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Bebop Spoken There

Art Hirahara: "Playing with people is the most important thing to me, and not playing with people is torture." - (DownBeat August, 2020)

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11,772 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 912 of them this year alone and, so far, 49 this month (August 13).

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August

Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Improvisers’ Workshop @ The Jazz Café. July 8

Andy Champion (electric bass & electronics) & Wes Stephenson (drums) + Paul Edis (piano), Harley Johnson (piano), Dougie Fielder (tenor saxophone), Zoe Gilby (voice), Julie Allan (voice), ? (mandolin & cello), Penny (cello), ? (flute), Nialls ? (mandolin & shakers), ? (bodhran)
(Review by Russell).
The first in a new monthly workshop session at the Jazz Café curated by (in old money ‘led by’) bassist Andy Champion with sparring partner for the evening Wes Stephenson (drums), the question uppermost in the mind: would anyone turn up? They did, faces old and new. The jazz faces were there, so too some non-jazz faces.
Champion and Stephenson started proceedings with our seated curator looking down at an array of flashing lights on a pedal board and a half. Pianist Paul Edis was the first to throw his hat in the ring, seating himself at the upright looking, listening for an opening.
Seizing his opportunity, Edis made this opening piece a three way conversation. A good beginning to a new venture. Edis departed, leaving the floor open to all comers.
Dougie Fielder, having travelled from Cumbria, got up and gave it a go. In no time a mandolin joined the orchestra, then a cello, then, all the way from Stanley, County Durham, Harley Johnson. HJ is a pianist, a good pianist. HJ decided to dismantle the piano, front top panel then, sitting on the floor, the bottom panel. The piano lid was down. HJ didn’t seem to notice. Much banging (HJ remained seated on the floor), plucking and strumming ensued. Our pianist stood up and much banging, plucking and strumming of strings on the upper half of the upright ensued. In an aside the Jazz Café’s proprietor said: I’ll have to get the thing tuned. There was the temptation to tell HJ that the piano lid wasn’t locked.
Our mandolin player suggested HJ play the keyboard. Zoe Gilby and Julie Allan decided to add voice to the collective. Numbers grew, at one point perhaps ten musicians played together. Some knew when to drop out, at times the larger ensemble lost focus, refocused and finally resolved the improvisation. At Champion’s suggestion the final piece of the evening would begin with all ten participants starting simultaneously. And they did, with gusto (who needs Ornette?). Mid-point, mandolin attempted to subvert matters with a clearly delineated Autumn Leaves. Blink and it was gone. Next month’s workshop begins at eight o’clock, second Tuesday (August 12). Participants (all instruments) and listeners welcome.          
Russell.       

1 comment :

Lance said...

Crombie must be turning in his grave...

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