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Bebop Spoken There

Danny Gatton: "I was tired of playing in beer joints. I wanted to do something tangible like building cars. But once you do music it gets into your blood. You can get away from it for awhile but sooner or later it comes back to you." - (Down Beat April 1991).

Tal Farlow: "There were times when I would stop [playing guitar] and do sign painting." - (Downbeat December 5, 1963)

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Today Wednesday August 23

Afternoon
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
New Orleans Jazz at the Village Hall - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.
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Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Billy's Acoustic Blues - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free (weekly).
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Big Chris Barber Band @ Sage Gateshead. December 11

Chris Barber (trombone & vocals), Bob Hunt (trombone & trumpet), Mike Henry (trumpet & clarinet), Pete Rudeforth (trumpet), Richard Exall (baritone & tenor saxophones, clarinet), Bert Brandsma (tenor & alto saxophones, clarinet),Trevor Whiting (tenor & alto saxophones, clarinet), Joe Farler (guitar & banjo), Jackie Favelle (double bass & electric bass) & Alan ‘Sticky’ Wicket (drums)
(Review by Russell)
A broken down vehicle left the Chris Barber band on the hard-shoulder of the M69 for hours on end. Their Sage Gateshead concert was delayed one hour with a nine o’clock start and a ready agreement to play one long set (ninety minutes) without pause.
Sage Gateshead’s café, bar and brasserie did unexpected extra business and the hiatus was accepted by all as just one of those things. Hall One staged a Motown revue and a glittering fashion parade (the punters) walked on by to the amusement of the hardened jazzers killing time on people watching duty. Hall Two opened its doors in good time – Sage staff were, as ever, courteous in admitting patrons and assisting some in finding a numbered seat. All three levels in the cockpit-theatre space were open (level one, or the ‘stalls’, if you will, well-populated).
Chris Barber walked onto stage alone and offered a rambling, bumbling apology. Good, all was well with the world! His band joined him. Bourbon Street Parade. Great! Thank you Mr Barber. If there had been time for just the one number it would still have been a treat. Thankfully, this was just the start. Ellington played a big part during the evening. The first Ducal instalment – three numbers topped and tailed by Rent Party Blues and Jubilee Stomp – showcased the immaculate ensemble work of Barber’s outfit, with Bob Hunt’s lovingly crafted arrangements a joy to listen to. Barber took the first of several vocals (perhaps an under-rated aspect of his work) on Take My, Hand Precious Lord and Goin’ Home. Clarence Williams’ Wild Cat Blues (Barber recalled the band’s first recording of the tune was way back in 1955) heard Richard Exall’s excellent baritone and the equally proficient Trevor Whiting on tenor. The sections’ contributions were never less than top drawer; trumpets Mike Henry and Pete Rudeforth spot-on (open or muted), similarly the reeds with Dutchman Bert Brandsma particularly impressive on clarinet and ‘Sticky’ Wicket holding it together behind the traps.  
More Ellington – East St Louis Toodle-Oo and Merry Go Round (Barber solo). Black and Tan Fantasy raised the stakes with Bob Hunt doing things on trombone that appeared to be impossible! Plungers were regularly plungered across reeds and brass to great effect. Barber, conscious of the time, mis-read his watch, calling time some thirty minutes too soon. On-stage asides quickly reshuffled the set list. All Blues focused on Exall’s alto, Hunt’s muted horn and Jackie Favelle’s subtle double bass playing (other band members wandering off into the wings). Hot and Bothered and Petite Fleur (inevitably) told us it was just about time to say farewell to the Big Chris Barber Band…until the next time. A rockin’ Rockin’ in Rhythm (a phalanx of frontline plungers) called time…almost. Who wants Ice Cream? Vanilla, sarsaparilla, this was a gig with a cherry on top! See you next time Chris!                          
Russell.

1 comment :

  1. There is little more to add to Russell's brilliant synopsis of a wonderful evening. It was the first time I had been in this particular hall and it was perfect for the occasion. Chris has not improved his diction over the years and together with my hearing problem I could not make out what he was saying - but it was ever so. However, his musicianship left nothing to be desired although I sometimes thought he was about to lean on his trombone.

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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