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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 Saturday July 22

Afternoon
SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017 - Sage Gateshead. Day two of three. Details. From 12 noon all day.
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Evening
Steve Glendinning (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
The Hookahs - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Big Chris Barber Band - Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. £21.50/£20.50.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Ushaw Durham Jazz Festival. August 26

 Zoë Gilby (vocals), Mark Williams (guitar), Andy Champion (double bass) & Richard Brown (drums)
(Review by Russell/photos by John Marlor)
Plush, deep Chesterfields. Plenty of them. Wood panelling, plush, deep carpets, this is the Francis Thompson Room. Impressive, the previous occupants at Ushaw College certainly lived well! Today, the room, with its full bar service, is an ideal, informal gig venue. The Friday evening concert presented one of Britain’s finest jazz singers – Zoë Gilby.
On a warm summer’s evening, Gilby began with a question: Is It Me? The first of several original compositions, it was an indication of the quality of writing and performance that it stood comparison with many tunes considered standards. Gilby has a stage presence of which some aspirants could learn much: a consummate performer, fully engaged with the music making of those sharing the stand with her. Gilby’s established band is top quality: Mark Williams, guitar, is a supreme accompanist and unrivalled in his solo excursions. A bass and drums partnership comprising Andy Champion and Richard Brown is as secure as any on the scene with Champion possessing amazing chops and Brown the epitome of taste and sensitivity.
Phil Lynott’s folksy Dublin came with a story – Gilby happened to meet, as one does, the mother of the late P. Lynott in the Irish capital. A chance meeting, of course, but one that led to the song being part of the set. Another original number, a waltz, In It Together then a reprise of our vocalist’s Pannonica set with a sparkling Straight No Chaser featuring M. Williams and A. Champion, not forgetting Gilby’s tongue-twisting lyrics!
The personal permeated the performance. The story of a Red Headed Girl from the North East of Nowhere opened with Champion’s resonant bass playing and the story unfolded – a time of carefree living, of living the life. The subject of Gilby’s tale just happened to be present on the evening. An interval conversation between Gilby and Ushaw Durham Jazz Festival’s artist in residence Dave Barden established a mutual appreciation of musician Tom Waits. Perhaps T. Waits overheard the conversation…a Barden portrait of the man in question took pride of place in the room as part of an exhibition of the artist’s work!

Second set. Guess what? T. Waits’ Way Down in the Hole! Vocal dexterity, instrumental facility, top class! Top class and tasteful apply to Mark Williams’ playing on Your Words and Gilby’s way-down-the-range vocal. Drummer Richard Brown’s mesmerising intro to Caravan  set up Messrs Williams and Champion to run riot. Thirties noir, all about object d’art, the base desires of the working class filtered through the prism of Patrick Hamilton on Midnight Bell.

And so to the finale, and what a finale. Red City – sand, souk and the sounds of the souk. A fixture in Zoë Gilby’s set, this Ushaw Durham performance was something else. By a County Durham country mile Gilby produced a magnificent, committed performance.           
Russell.            

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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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