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Bebop Spoken There

Anat Fort: "In order to play and tour with people and spend a lot of time with them, you need to get along with them" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Monday May 27

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12:00 - 3:00pm. Free.

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Tyne Valley Big Band - Bywell Hall, Bywell, near Stocksfield NE43 7AB. £15.00. (concs. £14.00., child £5.00., £35.00. family). 2:00-4:00pm. A Northumberland County Show (all day) event.

Evening

Ruby Turner - Whitley Bay Playhouse, Marine Avenue, Whitley Bay NE26 1LZ. Tel: 0844 248 1588. 7:30pm. £28.80. A Mouth of the Tyne event.

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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