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Bebop Spoken There

Artie Shaw: “I'm not interested in giving people what they want--I'm interested in making music.” – (DownBeat October 15, 1939).

Jason Marsalis: “There's so many places that this music can go and there's a lot yet to be discovered.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Sunday March 18


Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 12 noon. Free.

Jason Isaacs & the Ambassadors of Swing - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 5:30pm (doors 4:00pm). £16.00.

Revolutionaires - Tyne Bar, Maling St, Newcastle NE6 1LP. 3pm. Free.

Somethin’ Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 5:00pm. Tel: 01325 788564. Matt Case (saxophone) & Mike Hepple (guitar).


POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER! Zoë Gilby Quartet - Black Bull, Bridge Street, Blaydon NE21 4JJ. 8:00pm. £5.00. Rescheduled August 19.

Alter Ego - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00.

Bradley Johnston - The Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241. 6:00pm. Free. New weekly residency.

Gypsy Dave Smith - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Thursday, March 31, 2016

ACV @ The Black Swan, Newcastle - March 29

Ollie Dover (reeds); Chris Sharkey (guitar); Matthew Bourne (keyboards); Andy Champion (bass); Joost Hendrickx (drums).
(Review by Steve H/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew)
Tuesday night saw the relaunch of ACV. The only common factor in the new incarnation of the band was Mr AC himself.
At the start of the evening, Andy explained that the music is inspired by world-renowned land sculptor Richard Long. Both the first and second set consisted of a single continuous piece, each able to evoke the feeling of being witness to the construction of a grand organic sculpture. 
The first piece Here and Now and Then was evolved in several different nuanced forms - it ebbed and flowed as layer upon layer of complex soundscapes enticed the listener in. It took a while to really get into what was going on but at a certain ,there was a passage of just a single repetitive electronic note piercing the silence creating a hypnotic effect. Andy Champion then augmented this with some dramatic bowed double bass enhancing the atmosphere further. From here on in, it was all systems go as the band really picked up momentum and blasted their way to an invigorating swashbuckling finale leaving everyone at the interval slightly shell-shocked and awestruck.
The second set began where the first left off with the world premiere of Hours Miles. If anything, this piece was a little bit less fragmented then the previous number and the band really seemed to hit the groove from the start and just kept it going and going. It is perhaps unfair to single anybody out, such was the quality of the entire ensemble, but there was one particular saxophone solo from Ollie Dover which blew me away. To see and hear someone really go with such glorious abandon was both memorable and exciting.
This was certainly a magnificent start to the new ACV era. All members seemed be in such harmony with one another you would have thought the whole band had played together for years. On exiting the Black Swan I joined a couple of people who were discussing the gig; we unanimously agreed what a great night it was although hard to categorise. Independently two of us came up with a single word description which perfectly summed up the evening – Exhilarating!


Paul Bream said...

Exhilarating is absolutely the right word, although I could add plenty of others, such as 'magnificent' and 'stunning'.
The first incarnation of ACV was a tremendous band playing some great tunes, but this gig with the new line-up marked a huge step forward, with the long-form pieces - composed and improvised sections sliding seamlessly into each other - demonstrating just how deeply Andy has thought about his music and how the structural skills in his writing have progressed. But he hasn't abandoned his past - the "invigorating swashbuckling finale" to the first set was in fact the theme from 'A Line Made By Walking', the opening track from the first ACV album, so there is real continuity in there as well.
Of course it's complex music (although handled with relaxed panache by the A-list team Andy has now assembled), and Steve is right in his review to say that it took a while for the audience to "get into" what was happening, but the best art doesn't throw up obvious signposts and never fully reveals itself at first acquaintance. So I really look forward to hearing this again . . . by which time I would expect it to be vaguely familiar yet gloriously fresh!

Richard Waddington said...

Great night, thoroughly enjoyed. Loved the first line-up too.

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.