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Bebop Spoken There

Sting: "It was great. They [the River City Jazzmen] all wore blue suits. The band had been together for about twenty years, which was the same age as the suits." - (Melody Maker Sept. 22, 1979).

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Monday October 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see centre column).

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 3:00pm/5:30pm. Screening of Stanley Nelson's documentary film (2019, cert. 15, 1hr 55mins).

Evening

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

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mark Toomey Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. May 17

Mark Toomey (alto saxophone), Jeremy McMurray (piano), Peter Ayton (bass & vocals) & Paul Smith (drums).
(Review by Russell)
Last heard leading the late-night jam session at last month’s Darlington Jazz Festival, alto saxophonist Mark Toomey made the journey up the A19 to play a gig at the Black Bull in Blaydon. Two sets featuring the music of Charlie Parker attracted the regulars to Blaydon Jazz Club’s monthly session. The region’s sax players were conspicuous by their absence - they missed a treat.
Parker disciple Mark Toomey likes nothing better than to play the music of the genius we know as ‘Yardbird’. Tunes, interspersed with a potted history of the ill-fated saxophonist, broadly in chronological order, made for an informative and entertaining presentation. An up tempo start with Cherokee almost went pear-shaped as Peter Ayton’s bass amp played up. As jacks and inputs were checked over, pianist Jeremy McMurray’s left hand worked overtime. Instrument and amp restored to rude health, Ayton delved way back to Parker’s days with Jay McShann singing Hootie Blues – great stuff!
Dizzy’s Groovin’ High, All the Things You Are…the realisation that every number was in the ‘classic’ category. Sit back and enjoy! Dial and Savoy sides (the often imperfect sides – lo-fi quality – somehow add to the legendary status accorded Parker) caught Toomey’s  ear, some transcribed by the Teesside-based altoist, such is the man’s devotion. A Night in Tunisia fizzed along (drummer Paul Smith’s rhythmic patterns spot-on) with the club’s former house pianist Jeremy McMurray laying down one of several fully-formed solos.
Now’s the Time (more from McMurray), Loverman as a samba (Smith again ‘on it’ and Ayton soloing effectively), the tunes flowed one after another. The test piece as Toomey rightly described it – Donna Lee – brought out the best in the quartet. Listening to Mark Toomey is a damn good approximation of Parker on record – ‘uncanny’ is the word. Out of Nowhere featured Smith’s first-rate brushes and an inventive McMurray solo complete with a stride pattern woven into the fabric of it. Parker’s Mood with its aching intro just about brought the evening to a close save for a brisk take on Love for Sale. A good night at Blaydon. Next month’s session (a Blaydon Festival special on Sunday, June 21) sees the return of the Sue Ferris Quintet. The diminutive Ferris is an accomplished musician (tenor and baritone saxes, flute), well respected on the local scene. Heard recently at the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival, Ferris was in stupendous form. If she breezes into the Black Bull firing on all cylinders it is sure to be a storming gig. Don’t miss it!                    
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: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance