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Bebop Spoken There

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Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST! -- Holly Cooper:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14375 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 594 of them this year alone and, so far, 94 this month (June 26).

From This Moment On ...

July

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Swing Manouche @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm (doors). £20.00.
Fri 01: 1920s Speakeasy w Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 8:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Blind Pig Blues Club. 8:00pm.

Sat 02: Hot Fingers @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Steve Glendinning: Latin jazz. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 02: Talk: Storytelling & jazz as an expression of urban life @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:45pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sat 02: The Commandments + On Parole @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Geordie Jazz Man @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Screening of Abi Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.
Sat 02: The Delta Prophets Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Swing Manouche @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Swung Eight & King Bees @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Swing dance + ace Chicago blues band.
Sat 02: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Patrick Cromb @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 03 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 03: Ruth Lambert & Martin Craggs. @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Wild Women of Wylam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jazz Jam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 04: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 06: Michael Bublé @ Durham County Cricket Club, Chester le Street. Doors: 5:00pm.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 06: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Bradley Johnston @ Sage Gateshead – Dec 8

(Review by Russell)
Future Grooves (BMus Assessments) at Sage Gateshead – futures determined. Rewind a few years to Blaydon Jazz Club: lecturer James Birkett arrives with a shy teenage guitar player. During the interval they play a couple of tunes together as a guitar duo. The rest, as they say, is history. Bradley Johnston went on to play many gigs and record an album with mentor Dr Birkett, more than hold his own at high calibre jam sessions and find the time to form his own quartet amidst his music degree studies. Last night Johnston kept a most important appointment…
Future Grooves (2015’s degree course student performances at Sage Gateshead) included several final year examinees. Bradley Johnston was one of them. Sage Two, the intimate, multi-tiered cockpit-like performance space, welcomed Johnston to the stage with a huge round of applause. Solo, duo, trio, quartet and horn-augmented octet, BJ had clearly been thinking about his set and how best to present it.
A solo piece to begin the set leading off with Alfie, Johnston in a multi-layered spotlight, alone, the man and his acoustic guitar. BJ invited the engaging Belinda Voshtina to sing a number with him. Switching from acoustic to lightly amplified electric, Johnston recalled the great Joe Pass in his accompaniment of Voshtina on Take Love Easy (a magical never to be forgotten moment). Bassist Paul Grainger and drummer Tim Johnston made it a trio on All the Things You Are and pianist Peter Gilligan completed the quartet (seated at Sage Two’s Steinway) on Michel Petrucciani’s Looking Up (BJ in his element, ideas flowing). To conclude the examination the Lickety Split horn section strolled onto stage – Messrs. Bellis, Eland, Gowland and Marshall. Johnston thanked all of the musicians for giving of their services and said he had to go out with a Pat Metheny number. The American guitar hero has been a major influence and BJ tore it up on See the World. ‘See the World’? It’s as sure as night follows day that Bradley Johnston and his guitar will see the world many times over.               
Bradley Johnston (guitar) with Peter Gilligan (piano), Paul Grainger (double bass), Tim Johnston (drums), Belinda Voshtina (vocals) & the Lickety Split Horns: Eddie Bellis (trombone), Kevin Eland (trumpet), Paul Gowland (tenor saxophone) & Alan Marshall (alto saxophone)
Earlier, several other students gave of their best in front of the assessors and a supportive audience. The performances were for the most part non-jazz sets incorporating familiar rock and pop tunes. Phil Richardson sang and played no fewer than three guitars with his band of student friends. Here Comes the Sun, Lovely Day – hit tunes long before the young man was born! Jack Simpson and the Gastric Band presented a powerful set of guitar and vocals, again focusing on well-known numbers from a previous era: Fleetwood Mac, The Police, Cream. Simpson chose to play a solo acoustic guitar and vocals piece written by Lindsay Buckingham and delivered a positive Message in a Bottle to the three examiners. Cream’s White Room and Badge confirmed Simpson’s blues-rockin’ abilities. Was he aware of the legend that White Room had been written late at night in the waiting room at Newcastle Central Station as Eric, Jack and Ginger were booked onto a midnight train heading south (possibly after a gig at the Club A-Gogo)? Simpson’s bass and drums – Steven Hall and Michael Mather – gave sterling support.
Steph Old offered something different. A vocalist, with Gary Spalding accompanying on guitar, later to be joined by a second voice and a percussionist, Old opted for a more up to date programme. Unashamedly ‘pop’, Old’s voice (sore throat not withstanding), soulful, assured, breezed through Boyzone to Jesse J. Student Johnny Roxburgh acted as MC for the evening. An easy, saloon bar charm – Bobby Darin meets Bobby Darin! – belied his age (twenteen) and the fact that later he too was to give his finals’ performance! The t-shirted Roxborough took the opportunity during an interval break to don a three piece – his band members played the game, all suited for the occasion – and emerged as Johnny Roxburgh and the Pirates. Feelin’ Good (the Newley-Bricusse number given the to-be-expected big band horn arrangement), Straighten Up and Fly Right, a finger snapping Moon Dance, a strong vocal treatment of Sophisticated Lady with the accompaniment of Phil Richardson (acoustic guitar) Roxburgh produced a most entertaining performance. The man can sing! There is more than one big band in the region which could do worse than snap up his services. For the record: first year bassist Steven Hall worked in several of the bands – one to watch. And two of the ‘pirates’ are well known on the jazz scene – tenor man Johnny ‘Blue Hat’ Davis and ‘bone man David Gray.
Future Grooves continues Wednesday and Thursday at Sage Gateshead. Admission free but ticketed, check the venue’s website: www.sagegateshead.com
Russell.

2 comments :

Unknown said...

Great review Russell. BJ set sounds as if it is an I was there moment

Unknown said...

Thanks for your kind words Russell, it was our pleasure. See you soon!
Believe!

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