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Bebop Spoken There

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13,248 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 667 of them this year alone and, so far, 75 this month (May 16).

Coming soon ...



May 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (Indoors!)
May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club. 8:30pm start.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 21: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).
June 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bell & Bucket New Orleans Jazz Festival. May 26

Paul Bacon (drums), Liz Bacon (clarinet), Martyn Sharp (trumpet & vocals), Jeff Milner (trombone & vocals), Roger Howlett (banjo) & Annie Hawkins (double bass) + Matty McElvogue (trumpet)
(Review by Russell).
Paul Bacon first played jazz at the Bell and Bucket (a community pub converted from a decommissioned fire station) in 1991 and has continued to play there regularly down the intervening years. His well established Bell & Bucket New Orleans Jazz Band’s Tuesday lunchtime session recently rebranded itself as Paul’s New Orleans Music Show and now we have Tyneside’s first dedicated New Orleans jazz festival.
A two day affair, Monday’s session took the form of three sets of forty five minutes each over three hours. The musicians assembled on the upper tier of the small, split level, one room pub. The weather fine, the door and windows open, the sound of New Orleans jazz drifted down the banks of the Tyne (Stan Laurel’s statue danced a jig), the tied-up fishing fleet bobbing to the syncopated rhythms.
Mr Bacon plays it strict. A disciple of the music of New Orleans, he pays homage to his heroes – George Lewis, Bunk Johnson and others. A model of economy of style, Bacon invited the larger-than-life Annie Hawkins (double bass) to participate in this first festival of New Orleans jazz. The contrast stark, the playing first rate. The drumming minimalist, the bass playing dynamic. Banjo player Roger Howlett goes way back with Bacon and he sat between the two unfazed by the visual treat (Hawkins) to his left. The front line – Mrs Liz Bacon (clarinet), trumpeter Martyn Sharp and Jeff Milner (trombone) –  worked well together, sharing the solos (Hawkins bagged her share), Sharp and Milner the vocalists. All I Do is Dream of You, I’m Looking For a Four Leaf Clover (Sharp vocals), Brahms Lullaby and a clarinet feature for Liz Bacon – In the Garden – got things off to a good start.
The intervals were short, there was much to fit in. Second set – a spirited Don’t Give Up the Ship, an excellent CC Rider (Sharp muted trumpet, Milner winning vocals), Take My Hand Precious Lord (Liz Bacon clarinet) and Don’t Sweetheart Me – more than matched the first and the final set maintained the standard. Just a Little While to Stay Here, Lady Be Good (Mattie McElvogue sat-in on trumpet), Dinah (McElvogue stayed on), then The Dallas Blues (Sharp back in harness) and Ice Cream made for a fantastic finale to the first day of the Bell and Bucket New Orleans Jazz Festival.
Paul Bacon referred to the New Orleans Jazz Club on Forth Banks in Newcastle. He said that George Lewis played there, opening the venue. Do readers have recollection of the occasion? The second day of the festival – Tuesday 27 – begins at one o’clock. Admission is free, the beers fine (Jarrow and Charles Wells), the jazz just great.    
Russell.       

2 comments :

Dave Kerr said...

Yes I saw George Lewis there in fact he played there twice.
He did not open the club it had been going for years before.
I was invited back stage to meet him in and there were several photos
of local musicians taken with him.

John Taylor said...

Yes I was there on that occasion and in fact that may be a copy of my ticket which I still have somewhere

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