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Bebop Spoken There

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Postage

16434 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 314 of them this year alone and, so far, 26 this month (May 9).

From This Moment On ...

May

Sat 18: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. Celebrating ‘10 years of the Jazz Jam!’. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston. A Late Shows event.
Sat 18: SH#RP Collective @ Holy Name Parish Church Hall, Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:00-9:00pm. Tickets: £15.00. Bar available, BYO snacks. A Jesmond Community Festival event. All proceeds to Kabuyanda Charity (Ugandan health care).
Sat 18: Red Kites Jazz @ Staithes Café, Autumn Drive, Gateshead. 7:30pm.
Sat 18: Alligator Gumbo @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 18: Rockin’ Turner Brothers @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 18: Papa G’s Amigos special summer Latin set @ The Schooner, Gateshead NE8 3AF. 9:00pm. Free.
Sat 18: Late Night Special with Ruth Lambert & special guests @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 10:00pm-midnight. £5.00. (booking essential). Lambert & surprise jam session guests from down the years.

Sun 19: BTS Trombone Day @ Mark Hillery Arts Centre, Collingwood College, Durham University DH1 3LT. 11:00am-5:00pm. Free to British Trombone Society members (£10.00. & £5.00. to non-members). Recitals, workshops and mass blows.
Sun 19: Women Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. £25.00. Tutor: Andrea Vicari. Enquiries: learning@jazz.coop.
Sun 19: Ransom Van @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 19: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 19: Andrea Vicari Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 20: Harmony Brass @ the Crescent Club, Cullercoats. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 20: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:00-8:00pm. Free. Opus de Funk: Horace Silver.
Mon 20: Joe Steels-Ben Lawrence Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.

Tue 21: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Alice Grace Vocal Masterclass @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 6:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 22: Daniel Erdmann’s Thérapie de Couple @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 23: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Thu 23: Immortal Onion + Rivkala @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: The Doris Day Story @ Phoenix Theatre, Blyth. 7:30pm.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Jeremy McMurray (keys); Dan Johnson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 24: Hot Club du Nord @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Swannek + support @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. Time TBC.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Is this the ultimate North East Jazz Supergroup? - Noel Dennis Quintet @ Opus 4 Darlington - June 17

Noel Dennis (trumpet, flugel); Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Adrian Tilbrook (drums).
(Review by Steve T/Photos from BSH archives). 
Piano intro, slow start settling into a mid-tempo groove - it begins. A round of solos, first round to Andy.
I could never be disappointed hearing Mark Williams, but, for some reason, I was expecting a saxophonist; there's something warm and cosy and perfect about a standard quintet. However, I quickly realised Dennis is one of those trumpet players who doesn't need a sax player and, as I said, I’ve never minded listening to Mark.
A couple of Tom Harrell songs, as always with Dennis; his first switch to trumpet between the two and the band appropriately pick up the pace. Edis drops a reference of The Way You Look Tonight and did I hear a faint hint of a response in Marks comping? His first major solo and he turns up the jouissaunce, taking it up and up and up. Round two to Mark, though Adrian came back with a rousing, perfectly concise solo.
The infamous Miles Davis mash-up.
As a non-musician it seems to me it should be impossible not to play something like Blue in Green note for note, such is the familiarity with the piece. Dennis plays it note for note and then switches to something entirely fresh. I think I'm right in saying we got more of it than we did with the trio version at the Caff a few weeks back, wringing every milligram of emotion from it ‘til this listener was on the verge of embarrassing himself.
Anticipation by now at fever pitch; how are they going to do the switch, with Paul on his portable and additional guitar and drums, when Mark pulls out a solo, still in Blue and Green and obviously no guitar on the original.
Tension blows the roof.
Changeover down to Andy and Adrian, then Andy, Paul Grimaces - he knows what's coming. I've seen that look on his face once before, when the Early Birds did Chungas Revenge at the Lit and Phil - an unlikely closet rocker?
Adrian hits the hi-hat, this is new for me too. Suddenly Paul's Keith Jarrett, Zawinul, Corea, Hancock; all at once.
Who was playing drums for Miles at that time? Couldn't have given it more whack than Tilbrook.
The audience, mostly older than me, look shell-shocked.
Been beckoning Mark for a while to beast it up and what a time to do it!
It ends as it began, with Andy, but it's round three to the drummer.
Pat Metheny to close set one with some great interplay between guitar and trumpet, but any idea of maintaining silence was shot. My first trip to the Travellers Rest but it felt that, like the world in 69/70, Opus 4 would never be the same again.
The local knowledges were kept busy during the interval, launching Chinese Whispers: where are the Beeches Blue? Your Sister's Due?
Knackered and in shock, I think set two began with a Wayne Shorter piece though I missed the title and didn't recognise it. I wrote 'gutsy bass solo, drummer rises to the challenge, fours with the trumpet, the full splendour of his repertoire, but it's the leaders round'.
Sail Away from Harrell and I left during Shorters' Fe Fi Fo Fum, Mark starting to glance my way, his nose twitching.
I would have loved to stay to hear Paul take a round but, in a sense, he always takes every round. That's why the kids love him, they can mess-up - big time - knowing he'll plug the gap, make it sound deliberate and transform it into something brilliant. Maybe that's why the grownups like playing with him too.
I'd have loved to stay but I was done.
Steve T.

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