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Bebop Spoken There

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

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.

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

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Noel Dennis Trio @ Jazz Café - May 20.

Noel Dennis - trumpet, flugelhorn. Paul Edis - piano. Andy Champion - double bass.
(Review by Steven T/sketches by Vanessa/photos by Pam)
It was a tough choice, Blaydon last Sunday or Jazz Café tonight. I'm a known philistine for my preference for bands with drums, but Friday night at the Caff has become a regular part of the routine. Man pneumonia intervened and the Caff won out.
I was sat with an American couple from Oregon and Hawaii, now resident in Newcastle, who weren't sure whether to stay or not. She was grinning from the start but he held out until Andy’s' first big solo when pleasure burst out all over his face. I know you're not supposed to have favourites, he told me afterwards. He's a bassoon player and music student and she's a conservation scientist, which means she tries to prevent the deteriation of art - a bit like the band I suppose - and she drew a picture of them while they performed.
Two music stands and a microphone stand from the night before set for seated musicians served to illustrate that these musicians are giants on the local scene. Birthday boy Mark Williams told me 'these guys are world class' and I wasn't going to argue. Just as well, following Shorters' Fe Fi Fo Fum he shouted - I smell the blood of an… enough! intervened the ladies he was sat with. I explained to our American friends why everyone found this hilarious.
I'm claiming the Surman amendment - again? - but I know we got the aforementioned Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson and two from Dennis favourite Tom Harrell. Highlight of the night for me was a Miles Davis mash-up - is that blasphemy? - starting with Blue in Green, in my view one note short of a masterpiece like album mate Flamenco Sketches. He'd warned us it was going into something else and, when Paul lifted the piano lid and started twanging the strings, I wondered whether all this talk of progressive rock - I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it - had got to him and he was going to start banging in nails like the late Keith Emmerson. Re-enter Noel Dennis and it was clear this was something from Bitches Brew, the title track as it happens.
With the tangled web of North East Jazz musicians I wasn't sure whether I'd heard Noel Dennis before but once he got playing I knew I had. He does Miles, whether Kind of Blue or Bitches Brew. As well as Miles, on several occasions he reminded me of Freddie Hubbard, which is just about as high a compliment as I can pay any trumpet player.
Having previously said Andy is, if anything, even better on electric bass, I've changed my mind again and, if anything, he's even, even better on upright. He has phases he told me afterwards.
What's left to say about the good doctor? Musician, composer, educator extraordinaire, held in such regard by the many young musicians under his wing that can border on hero-worship. King Oliver, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and now Lord Paul. He is to North East Jazz what Curtis Mayfield was to Chicago soul in the sixties and early seventies, and they called him the gentle genius. And Chris always says what a lovely lad he is. I hate him me.
Following a particularly boisterous piano solo, Mark announced - I love it when he does that shhhh said the ladies around him. But Mark wasn't the star of the night; that accolade went to Chaplin, Lindsay Hannon's dog, when another Lord Paul solo had him in a spin when he started chasing his tail, which sounds like the name of a song.
There's a quintet version of this band in Darlington in a couple of weeks, presumably with a drummer yeh, which is utterly mouth-watering. I've got my sleeping bag and flask ready to queue overnight to ensure a seat, just in case there's any sense in the world.
Steven T

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