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Bebop Spoken There

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

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Today Thursday December 12

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 12:00pm. Free.

Note earlier time for this week only!

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Evening

Jazz

Hot Club du Nord - Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Willerby Drive, Peterlee SR8 2RN. Tel: 0191 518 2000. 7:00pm. £10.00. (£5.00. under 18s). 'Jazz at the Lubetkin'.

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). ‘Gala Big Band Does Christmas’.

Durham University Big Band - Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. Tel: 0191 334 1777. Free. 7:30pm. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£2.00. student).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Blues/Soul/Funk/Etc.

?????

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

Monday, November 30, 2015

Full House! - Gala Big Band @ Durham Town Hall, Nov. 29.

(Review/photos by Jerry).
Despite “Clodagh” spitting and howling like a banshee outside, the Gala Big Band were welcomed by a full house (120+) and proceeded to blow up a storm of their own! Despite this being, I think, only their third public concert, they entertained the audience so successfully that when the applause had died down their departure into the inhospitable storm (Silver Street was like a wind-tunnel!) was accompanied by much animated chat (“I haven’t seen these before – why have I never seen these before?”) and a protective warm glow inside. Very seasonal!
And there were elements of a Christmas concert here – Ashleigh and Declan (students at the Sage, I believe) sang Baby It’s Cold Outside, the band-leader played Nat King Cole’s Christmas Song, the band (with trumpets very much to the fore) did a beautiful version of In the Bleak Midwinter and Ashleigh returned, accompanied by George on piano, with some sweet vocals on Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Away from the seasonal and into the realms of timeless we had Duke’s A-train, Neal Hefti’s Flight of the Foo Birds, Miller’s In the Mood, Satin Doll, The Pink Panther, All of Me and, in response to shouts of “More, more, more” we had Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. I knew the tune but not the name, Joe Zawinul. You learn something new every day – or every gig, at least.
There were Edis originals, too, such as Straight to the Point, the hectic Narrow Escape and the booming baritone-driven Techtonic. By way of contrast, another original, new to me and quite new to the band, was slow-paced, atmospheric and moving. The people demonstrating round the corner against the proposed closure of the DLI Museum would have endorsed its Last Post - like mood and the sentiments of the title: Too Sad for Words. I think I’ve missed at least two numbers out (must improve my note-taking!) but it can be seen from the titles above that this was a very varied programme. Time, like those Foo Birds, flew.
There were many good solos –with each concert I think the players are becoming confident enough to step into the limelight – and the ensemble playing is really powerful (as you would expect from such a very big band)!
I must apologise for being unable to list all the musicians or attribute the solos, but hats off to all (including the trumpeters with hats ON!). This is one outfit which gets better with every outing, has its eye on the ball at all times, scores at will and has a growing fan-base eager to see more. I wish a certain other team was like that!
For more info on the band check out Gala Big Band on Facebook.
Photos.
Jerry.

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