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Bebop Spoken There

Frank Zappa: “Those kids [US students] wouldn't know music if it came up and bit 'em on the ass.” – (DownBeat October 3, 1969).

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Today Monday February 17

Afternoon

Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Evening

?????

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hebrides Ensemble: Dead Elvis @ Sage Gateshead. November 13.

(Review by Russell).
Elvis was in the building, supposedly. Dead or alive, he was keeping a low profile. A cursory glance along the concourse, a look in the café, the bar, the loo, not a sign. The main attraction (for some) couldn’t possibly be a ‘no show’, could he?        
Billed as ‘American classics with a cool vibe’, the Hebrides Ensemble presented six pieces to an attentive, and, belatedly, animated audience in Sage Gateshead’s Northern Rock Foundation Hall. Elvis (dead or alive), was top of the bill. We would have to be patient, other performers and composers were to be heard first. 
Darius Milhaud (a jazz connection via Dave Brubeck) opened the concert with Suite op 157b. Clarinet, piano (Huw Watkins) and viola played as classical musicians do – with precision. Soprano Claron McFadden took to the stage to sing three pieces. The first accompanied by piano, McFadden, seated, found dramatic expression and subtle humour in Thomas Adès’ work. On Stephen Montague’s Wild Nights (Emily Dickinson the source) McFadden stooped under the piano lid breathing life into the strings. Leonard Bernstein’s Dream with Me (an adaptation of JM Barrie’s Peter Pan) heard the soprano in reflective mood, seated once more, working with piano and William Conway’s cello.
The showstopper – Dead Elvis – certainly livened things up. A classical performance with dry ice smoke effects introduced Peter Whelan (aka Elvis). Variously fleet-fingered, brash and convincing (almost!), Whelan/Elvis walked the walk around the hall, turning heads as he and the band played on. So, this is what Elvis has been up to all these years!
Wynton Marsalis. A Fiddler’s Tale Suite. The real jazz element. The band assembled – trombone, trumpet (Ryan Quigley), double bass (May Halyburton), percussion, viola, clarinet and bassoon (a quick change into civvies for Whelan) – under the baton of Conway. Syncopation and swing with a N’Awlins drag, easy for Marsalis, not so easy for a contemporary classical ensemble (familiar with Stravinsky or not). Halyburton and percussionist Oliver Cox brought an element of authenticity to the performance but it just had to be Ryan Quigley to give it the seal of approval. Quigley sat with the others, reading the dots, no grandstanding for him. The final flourish – Marsalis-esque muted trumpet- made the whole endeavour worthwhile. Elvis may well be dead, long live Ryan Quigley!              
Russell.

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