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Bebop Spoken There

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Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16462 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 342 of them this year alone and, so far, 54 this month (May 18).

From This Moment On ...

May

Thu 22: Olly Styles (saxophone): Stage 2 recital @ The Music Sudios, Newcastle University. 10:00am. Free, all welcome.
Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 23: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Thu 23: Immortal Onion + Rivkala @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Jeremy McMurray (keys); Dan Johnson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 24: Hot Club du Nord @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Swannek + support @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. Time TBC.

Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Baghdaddies @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sat 25: Paul Edis Trio w. Bruce Adams & Alan Barnes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:30pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sat 25: Nubiyan Twist @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 25: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 4:30pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Terence Blanchard and Inner City Ensemble @ Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal - September 18

(Review by Steve T)
This was ostensibly part of the Lancaster Jazz Festival about a twenty-minute drive away, but I found no trace of the main event so I’m guessing they didn’t want to encourage people to head to Lancaster.
On close inspection I found there were no breaks in proceedings in Lancaster so it was really a case of one or the other and, while I was disappointed to miss Lancaster, and particularly the threat of a Sonny Rollins/John Zorn cross, the chance to see Terence Blanchard in a more acoustic setting than we got at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival in the spring, proved the greater attraction for me.

Terence opened things up with just the rhythm section. Looking less hip-hop than at Sage Gateshead, in shirt and jacket but ripped jeans reminding us he’s more ‘street’ than academy, he’s a magnificent trumpet player, as you’d expect even if you haven’t seen him, but this collection of young people held their own.
Once the nine-piece horn section took their places he left them to it, Featuring French Horn, tuba and oboe, instruments the blurb told us are unusual in Jazz and, without checking, the Miles Davis nonet who recorded the Birth of the Cool sessions in 1949 is probably the nearest comparison I can come up with.
Before leaving the stage he related his experience working with them through the week to his own apprenticeship with Art Blakey when he was a young Messenger, the legendary drummer and bandleader encouraging them you blew Monk, you blew Trane…no pressure then he conceded. Of the Inner City Ensemble musicians, who’d all successfully auditioned for the opportunity, he said that if you think about where they are now, he was real excited about where they’ll get to in the future.
Without their mentor they played Bud, not Buddy, a commission from the Kennedy Centre not due to be unveiled until next year. It opened with the pianist, confirming his warning that he’d been saving himself, then a repetitive bass riff, piano and drums building to a massive crescendo.
Tenor next and she impressed throughout, followed by a well-crafted, uncluttered guitar solo, taking his time, leaving loads of space and not just trying to get as many notes and ideas out all at once.
Some great exchanges between trumpet and trombone, joined by woodwind sans saxes; and a large part of the dynamics of this performance was the selection of the combination of horns.
There were lots of quieter moments with just the rhythm section, a ‘bone solo doing great things with a mute before the whole band came back in, ‘bone, clarinet and bass clarinet in particular bringing a strong Ragtime feel.
The next piece wasn’t introduced but was more of the same, with massed horns, though more swing than big band, or am I playing semantics? Another trumpet solo led into a fine clarinet outing and the rhythm section took it right down, guitar, piano and bass riffing in sync as the drummer, busy throughout the set, whisked up a storm before a big Ragtime finale with all blowing free to end the first set.
They returned with Terence Blanchard who outlined the second half. Beginning with Choices, title track of an album written for Hurricane Katrina which ravaged his native New Orleans and referencing the choices politicians had allegedly made before the disaster. This would be followed by Social Justice, a piece from the forthcoming album from his electric band – E. Collective – continuing the ‘Black Lives Matter’ theme from their last album and finishing with Don’t Run for legendary bass player Ron Carter.
Recorded spoken intro from the album, trumpet, trombone and now we got the flute coming through loud and clear, evocative of another great trumpet player who went electric, Donald Byrd and his early Jazz Funk outings, before bass clarinet and more trumpet, this time from the mentor and with a slight echo.
Social Justice began in big band mode before trumpet from Adam, a storming bass clarinet solo from Sam, switching to tenor, then back to the melody, brass section with him, back to tenor, bass and hi-hat as the drummer did the business once more. Piano, reeds, French Horn and then Sam started honking away frantically, the kitchen sink now in behind him.
The mentor took another solo, whatever was going on with his trumpet sound in the horn or the mic, some sonic booms coming from the bass (guitar since the break), like Bootsy Collins space bass or Bernie Worrels’ bass synth, both from the peak of P Funk. Slightly out of view, I even checked to see it wasn’t the tuba making this extraordinary sound.
He switched back to acoustic for the final piece, a round of solos including trombone and flute, two instruments I love but both under-represented in small group Jazz, piano trio behind the flute and just hi-hat and bass behind the ‘bone, each solo backed by a different configuration from the assembled horns, climaxing in extended ‘lines’ featuring the mentors trumpet with bass clarinet.
It was a great idea to feature instruments not generally associated with Jazz and my only criticism would be that we didn’t get enough of them and, I think I remember correctly, no solos from French Horn, tuba or oboe. The oboe in particular, I would have liked to hear more from, used to great affect by Andy McKay when Roxy Music were still considered experimental rock.
Nevertheless, it was a fine way to spend a Sunday afternoon, led by one of the greatest trumpet players and Jazz artists of his generation, and featuring an extended list of names to look out for in the coming years. I have no doubt that those of us who were there, I estimate ninety or a hundred, will be saying in the future, I saw him or her in Kendal with Terence Blanchard and I have no doubt, he’s thoroughly proud of every one of them.
Steve T.
Terence Blanchard – Trumpet + Mike DeSouza – Guitar; Ashley Henry – Piano; Tom McCredie – Bass; Sam Gardner – Drums; Adam Chatterton – Trumpet; Kieron McLeod Trombone; Chris Beagles - French Horn; Michael Dawson - Tuba.

Sam Rapley - Bass Clarinet, Tenor; Chelsea Carmichael – Tenor; Amy Roberts – Flute; Diane Hammond – Clarinet; Aisling Palmer - Oboe.

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