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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.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Paul Gowland & Bradley Johnston @ The Jazz Café. August 15

Paul Gowland (tenor & alto saxophones) & Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell)
The rain stopped, the sun came out, as hundreds made their way along to the Tyne Bar. Sitting, standing or lazing on the grass alongside the Ouseburn, listening to a barbecue-smoked big band session, the sun-kissed were having a ball (see LL’s Strictly Smokin’ review). Some were out for the duration.
The Jazz Café’s summer season drew to a close with Paul ‘Strictly Smokin’’ Gowland playing a few tunes with Wearside-based guitarist Bradley Johnston. Standard material and one or two original compositions enthralled the front row audience. 
A bar-stool bar fly couple were there to listen. An end of term affair, Gowland, on tenor, and Johnston, seated with his trusty Ibanez, opened with Have You Met Miss Jones? Gowland’s tenor explored a much-loved tune as Johnston played the first few of many chords during the evening. However many chords there are in the Advanced Book of Jazz Guitar Chords (does such a tome exist?) BJ seemingly knows them all! John Hick’s After the Morning and Wayne Shorter’s The Albatross heard more authoritative tenor, complimented by a fearless Johnston (don’t forget, he knows all the chords).
Final year music student Johnston writes tunes. Pat’s Waltz, in homage to his (and many others) favourite guitarist Mr P Metheny has become a fixture in BJ’s set list. Gowland, the senior man in the partnership, played it with due respect, as indeed he did with all of the material. A moment of some poignancy arose as Gowland (on alto) went straight into Requeros. Written by the late Ray Truscott – respected musician, friend to Gowland and liked by everyone who came across him on the jazz scene – the number surely brought a tear to the eye.
This being a Saturday night in Newcastle the entertainment wouldn’t be complete without the usual distractions of the p*****. Pink Lane attracts its fair share of them. Partying the night away with a traffic cone on one’s head is nothing new. If the bloke with the hang-over is wondering where he put it [the traffic cone], it’s on top of the wardrobe. Our Balkan street musician friends passed by. We knew they were coming – their signature tune heard a mile off: Oh When the Saints (altogether now…), go marching in. A pie-eyed one stepped inside. Keen to continue a karaoke session from a neighbouring watering hole (I’ve got you under my skin...), mine host Kay handled the matter expertly. Whatever was said, the pie-eyed one got the message and shut up!
Second set. More Shorter. More great playing, the two men hitting it off after little more than one rehearsal. Two highlights – Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (Gowland, tenor) with BJ in the spotlight and PG switching to alto on Scrapple from the Apple. Swift, altissimo, more frantic fretwork (bass lines to boot!) than is good for one’s health. Phew!!! The Jazz Café reopens for business on Tuesday September 1 with the first of two regular monthly jam sessions. It just so happens Gowland and Johnston will be on the stand. Be there.          
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