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Bebop Spoken There

Michelle Coltrane: "It was Geri Allen who told me, 'Why don't you work with a guitar player? It's a lot easier. They're mobile, all the pianos are out of tune'" - DownBeat March 2018.

Verneri Pohjola: “I've been trying to get away from being 'a young and promising trumpet player' for over twenty years” DownBeat March 2018.

Today Thursday February 22

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Alan Benzie Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £10.00. & £8.00 (advance).

BABMUS - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. £3.00. (£2.00. students/MU).

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Millstone, Haddricks Mill Road, South Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3DB. Tel: 0191 285 3229. 7:00pm. Free

Paul Skerritt Band - The Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. Tel: 01325 468411. 9:00pm.

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

Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter’s Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE. Tel: 0191 488 8068. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w Richie Emmerson (tenor); Kevin Eland (trumpet); Ted Pierce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free.

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

Saturday, October 31, 2015

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ The Jazz Café – October 31

James Birkett (guitar) & Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Mike Tilley)
From the brilliance of the Buck Clayton Legacy Band at Sage Gateshead to the brilliant guitar duo of Birkett and Johnston at the Jazz Café to catch the last half an hour or so of their set. Party goers were getting in to the swing of things, ten thirty a little early for the stop-outs. Herbie was in his horse box, patched up, he’ll survive. At skateboard central – the Head of Steam –an indie thing was going on, wannabe dudes on the street practicing dude-ism at the door. Pink Lane and wouldn’t you just know it, Oh when the Saints…go marchin’ in. The party goers needed little persuasion, singing (and swaying) along to the resident Pink Lane Balkan street band.
From the surreal to the sublime…James Birkett and Bradley Johnston were playing jazz guitar; All the Things You Are. A one time master-pupil arrangement, theirs is now a duo, pure and simple: Birkett and Johnston, jazz guitar duo. Student Bradley Johnston – he is still a student, soon to graduate – has grown from an Adrian Mole 13 and ¾ years old (or thereabouts) in to the real deal, able to stand alongside, or as he does, sit alongside James Birkett as an equal. Dr Birkett is a master musician, he cannot be other than proud of BJ’s development.
Imagine Johnston as Lonnie Johnson and Birkett as Eddie Lang, playing Blue Room in a 20s roadhouse. A bit of a stretch, granted, but for a wee while the Jazz Café transported its Saturday night crowd to somewhere along the turnpike in Hicksville. James’ Waltz, a Johnston composition written for a certain JB, then a certain Nuages, then the duo’s now familiar showstopper, Chick Corea’s Spain. Birkett remarked that this was just about the first tune he and Bradley played together. BJ nodded. If they could play Spain they could play anything. And of course, they did. Tyneside (and beyond) is lucky to have so many ‘hang-your-hat-on’ musicians on the doorstep. Birkett and Johnston are two of them. 
Russell.
Footnote: Herbie (local knowledge required) is doing just fine.

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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 them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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About this blog - contact details.

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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