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Bebop Spoken There

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

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Today Thursday December 12

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 12:00pm. Free.

Note earlier time for this week only!

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Evening

Jazz

Hot Club du Nord - Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Willerby Drive, Peterlee SR8 2RN. Tel: 0191 518 2000. 7:00pm. £10.00. (£5.00. under 18s). 'Jazz at the Lubetkin'.

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). ‘Gala Big Band Does Christmas’.

Durham University Big Band - Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. Tel: 0191 334 1777. Free. 7:30pm. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£2.00. student).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Blues/Soul/Funk/Etc.

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

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Darlington Jazz Festival. April 24: Matt Roberts Sextet plays the music of Fats Navarro

Matt Roberts (trumpet), Matt Anderson (tenor saxophone), Ben Lowman (alto saxophone), Sam Watts (keyboards), Angus Milne (double bass) & Sam Gardner (drums).
(Review by Russell).
In preview Bebop Spoken Here advised early arrival. Minutes before the start of this gig in the upstairs room at the Voodoo Café it was standing room only. All seats taken, walls lined with dozens of people, some relegated to a spot in the corridor, numbers exceeding expectations.
An air of anticipation, a ‘buzz’ in the air. Returning local hero Matt Roberts was to play the music of Fats Navarro. At a guess, his sextet’s average age would be little more than thirty, if that. And what a sextet! Familiar faces, some less so, six superb jazz musicians. 
Navarro, Tadd Dameron, Dexter Gordon, legendary names. Roberts’ band more than did justice to the bop era giants. Index introduced altoist Ben Lowman. The verdict? This guy is the ‘real deal’. A fabulous player, book him for your jazz club. Matt Anderson (tenor), to Roberts’ left in the frontline, has become well known to north east audiences. Several gigs in the region leading his own band or, as on this gig, as a sideman, his warm-toned tenor has become a familiar sound. Roberts couldn’t stop smiling; tenor to his left, alto to his right, a great frontline. In fact, it was smiles all round. These guys clearly enjoyed the music, working together and performing to a receptive crowd. Here’s a thing - a frontline working without mics. Old school or what?! The rhythm section cooked on Gas Mark 9. Sam Watts (keyboards), his face a picture of concentration, bassist Angus Milne as good a bass player as you’ll hear (a local lad to boot, from the Egglesciffe area) and drummer Sam Gardner. The tall, affable Gardner playing bop, now there’s a thing! Familiar on the scene in more contemporary contexts, the boy can play the music of the masters as well as anyone.
Symphonette, Bird’s Dexterity, The Chase – this was bop paradise. Dameron’s blues The Skunk, ballads too – As Time Goes By, Gone with the Wind. A gig to treasure, from first note to last. Smiles on the stand, smiles in the audience, superb musicianship, The 2015 Darlington Jazz Festival is off to a flyer.
Russell.

            

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