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Bebop Spoken There

Guy Barker: "You have to play it [the trumpet] every day or you just won't be match-fit." - (Jazz Rag, Winter 2019.)

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Today Friday December 13

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux CarréJazzmen - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. ‘Christmas Jazz Lunch’. Details from 0191 252 9429).

Dean Stockdale Trio - The Merry Monk, 30 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening.

Jazz

‘An Evening of Swing & Sparkle’ - National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0GL. Tel: 0191 515 5555. 7:30pm. £35.00. Rat Pack evening inc. 4-course meal.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. First night of two.

Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Orchestra - Yarm School, Stockton TS15 9EJ. Tel: 01642 786023. 7:30pm (6:30pm doors). £18.00. + £1.80. bf (£15.00. + £1.50. bf). 'Mistletoe & Miller'.

Blues, Funk/Soul etc.

Baghdaddies - Cobalt Studios, Boyd Street, NewcastleNE2 1AP. £10.68 (inc. bf). ‘Big Xmas Knees Up’.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

George Shovlin & the Acoustic Radars feat. Pat Rafferty + George Pallas & John Wilkins - Whitburn Cricket Club, East Street, Whitburn SR6 7BZ. Tel: 0191 529 3187. 7:30pm (7:00pm doors). £7.50. admission by ticket only (from www.wegottickets.com). 'The Bents Road Sessions'.

Dead Skunk Skiffle & Blues Orchestra + Stetson Five - Station East, Hills Street, Gateshead NE8 2AN. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Bonga, Champion & Mwamba - Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - September 4

Ntshuks Bonga (alto & soprano sax); Andy Champion (bass); Corey Mwamba (vibes) 
(Review/photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
This was the long awaited ‘follow-up gig’ to the original performance by the trio who first appeared at Jazz North East’s January 2014 Fundraiser Event.  Hitting the ground running, the trio worked through an edgy feeling introduction with brief solos to establish themselves and to each stake their claim.  Then a brief introduction to a piece with a more in-your-face exploration of improvisation and the sonics which emerge from all available sources. Andy providing deep bass sounds with interjections/sonic outbursts from Ntshuks and Corey - the interplay was always evident. 
Some quiet and reflective sections, then further outbursts – Ntshuks exploding on sax, Corey on fire attacking the vibes with mallets, then fingers, then fists, then swiftly wafting the air above the vibes to excite the sound.  Andy also on fire as strings were manually plucked, then percussively hit with a mallet (from Corey’s kit?) giving way to a section of rhythmic drumming on the bass woodwork. All coherently executed by the trio to an enthralled audience in an atmosphere where you could hear a pin drop.
Set 2 was straight in with a frantically percussive start focussing on a Bass – Vibes interplay.  Then more exploration from Andy of the instrument’s bass sounds including an extended bowed section, with Corey running along the blocks of the vibes with fingers and mallets and fists. Ntshuks adding to the mix with his own percussive sounds from the sax. All in all a very contemplative section, slowly giving way to a rhythmic section long enough to establish a recognisable groove.
At the end of the second set the enthralled audience showed their appreciation, and the trio were urged to give an encore. A more concise but very dynamic piece still full of the exuberance and energy of the earlier pieces. Enthralling and exhilarating!!
This gig launched the trio’s debut CD ‘The Paperstone Suite’.  Or rather the cover of their CD since the physical CDs are promised to follow due to a last minute delay. This wasn’t seen as a  deterrent for those wanting to hear the music again at close quarters, particularly as pre-purchasers were also to receive a download of tonight’s gig as a bonus.
Ken.

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