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Bebop Spoken There

Piers Paul Read: "Bruce Reynolds and Biggs shared an interest in Sex, Jazz and Hemingway." - (The Train Robbers by Piers Paul Read, Coronet Books 1979.)

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.)

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

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Today Thursday July 19

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Holywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. 8:30pm. Free.

Alexys de Alfaro: Guitar Dreams with Coco Vega - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling Street, Gateshead NE8 2BA. Doors 7:00pm. A ‘jar on the bar’ gig. Guitar & percussion.

Alter Ego - St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £10.00.

Jesse Bannister Quartet - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). JNE.

Northern Monkey Brass Band - Jubilee Park, Spennymoor DL16. 6:00-9:00pm. Free. Big BRASS Bash (Durham Brass Festival).

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Tees Hot Club w. Donna Hewitt (alto); Josh Bentham (tenor); Dave Archbaid (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free.

Jazz Jam - Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241. 8pm. Free.

Billy's Buskers: Plug in and Play - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 7:00pm. Free.

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

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Roy Ayers @ Sage Gateshead - May 12.

(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Barry Todd)
Last time Roy Ayers played in the North East I missed it because of a more convenient concert elsewhere, which was a mistake. Had the Ronnie Scott Night in Durham been announced before I got my ticket this time, I'd probably have missed him again; it was similarly more convenient, cheaper and with good reviews but that would have been a mistake also since Roy isn't getting any younger but for now he can still Fonk.
Luckily support acts aren't always good indicators of attendance and the embarrassing number swelled when the students - very different to Durham students - and rare groove/acid Jazz types seeped from the woodwork right on cue. Not busy but not embarrassing either.
It was clear from the first slap bass where this was going ; Love Will Bring Us Back Together,  standard fare for rare groovers, the guitarist, very much the musician in the band, strumming in  a style most associated with Nile Rodgers though it goes back through the classic funk bands to Leo Nocentelli, immaculate rhythm guitarist with The Meters.
Never a great singer, Ayers’ voice is now quite frail and he had a co-lead vocalist on percussion and 'cool.' Incidentally, announcements by both men were inaudible to these ears and I have had no success identifying any of the musicians
He started out comping on electric piano, but his first visit to the vibes brought the applause it deserved. No longer a master, he's still impressive for seventy-four and seemed most relaxed at the vibraphone.
Couple of songs in and Running Away reinvigorated things back up to fever pitch with even the Sage Gateshead staff getting down and there were some serious dad moves from some of the oldies not yet ready to spend stand-up concerts crossing and uncrossing their arms. The lyrics, such as they are, were left out in favour of alternating a couple of the featured chants which kept the dancers going a little too long before another vibes solo gave it the needed boost.
Unfortunately, this was the last we heard from amplified vibes and from now on they were synthesised. From chatting afterwards I now know that this was a slight glitch in an otherwise highly enjoyable evening, but it was only afterwards, thinking about the other singer tampering with the vibes, I wondered whether this was a technical hitch. I'm not sure what the point of it was other than because you can, and if Jazz meant vibes to be synthesised it would have happened in his heyday in the seventies when the majority of Jazz musicians plugged in.
The Fonk kept on coming with a solo from the man at the back on bass and even cooler but the biggest applause went to the drummer, not quite so cool, when he did some clever scat singing morphing in to a rapper which was a delight (see what I did there).
However, most of the soloing on successive extended jams went to the fine guitarist, switching midway through from that most versatile guitar, the Telecaster, to its closest relative the Stratocaster for a rockier sound and, dare I say, some rip letting?
Inevitably Everybody Loves The Sunshine was the encore, not my favourite end of Roy Ayers' oeuvre, the rare groove. discoveries but this seems to be the majority constituency of his audience though I suspect Hoochie attracted Jazz/funk/soul/nightclub punters too.
Had it been part of the Jazz Festival I imagine many of the captive audience would have wandered in, filling out the room and having a thoroughly good time, and maybe some of the rare groove/acid house/ modern soul types may have wandered into other gigs too.
Steven T

2 comments :

baz said...

Happy to be a "dad dancer" - Fantastic evening in an intimate venue - good time had by all. Great to meet the maestro when he came out to talk to his fans afterwards!

Steven T. said...

And mighty fine they were too. Thanks for the great photos.

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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: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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