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Bebop Spoken There

Aubrey Logan: "I chose trombone because trombone just kicks my ass, and I needed to do something that was hard" - (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 Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Blues

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Monday, June 27, 2016

Kenny G @ Sage Gateshead - June 26

Kenny G (sop/alt/ten); Robert Damper (pno/keys); John Raymond (gtr); Ron Powell (perc/juggling); Vail Johnson (bs gtr/perc); Danny Bejarano (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Kenny G's sold 75 million albums and counting so it wasn't surprising that Sage Gateshead was buzzing with all three levels of Sage One occupied although, it has to be said, I recognised very few 'Jazz Heads' in the audience. So who were they? Where did they come from?
KG's previous gig was in Moscow, tonight (June 27) he's in Manchester and he's in Birmingham the following night. Perhaps the local following was augmented by those living somewhere in between Moscow, Gateshead and Manchester.
The concert began in somewhat unorthodox style with the Main Man blowing unaccompanied in Row P - two rows behind the BSH squad (Russell and I - sorry Russell, I've blown your cover!) this gave the fans the opportunity for photos without the usual clamp down on such activities by the stewards. Playing alto, it couldn't be denied he can get around the instrument. After several minutes he switched to soprano. Kenny G is in the record books for holding a note for 45 minutes non-stop (circular breathing is the trick). Last night, he didn't attempt to break that record but he did hold one note for what seemed like 45 minutes as he marched down the aisle towards and onto the stage, pausing to shake hands with members of the audience whilst still holding that one note. Musically it may not be too exciting but physically it is quite an achievement - like balancing at the top of a pole for 3 days. Showmanship!
Whilst all this was going on his band, they've been together for 25 years, were 'vamping till ready'.
At last, it was game on.
The audience loved it. Although KG blew soprano sax for most of the gig, it was his tenor playing that I found the most satisfying. A funky number with Damper in B3 mode hit the right groove as did his bossa nova blast on Desifinado although his suggestion that the audience may not have heard of Stan Getz was, to say the least, patronising but, then again, maybe this audience hadn't!
They recognised and applauded some of the catchy 'smooth' melodies that I didn't know so that made the score me 1, them 1!
The band each had their own individual features. Percussionist Powell - excitement unleashed - pounded the congas and other drums with hands, arms and elbows. Truly a tour de force and as if this wasn't enough, he took centre stage with what may have been a Pandeiro Tambourine. He cajoled amazing sounds from it whilst performing complex juggling manoeuvres with it. Stole the show! Not far behind was Danny Bejarando's drum solo - incredible!
Guitarist Raymond had some electric blasts as well as some acoustic moments during the bossa novas. Johnson's feature was a funky Wandering Star - he also took over on percussion whilst Powell Pandeiroed!
Damper was sympathetic on piano and keys, his own feature suggesting he's a star in his own right.
The night drew to a close with the leader producing an amazing soprano  solo that had the audience - well most of the audience - on their feet leading to the inevitable standing ovation.
We slipped quietly away.
Lance.

3 comments :

Steven T. said...

A lot of people I know stopped listening to 'Jazz' as it slipped into smooth, but many didn't and continued through Grover Washington Jnr to Najee and Kenny G.
Some OF these think of anything pre electric/ fusion/ Jazz-Funk/ AS 'trad' and won't listen to it. Others went Acid Jazz and the rather unpleasant Jazz Dance scene which, in may ways, is more reminiscent of northern soul, and equally slippery to pin down.
I think I'm right in saying I'm the only person from the north east end of that scene who got into the history and future of Jazz and I guarantee that, as with Benson last week, I will have known a lot of people there.

Russell said...

In response to BSH's editor claiming to know of my whereabouts on the evening of Sunday 26 June 2016, there isn't a shred of evidence indicating that I was anywhere in the vicinity of Sage One (Row N, Seat 31) on the evening in question. In view of this scurrilous report I shall be instructing my solicitor to commence proceedings with the intention of seeking substantial damages!

Steven t. said...

One of the people I know who was there was in Row 0 seat 31 and swears Russell G was on the seat in front.

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