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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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

GIJF: John Surman w. Alexander Hawkins Trio @ Sage Gateshead. April 16

John Surman (bar/sop); Alexander Hawkins (pno); Neil Charles (bs); Tom Skinner (dms).
(Review by Lance/Photo Credit: John Watson/
It was back in the late 1960s when, still in his early '20s, Surman emerged as the fastest baritone saxophone player in the west (country) when he was the anchor man of the, then, revolutionary Mike Westbrook group. Fifty years on, He's still fast out of the blocks and a stayer too! The first piece lasted 30 minutes. 
"I won't bother with titles," said Surman, "They're meaningless!"
Let's face it, with many contemporary originals, this is true. Commendable honesty.
Surman appears, like Evan Parker, to have conquered the circular breathing thing. At one point he appeared to be able to play shimmering notes until the cows came home or the audience left without breathing. Some did leave. The second number was a mere 15 minutes - I felt short changed! Hawkins was let loose on this one with a solo of such ferocity it made Cecil Taylor sound like Russ Conway
. Charles played a lot of bowed bass albeit, seemingly, without any resin on the bow - even jazz musicians have to face up to austerity cuts. Skinner played in and around the gaps, occasionally exploding. There were times when it all came together and times when it didn't. I didn't hang around for the next number - it could have been a 3-day event and, besides, the Northern Monkey Brass Band were on the Concourse...

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.