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Bebop Spoken There

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April 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at The Holystone.

May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club.
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June 2: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.
June 7: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

GIJF: Terence Blanchard e-collective @ Sage Gateshead. April 16

Terence Blanchard (trumpet & synths), Fabian Almazan (keyboards & synths), Charles Altura (guitar), DJ (bass) & Oscar Seaton (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photo Credit: John Watson/Jazzcamera.co.uk)
The second set of this festival double bill presented Terence Blanchard. Yes, the one-time Jazz Messenger really was in the building! Messengers’ alumni constitute a post-WWII ‘who’s who’ of the music…Kenny Dorham, Bill Hardman, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Wynton Marsalis and Terence Blanchard. And these were just the trumpet players! 1980 or thereabouts, T Blanchard appeared at the Newcastle Playhouse with Art Blakey. The young man cut the mustard, decades later would he affirm his place in the jazz pantheon?
1980 sharp suits, 2016 Apple Mac, a sign of the times. The sartorial elegance gone, jeans and t-shirt the uniform, an Apple Mac-processed sound the jazz of today. Drummer Oscar Seaton drove/bludgeoned this gig to the max. Immense power (check out the biceps), this was one impressive performance. Bassist DJ stood his ground, his in-the-pocket playing undisturbed by the sledgehammer to his left. Blanchard was looking for a guitar player to join him in the e-Collective. YouTube flagged-up Charles Altura. An email invitation to tour the world elicited a one-word reply: Cool.
Blanchard has done a Miles. The past is in the past, electricity is the thing. The trumpeter played plenty of trumpet – all of it processed via a software programme. A jazz club horn player of a gig? Not a chance! To quote from the festival programme notes a hard-hitting fusion of funk, R'n'B and rock. Accurate and apposite. Terence Blanchard’s Blue Note CD Breathless addresses his response to the death of Eric Garner whilst in the custody of the NYPD. Weighty subject matter requiring an appropriate creative response.           
Russell.           

3 comments :

Jude Murphy (on F/b) said...

LOVED this performance!

Anonymous said...

An awe inspiring, immense, uncompromising and brutalist performance. I thought bands didn't play like this nowadays. This was music with a purpose, making Courtney Pine seem merely a (fabulous) technician!

One query - I don't think the bass player was Blanchard's long time collaborator Donald Ramsey - he's righthanded and older than "DJ" from S Carolina who was introduced here. Chris K

Russell said...

Agreed. Blanchard did introduce the bass player as 'DJ'. I'm sure the BSH editor will make the necessary amendment to the line-up.

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