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Bebop Spoken There

More from Jazz Monthly:

John Postgate: "Oscar Peterson played a good solo in 1954..." - (Jazz Monthly August 1960)

Bill Evans: "A composer writes something, and an orchestra interprets it--he spends maybe six months writing 10 minutes of music, but a jazz musician spends 10 minutes of playing 10 minutes of music, and he performs it himself". - (Jazz Monthly July1960).

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Today Saturday October 21

Afternoon

???????

Evening

Tees Valley Jazzmen - Sadberge Village Hall, 5 Beacon Grange Park, Sadberge, Darlington DL2 1TW. 7:30pm. £9.00. inc cheese & biscuits, BYOB.

Mat Maneri/Evan Parker/Lucian Ban: Sounding Tears - Sage Gateshead. 7:45pm. £13.50.

The Exiles - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. £5.00. Line-up: Dave Hignett (trumpet), Niall Armstrong (tenor sax), Mike Cunningham (piano), Hazel Hanley (double bass) & Paul ‘Sid’ Wight (drums).

George Shovlin & the Radars - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm.

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

Friday, May 15, 2015

Music Students’ Final Year Recitals @ Culture Lab. May 13

(Treatise by Russell)
A drum clinic special! And a special finger style guitarist! Newcastle University’s hub of cultural practice – Culture Lab – on King’s Walk opened its doors to the public to allow those interested to experience the frisson of excitement generated by the ‘one-shot’ exam scenario. Three drummers and a guitarist were about to give it their best shot – years of study and here they were, steeling themselves for the challenge of a lifetime.
Guitarist Daniel Morgan said hello, made reference to his programme notes (all present had a copy) and said little more. Seated, with acoustic guitar, Morgan played a set of ten compositions bookended by two John Renbourn pieces. The Hermit began the recital. A poignant tune given that Morgan had the pleasure of meeting John Renbourn in January of this year, a matter of weeks before the untimely death of the world-renowned guitarist. Indeed, during Renbourn’s teaching engagement at Newcastle University Morgan had an unforgettable one-on-one lesson with the man. Andrés Segovia’s arrangement of El Noi de la Mare (a Catalan Christmas song) and a song by Michael Chapdelaine (Beau Fleuve) detailing the travails of a touring musician indicated the breadth of material studied by Morgan. Henry Glover’s Drown in My Own Tears (an arrangement drawing on versions by Ray Charles and Jeff Buckley) represented the blues idiom. On this number Morgan invited singer Hannah Scully to join him on stage. Scully stayed on for some Jobim and then Morgan was all but done save for John Renbourn’s Palermo Snow. Morgan is a fine guitarist. He thanked his guitar tutor Mick Wright and Geoff Needham for the long-term loan of a rather nice guitar. Concert recitals as a professional musician are sure to follow.
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As someone once said: And now, something completely different. Three drummers, one after another, the common denominator…tutor Geoff Hutchinson. First up – Lewis West. The affable young man stated that he would try and reach that all important professional standard and I’ll be playing a lot of tonight’s music on brushes, as they’re a staple of any jazz drummer’s repertoire…One gets the impression West has had a good teacher! Five pieces to be heard, starting with Monk’s Well, You Needn’t. West’s band, featuring the brilliant Ella El-Salahi on vocals, went to town on it. Rachelle Ferrell’s up tempo version of What is This Thing Called Love? presented West with the opportunity to, as his notes suggested: …push myself out of my comfort zone and it’s a fantastic opportunity to show some technical proficiency with the brushes. West did more than show some proficiency!
Sophie Milman’s version of Paul Simon’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover proved to be fun. Fun before a solo examination piece. Tutor Geoff Hutchinson suggested to West that he’d love to hear someone take on Max Roach’s For Big Sid with the addition of a left foot hi-hat swing pattern maintained throughout the piece. Student West was man enough to take up the challenge and for several months had been working on it. Blistering! Stamina-sapping brilliance! Time to party with the band on Superstition. Funkin’ brilliant!
Lewis West’s band: Ella El-Salahi (voice), Faye MacCalman (tenor saxophone), Josh Lane (trumpet), Luke Gaul (guitar) & Tim Farrow (double bass & electric bass)
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As Joe Cromey-Hawke assembled his kit (he was next up), the thought occurred that perhaps the punishing practice regime endured by Miles Teller’s character in Whiplash wasn’t too far from reality. Not that Bebop Spoken Here for one minute suggests that JK Simmon’s character (Fletcher) stalks the corridors of the music department at Newcastle University! Cromey-Hawke’s programme notes were headlined Groove. I chose groove as the theme for my recital because I feel it is one of the most commonly neglected aspects of modern drumming. His opening piece (Hair Off) by German drummer Marco Minnemann appeared frighteningly complex reflecting Marco’s passion for cross-limb-interdependence said JCH. Cross limbed? Crossed fingers – good luck! Amazingly JCH did it – hear the applause! Drum Heads would surely appreciate Steve Gadd’s Zildjian Day Solo 1984. JCH has studied it, he could play it, amazing. As a penultimate piece Benny Greb’s Grebfruit further illustrated the illusive ‘groove’. In 2013 JCH attended a Greb clinic in Newcastle. Inspired by the experience he transcribed the piece and played it. Is there anything these guys can’t do? Party time Brooklyn style. Snarky Puppy’s 2014 Outlier so impressed Cromey-Hawke that he set about transcribing and arranging it for a six piece band (Snarky Puppy numbered forty musicians on the track!). His band joined him on stage and rocked out.
Joe Cromey-Hawke’s band: Josh Lane (trumpet), Emily King (alto saxophone), Luke Gaul (guitar), Jamie Lawson (piano) & Tim Farrow (electric bass)
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Last, but by no means least, local lad George Hutton. On reading Hutton’s notes, the phrase ‘bloody hell’ (or an approximation) sprung to mind. Four pieces – one by the legendary Alan Dawson (he had tenure as drum tutor for eighteen years at Berklee), one by Jojo Mayer (with synth bass backing track) and two pieces by Billy Cobham. The second (and closing) Cobham feature was to be the fearsome Vital Transformation as performed by the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Hutton must be mad. He couldn’t possibly take on that one!
Alan Dawson’s The Rudimental Ritual comprises eighty six rudiments. Hutton played the study in the traditional format – on solo snare. Mesmerising. Hutton, eyes closed, pulled it off. Wow! On Cobham’s Red Baron (from the album Spectrum) Hutton invited two of his musician friends to join him (Johnny Carr, guitar and Tom Chapman, electric bass). A jazz funk drill for an accomplished trio. And finally…Vital Transformation (from The Inner Mounting Flame, Mahavishnu Orchestra). To recreate a sense of the period Hutton asked violinist John Hutchinson to complete the line-up. Imagine Hutchinson as Jerry Goodman, Carr as John McLaughlin and Chapman as Rick Laird (they decided to forego a Jan Hammer stand in) and Hutton as the great Billy Cobham (the line-up that played the composition in question way back when at Newcastle City Hall). The same Billy Cobham who, years later, gave a drum clinic at the People’s Theatre, at which a drummer (the theatre was packed with drummers) asked Cobham to demonstrate the intro to Vital Transformation. That was a thrilling occasion. Hutton was about to attempt the very same thing. Mad! The boy’s mad! Well, if your reviewer had a jazz hat, he’d eat it. Hutton and band did it. Hutton thanked the audience for being there. Thank you Mr Hutton.
George Hutton’s band: Johnny Carr (guitar), Tom Chapman (bass) & John Hutchinson (violin).
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A truly memorable occasion.  
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.

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