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Bebop Spoken There

Guy Barker: "You have to play it [the trumpet] every day or you just won't be match-fit." - (Jazz Rag, Winter 2019.)

Archive

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.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Ushaw Ensemble – St. Cuthbert's Suite, Ushaw College, Durham - March 18

Paul Edis (MD/piano); Graham Hardy (trumpet/flugel); Graeme Wilson (tenor sax/bass clarinet/flute); Emma Fisk (violin); Alice Burn (Northumbrian pipes); Rob Walker (drums/tympani); Paul Susans (double bass).
(Review/photos by Hugh C).
A decent crowd assembled in the newly refurbished Francis Thompson Room, preparatory to the world premiere of Paul Edis’ St Cuthbert's Suite – a suite specially commissioned by Ushaw College.
After a brief introduction, Durham's Dr Jazz himself, Paul Edis, announced that the Suite was to be played in the second set.  As befitted a serious composition we were provided with detailed programme notes.  Before that though, we were to be treated to some lighter material, each with a connection (sometimes tenuous!) to religion or the religious life.  There followed approximately 50 minutes of music, each of the front line musicians taking a solo role in one of the items.  Included were Solitude, Meditation, Confirmation, [Our] Lady be Good and St. Thomas. 

Alice Burn played a solo pipes rendition of Cheviot's Lament (written to commemorate the devastation of the 2001 Foot and Mouth outbreak).
After interval refreshment and a chance to have a quick look at some of the other splendours of Ushaw Hall, an expectant audience reassembled to prepare for the world premiere.  Another first may have taken place that evening as well – Paul Edis did wonder aloud if this was the first incorporation of Northumbrian pipes in a jazz setting.
St. Cuthbert's suite consists of eleven individual components which ran, more or less, back to back for around 45 minutes.  Each component related to a particular phase in St Cuthbert's life and events after his death:
St Cuthbert's Theme
A Shepherd From Melrose
A Vision
The Indefatigable Evangelist
Solitude
Many Miracles
The Death of Cuthbert
The Vikings
Seven Years Wandering
The Wonder Worker of Britain
Dunholme
The programme notes were very helpful and an integral part of the performance in my view -  enabling one to follow the progression of the suite.  The notes provided both a brief historical background and an outline to the musical progression.  The musical instruments to the fore in a particular section were highlighted and an outline provided of the compositional thinking behind what was being offered.  In the notes, Edis cites influences from composers as wide ranging as Ellington, Debussy, Ravel and Messiaen.
The musical styles were wide ranging, but definitely, in my view, within the confines of jazz in my view.  Each of the soloists excelled and the ensemble evenly balanced in this, their first performance.  The depiction of the Vikings by freely improvised playing was, I thought, particularly effective.  The audience were appreciative, with loud applause at the end of the performance.  Paul did suggest we could clap during the Suite if we wished, but no-one did – I felt this was entirely appropriate, given the nature of the piece. However, there were one or two recalcitrants toward the back of the room who insisted on maintaining a conversation during the music.
The evening was rounded off by a rousing rendition of Ellington's Come Sunday.
All in all, an excellent evening - congratulations to Paul Edis and the Ushaw Ensemble. 
The Jazz at Ushaw season continues through the year:  The James Birkett and Bradley Johnston Duo (guitars) play at 7.30pm on Friday, April 29 and the Susan Ferris Quintet (featuring several of the musicians from the Ushaw Ensemble) are on Friday, May 27 at 7.45pm, with an early bird session at 7.15pm. Full details here:  http://www.ushaw.org/events.html
Also don't forget the Durham Jazz Festival over the three days of the August Bank Holiday weekend.  I am assured by the festival organiser that full details will be available soon, including a feature in forthcoming edition of Jazzwise magazine.
Hugh.

1 comment :

Kathleen M said...

St Cuthbert’s Suite – So good we heard it twice. Having heard and enjoyed the first performance so much we decided there was no better way of spending Saturday afternoon than by hearing it again. There is a pamphlet to accompany this composition with the various aspects of St. Cuthbert’s Life wonderfully interpreted by Paul Edis and brought to life by a fantastic group of musicians.
Once again I was so involved with listening that I cannot do justice to the various moods evoked by this awe inspiring work. I hope and believe there may be a CD in the near future. Thanks to all who took part with a special thank you to Paul Edis.