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Bebop Spoken There

Jeff Lindberg: "You can have innovative new music and you can play music of the masters. They're not going to cancel each other out" - (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 Saturday May 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - St. Cuthbert's Church Hall, Dovecote St., Amble NE65 0DX. 12:00pm - 3:00pm (music from 1:00pm). £10.00. See poster for more details.

Sax on the Tyne, St George's Church Hall, St George's Close, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2TF. 5:00-7:00pm. Free (donations). A Jesmond Community Festival event.

Evening

Baghdaddies - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 6:00pm. £10.00. Whitley Bay Carnival.

Lady & the Jazz Tramps - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Radio Pensacola Band - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Blues/Funk/Soul

Teresa Watson Band - 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.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Review: Off Key by Mark Robertson.

(Just a reminder that Mark Robertson's excellent first novel is officially launched this Saturday June 28 - follow this link to learn more - Lance)
The definitive jazz novel, in my opinion, has yet to be written despite the efforts of many well known literary figures. Evan Hunter's Second Ending perhaps came closest - until now that is.
Mark Robertson's Off Key could only be written by someone at the heart of a provincial jazz scene and whilst I'm sure it isn't semi-autobiographical, the characters and situations are so familiar and, occasionally, thinly disguised it might well be. The fact that it's set in the north-east adds credence to the theory. 
Fiction it well may be, but it does relate to life in the jazz lane - The grotty gigs out in the wilds with an audience of three, the rusting band van forever breaking down, the wayward self-destructing genius, the struggle to maintain a home life with a jazz life, the conflicting personalities in any group of two or more (in this case four) etc.
Mark Robertson has successfully merged all these ingredients and more into 108,000 words - not one of which I skipped - particularly page 262 where a well known jazz blog is mentioned!
Off Key began life as a screenplay before surfacing as a novel.. If it ever reverts to its original format the BBC or ITV will have no problem with the casting - they're all in a jazz club near you.
The author's cover comment "The greatest story ever told about love ... and jazz (in Sunderland)" perhaps needs to be amended to cover a wider area! Highly recommended.
Mark Robertson's novel, Off Key  is published by Matador Press and available now.
ISBN: 9781784620073 - Paperback; £8.99 
eISBN: 9781784626785 - ebook: £2.99
Lance.
Synopsis. 
OFF-KEY BY MARK ROBERTSON                             
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD ABOUT LOVE and jazz . . . in Sunderland.
Once unheard of, Charlotte and Kyle’s relationship is becoming ever more commonplace in today’s society. She is the breadwinner and Kyle, in his own eyes at least, is a musical genius. Should Charlotte accept playing second fiddle to a saxophone or should she listen to her best friend, Dainty.
 “One day you’ll wake up. Kyle will be gone and you’ll be left with a basket of dirty Y fronts and ovaries that look like walnuts.”
Will Charlotte take Dainty’s advice and go?  And if she does what is left for Kyle? Only an autistic boy to get through a music exam and an alcoholic has-been to rehabilitate.
As for Dainty, why should she be beholden to vows that he cast aside for nothing more than a shag with her best friend?  “For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health” . . . in bed with her and in bed with her bridesmaid! Bastard!
Author Mark Robertson, himself a professional musician, has written about a present day dilemma, what role should each person play in a relationship?  He knows the half-world of gigs and record producers, all waiting for that elusive break, those partners who cheer them on and the others whose patience sometimes runs out. 

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