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Bebop Spoken There

Artie Shaw: “I'm not interested in giving people what they want--I'm interested in making music.” – (DownBeat October 15, 1939).

Jason Marsalis: “There's so many places that this music can go and there's a lot yet to be discovered.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Sunday March 18


Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 12 noon. Free.

Jason Isaacs & the Ambassadors of Swing - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 5:30pm (doors 4:00pm). £16.00.

Revolutionaires - Tyne Bar, Maling St, Newcastle NE6 1LP. 3pm. Free.

Somethin’ Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 5:00pm. Tel: 01325 788564. Matt Case (saxophone) & Mike Hepple (guitar).


POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER! Zoë Gilby Quartet - Black Bull, Bridge Street, Blaydon NE21 4JJ. 8:00pm. £5.00. Rescheduled August 19.

Alter Ego - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00.

Bradley Johnston - The Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241. 6:00pm. Free. New weekly residency.

Gypsy Dave Smith - 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.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Great North Big Band Jazz Festival (Day 1) @ North Shore, Sunderland. March 6

Paul Jones-Mick Donnelly Quintet: Paul Jones (alto saxophone), Sue Ferris (tenor saxophone & flute), Stuart Collingwood (keyboards), Anth Ord (bass) & Adrian Tilbrook (drums)
(Review by Russell)
The twelfth annual Great North Big Band Jazz Festival opened with the Paul Jones-Mick Donnelly Quintet. The line-up wasn’t quite as anticipated. Mick Donnelly (tenor) begged leave of absence to give his services to a high profile charity event, thus a last minute dep was sought. Sue Ferris – damsel to the rescue – stepped into the breach. The band’s bass player – Neil Harland – was unavailable, so, one of the new generation of north east jazz musicians got the job, Mr Anth Ord. Not quite a scratch band, how would they fare?

The quintet’s audience included the Festival Big Band (an ensemble comprising some of the north east’s finest young musicians) and first time visitors to Sunderland, Altrincham Grammar School for Boys Swing Band. The first number set the pace, then some. Herbie Hancock’s Driftin’  heard Paul Jones’ alto, then, wow-wee!, Sue Ferris’ tenor solo blew the roof off Sunderland University Students’ Union! Truly great tenor playing. American star names – past or present – would have been left trailing. Sandu followed. We weren’t aware that Ferris had merely been warming up; more absolutely killing tenor saxophone! Peri’s-Scope – guess what? Ferris did it again! Mick who?
Stevie Wonder, The Song is You, a Sonny Rollins’ calypso… pianist Stuart Collingwood threw in a couple of solos, Jones again, Anth Ord (on the money all night) did a grand job and Adrian Tilbrook (drums) was in fine form throughout.
The Festival Big Band performed material developed over several months in workshops led by Bill Watson. Catch As Catch Can, The Londonderry Air and Blue Skies. A varied programme showcasing, in particular, a nine-strong saxophone section, deservedly won applause. Bill Bailey featured a sixty four bar reeds intro. Watson appeared satisfied, the audience liked it. Pianist Alice Buhaenko premiered a her composition – The Festival Overture – with, in parts, a Spanish feel to it. Trombonist Hugh Morris is an arranger – composer and arranger are definitely ones to watch out for.
Festival guests Altrincham Grammar School for Boys Swing Band closed the first night of this year’s Great North Big Band Jazz Festival. The boys are making a weekend of it; participating in a Saturday morning workshop and on Sunday they will be taking part in the schools’ section of the competition. This Friday evening short set introduced a band well-schooled by MD Colin Myers. Adrien Re, Sammy Nestico and Pharrell Williams – three markedly different composers – put the spotlight on the band’s sections. Trumpets (all six of them) impressed and Sam Myers stood up for the trombones. Happy, Williams’ tune of the year (was it 2013? 2014?), concluded a polished performance. The boys are sure to enjoy the weekend – win, lose or draw. Note: Mick Donnelly will be back (in tandem with Paul Jones) on Saturday and Sunday to act as competition adjudicator. Russell.

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.