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Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Today Tuesday January 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Cancelled - room being decorated back on Jan. 28.

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Evening

Air4ce - Cluny 2, Lime St., Newcastle NE1 2PQ. Tel: 0191 230 4474. Doors 7:30pm. £8.00. Ginger Baker tribute featuring regional jazz & blues musicians.

Acoustic Infusion with the Mighty Horns - Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm (doors 7:00pm). £5.00.

Blues/Soul/Folk etc.

?????

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

Monday, April 27, 2015

Splinter @ the Bridge present YANA - April 26

Corey Mwamba (vibes); Dave Kane (bass); Johnny Hunter (drums)
(Review by Steve/photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
Sunday nights in Newcastle will never be the same again. After 5 years showcasing the most interesting and stimulating jazz from far and wide, Splinter have had to call it a day. Although supported by a loyal hardcode audience, the overall numbers attending made the project simply unsustainable.
Fittingly, the final gig was a memorable one as Corey Mwamba’s trio Yana played to a packed house. Corey started off proceedings by thanking Zoe and Andy for all their hard unsung work and everybody applauded wholeheartedly in agreement with his sentiments.
The formalities now over, the music was able to commence and a magnificent landscape of sound began to evolve. Each member of the band clearly seemed to be enjoying the experience of playing with one another as they responded quite intuitively to what was going around them. So much so that when a bird chorus started up outside the bay window, Mwamba was able to improvise a tweeted echoed response with a tiny Indian whistle.
I have seen many world class vibes players - Joe Locke, Gary Burton, Bobby Hutchinson, Roy Ayers to name just 4 -but I have never seen anyone use the instrument in such a unique way as Mwamba. He may play with anything between zero (his hands) and 6 mallets and in any combination thereof whilst simultaneously moving around the instrument like a hyperactive gazelle. Occasional primordial screaming and the playing of wooden flutes and pipes further augment the performance. It’s by no means classic vibe playing in the style of the aforementioned maestros but Corey lays down a driving groove full of interest and every so often there was to be a burst of simply beautiful sounds. Hunter and Kane are perfect accomplices and at the end of the evening all 3 musicians appeared to have enjoyed the evening as much as the highly appreciative audience. In fact in a display of affability, the charming trio seemed more than happy to hang around and chat to people after the show.
Finally, I would also like to personally thank Zoe and Andy (seen left with JNE's Paul Bream) for all their hard work in promoting such a wonderful cornucopia of music over the years. I have seen some  absolutely amazing gigs and also some not so brilliant but they have all always been interesting and well worth the nominal admission price. However out of the ashes of the splinters a phoenix may yet arise as Jazz North East hopes to be able to programme Sunday night gigs in the not too distant future - funding permitting. So, sadly, the end of a splendid era! It was most odd saying goodbye to so many people that I had shared so many extraordinary evenings with, but it has to be said “it has been a blast”.  
Steve.

2 comments :

JC said...

An excellent review, Steve. You catch the sweet/sad atmosphere of the last Splinter session very well. And Yana were the perfect group to play the final show as they encapsulated much of the great spirit of these sessions - superb musicians, intuitive interplay between them, lots of creative and exciting improvisation and nice rapport with the audience. Like all good 'wakes' a large crowd of relatives, close friends and distant acquaintances turned up to have a few drinks, celebrate the last five years and say goodbye.
As it can sometimes be a thankless task to turn up every Sunday night to arrange chairs, organise the sound system and take the admission money, as well as being responsible for making the music happen, I would like to echo Steve's note of appreciation for all that Zoe and Andy have done and say thanks for the many terrific nights of jazz. As a singer once sang "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone'. I'm missing Splinter already.
JC

Ken Drew (on F//b) said...

A fitting review by Steve. Had it been written before the gig maybe more would have been attracted to the captivating atmposhphere described therein, and joined us for a crackin gig ?? I would also like to echo Steve's note of appreciation for all that Zoe Champion and Andy Champion have done in broadening our musical horizons, and say thanks for organising the many wonderful and enjoyable nights of jazz at The Bridge Hotel.