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Bebop Spoken There

Sonny Rollins: "It's too frustrating to listen to music when I can't participate fully as I once did in my life ." - (Jazzwise Dec 2020/Jan 2021)

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Monday November 23

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RON AINSBOROUGH & JORDAN ALFONSO.

Postage

12,116 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1256 of them this year alone and, so far, 98 this month (Nov. 22).

Friday, September 02, 2016

Square One @ Durham Ushaw Jazz Festival - August 28


Peter Johnstone (piano), Joe Williamson (guitar), David Bowden (bass guitar) & Stephen Henderson (drums)
(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Gordon Carlton)
With FDT and the Lawrence brothers behind, and Ben now ‘out’ as an aspiring Jazz keyboardist, I imagined that, with Whiplash, this could be them in a few years.
Circumstances beyond their control meant they played the theatre rather than the lounge which the just over thirty would have comfortably filled. No matter, the theatre is such a splendid room it still looked okay and, if you choose Jazz as a profession, you have to get used to empty seats.
Five impressive originals: two from bassist David Bowden, and one each from guitarist Joe Williamson, keyboardist Peter Johnson and Drummer Stephen Henderson.
Immediate comparisons are the classic Jazz Rock bands and the more instrumental progressive rock bands but with far less bombast. Effective changes in tempo and juxtaposition between quieter moments and moments of real power, with some fantastic building to get from one to the other, and a couple of classical oriented interludes on piano reflecting the pianists own continuing musical education in classical piano.
The final piece was Puppet Love, which was more obviously rocky, with riffs and things before settling into a funk groove, Bowden on bass as successful as any of his contemporaries on the solid body guitar variety of his instrument more widely associated with funk.
They declined the invitation to play an encore, leaving us to buy their current EP (with an album forthcoming) to hear more from them and myself, Ben Lawrence and others duly did.
They’re all Glasgow alumni and are solid musicians with none obviously stronger or weaker than the rest. With two Scottish natives and a Londoner I spoke to Darlo lad Joe Williamson to alleviate any potential language barrier.
Unsurprisingly, his major guitar influences are Mike Walker (currently an Impossible Gentleman), John Schofield and Pat Metheny, in that order, as well as the blues. The centrality of melody comes in large part from folk music and particularly from drummer Henderson, with Steely Dan and Oz Noy their major influences in this regard.  
We wish this young band every success in the future and hope to see them back in the North East soon.
More housekeeping tasks to take care of so I only caught a few bursts of the New Century Ragtime Orchestra. Not really my thing but I spoke to loads of people afterwards who thought they were terrific, leader Steve Andrews even rivalling Alan Barnes in the joke stakes.
Steve T

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