The next Darlington Jazz Club date is Sunday April 13 with guests the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band. The third Darlington Jazz Festival runs from April 24-27. Tickets will sell out. Visit the Forum’s website www.theforumonline.co.uk Check Bebop Spoken Here nearer the time for a full festival preview.          
Russell.           

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