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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie McLean: “I can't understand British audiences. In Britain there doesn't seem to be any curiosity." (Melody Maker, April 1, 1961).

Charles Mingus: "It seems to me that if our records were not issued in Britain, the British cats would have to think for themselves" (Jazz News, July 26th 1961)

Archives.

Today Sunday July 23

Afternoon.
Mark Williams (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
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SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017 - Sage Gateshead. Day three of three. Details. From 12 noon all day.
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Jason Isaacs Big Band - Hoochie Coochie, 54 Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. 5pm. £16.
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More Jam - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm. Free jam session.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. Blues jamw. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 01325 788564. 5pm. Weekly.
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Evening
Steve Glendinning Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.
Lee Bates & Billy Newton - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Anth Purdy w support by Siobian Stanley & Friends - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling St., Gateshead NE8 2BA. 6pm. Free.
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Maine St., Jazzmen - Seaton Sluice Social Club, Collywell Bay Rd., Seaton Sluice NE26 4QZ. 8pm. £4.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

MANJULA : A Masala Festival gig @ The Black Swan, Newcastle

Vanessa Rani (vocals); Joe Harris (guitar); Simon Read (bass); Sam Bell (percussion)
(Review/photo by Ken Drew)
Typically Gem Arts’ Masala Festival is a mix of South Asian arts and culture, but this co-promotion with Jazz North East has widened the scope to include influences from further afield drawing on Portuguese, African and Latin Jazz influences. Leeds-based Manjula focusses on music from different cultures with Afro-Cuban rhythms being very much in evidence, as were the array of congas on stage!  The band is well supported by musicians bringing with them a breadth of experience in their own right - with percussionist Sam Bell, guitarist Joe Harris and bassist Simon Read all key members of the vibrant Leeds scene. 
Their first song was a classic but very much in their own style – Nature Boy (almost sounded to me like it was announced as Culture Boy).  What a great rendition when given their own treatment, very nicely done!  Then followed by My Forefathers – a song about being brought up in a mixed community, ending with a long Bass solo which segued into a slow groove with an intoxicating rhythm.  With their credentials established, the band explored more styles and varying rhythms, some with self-penned lyrics – mostly about culture but some political too. One was about looking over the edge of a cliff and thinking you’re going to fall off it, but drawing back.  Another was Vanessa’s first song written while learning to play the congas, and Painting Pictures about Facebook and the stories behind the pictures you see.  Afro Blue was quite an extended piece then 0105 (or is that a PIN number I overheard during the announcement?)  And finally, an Afro-Cuban styled Angola which brought the evening to a (late) close, but with rapturous applause.
It’s difficult to put this music into a specific genre. In fact there’s little point – it delivers an easily accessible groove with a range of styles which are a good basis for the group to play together, take solos, enjoy what they do, entertain and intoxicate the audience.  A nice excursion for Jazz North East followers, and Gem Arts too!
Ken Drew.

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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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