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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

Archives

Today Saturday September 23

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Day two of three.
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Evening
Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Rockafellas - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Tobie Carpenter Organ Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £10.
Thin Man + Jon Gordon - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. Free.
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Nikki Iles & Stan Sulzmann - Great Hall, Hexham Abbey, Hexham NE46 3NB. 10pm. £10/£8.
Pat McMahon Trio - Tannery, Gilesgate, Hexham NE46 3QD. 01434 605537. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ballet Black: Storyville - Northern Stage. October 11

(Review by Russell)
Some fifteen years ago Cassa Pancho founded Ballet Black. As Artistic Director, Pancho has nurtured the development of the London-based dance troupe, transforming it into the international touring company that it is today. Ballet Black’s dancers of black and Asian descent embrace the classical tradition, fusing it with contemporary, abstract forms. The company is currently touring Britain and, thankfully, a first visit to Northern Stage, Newcastle upon Tyne, was on the itinerary.
Last night’s performance (there is a second performance tonight, Wednesday 12 October) in Stage One at Northern Stage comprised three parts; two new pieces and a revival of the critically acclaimed Storyville. Set in 1920s New Orleans, Christopher Hampson’s tale of Nola, a wide-eyed farm girl lured by the bright lights of the Big Easy, examines enduring themes – ambition, love, the high-life, ill-advised dalliances with low-life characters. Set to the music of Kurt Weill (Walter Huston is heard singing Ulysses Africanus (Lost in the Stars), Eniko Szilagyi’s recordings, in French, of Je ne’taime pas and J’attends un navire evoke the period, and selections from the London Sinfonietta’s recording of  Threepenny Opera), Cira Robinson (Nola) gave a spell-binding performance of the naïve country girl who will, ultimately, be taken from us in a Mahogany Hall-swirling vortex of dollars and dimes, bar flies and bourbon, and Jelly Roll jazz.

Nola casts aside Sailor (Damien Johnson) in favour of Lulu White’s promises of jewels, liquor and good times. Sayaka Ichikawa (Lulu) is Nola’s nemesis; we know the outcome, we implore Nola to take a different path. Nola dances/drinks herself into oblivion. Ballet Black’s eight-strong troupe deservedly won several curtain calls.

Earlier, Cristaux (Arthur Pita, choreography) glittered as a duet piece featuring Robinson and Mthuthuzeli November dancing to an insistent clockwork jewelry box chiming theme by composer Steve Reich. South African November joined the company in 2015 and this energetic performance enthralled Newcastle’s informed dance audience. A second newly devised work – To Begin, Begin (Christopher Marney, choreography) – called upon six of the company’s dancers to interpret the dance maker’s vision. The score (composer Dustin O’Halloran) punctuated the troupe’s constantly shifting movements across the Stage One minimalist set.
Russell.
Ballet Black: Cira Robinson, Sayaka Ichikawa, Isabela Coracy, Marie-Astrid Mence, Damien Johnson, José Alves, Mthuthuzeli November, Jacob Wye                           

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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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