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COFID- 19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Laura Jurd Septet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. January 27

Lauren Kinsella (voice), Laura Jurd (trumpet), Chris Batchelor (trumpet), Colm O’Hara (trombone), Mick Foster (bass saxophone), Alex Roth (guitar) & Corrie Dick (drums)  
(Review by Russell/photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
Last Tuesday in the month, Jazz North East’s Schmazz strand, upstairs at the Jazz Café. The ‘Caff’ was closed, the shutters down. Had Laura Jurd’s gig been cancelled? Ah! Of course, the gig had been scheduled in the Black Swan around the corner!
The Newcastle Arts Centre on Westgate Road was open for business. The Black Swan – a basement bar and performance space – is a large venue. Jazz North East anticipated a larger audience than usual for the visit by the much talked about trumpeter and, indeed, a larger than usual audience turned up.
Jurd is on tour. Her second album – Human Spirit – garnered favourable reviews and the line-up on the recording committed to the tour. Irishwoman Lauren Kinsella (now living in London) introduced Colm O’Hara to Jurd. The Irish trombonist impressed, got the job of working on the studio session and made the journey across the Irish Sea to tour the UK
The septet opened, appropriately, with Opening Sequence. As the evening unfolded Jurd gave many solo opportunities to her hand-picked band. Bass sax plumber Mick Foster hit on a free vamp with drummer Corrie Dick during She Knew Him (a highlight of the first, enjoyable set).
Vocalist Lauren Kinsella (another much talked about young musician) is a familiar face (and voice) to the Newcastle audience, this being her fourth gig on Tyneside in recent years. Her distinctive approach met with the approval of more than one vocalist in the Black Swan crowd. A mischievous, light, southern Irish burr played with sound; a lyric deconstructed, reconstructed, exemplified in an exchange with Chris Batchelor on a forward looking (it will soon be spring) Brighter Days. Many of the tunes were anchored by the excellent drumming of the award-winning Corrie Dick. A trumpet/drums section sparkled inviting others to step up – Alex Roth (guitar), Kinsella, plumber Foster. Pirates (written with Mark Lockheart in mind) ended the set. The tune is available to download for free at: www.laurajurd.com
Second set. Roth and Dick set about tearing up Blinded. Jurd’s writing lets her musicians off the leash, but only so far before reining them in and the duo would have to continue a dialogue some other time (next gig). Jurd herself played with a minimum of pedal effects.   An accomplished trumpeter, more trumpet wouldn’t have gone amiss. The CD title track – Human Spirit – settled into another riff/vamp featuring Batchelor and Dick. The gig’s penultimate number – More Than Just a Fairy Tale – worked well, a collective piece. A concert beginning with Opening Sequence could only be brought to a close with Closing Sequence. And so it was. Jurd has established her name. It will be interesting to see what she does next. This gig was the first in a series of PRS funded Jazz North East concerts – Women Make Music – showcasing some of the best female musicians working in jazz today.      
Russell.           

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