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Bebop Spoken There

Curtis Stigers: “I’m a jazz singer. I’m not a saxophonist. When I stand in front of a band like the Danish Radio Big Band or Ronnie Scott’s, I usually tend to leave the instrument on the stand.” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Tamsin Austin, Director of Performance Programme, Sage Gateshead: “SummerTyne is our largest festival and we absolutely love it!” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Today Friday July 21

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
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SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017 - Sage Gateshead. Day 0ne of three. Details. From 12 noon all day.
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Ruth Lambert Quartet - The Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SE. 1pm. £5.
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Alice Grace Trio - Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1pm. £5.
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Evening
Belinda Voshtina & James Harrison - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. Free.
Washboard Resonators - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Vasilis Xenopoulos with the Paul Edis Trio @ The Traveller’s Rest. October 21

Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor saxophone), Paul Edis (keyboards), Ken Marley (double bass) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell/photo from archives).
8:00am Friday. Are you available for a gig tonight at the Traveller’s Rest, Darlington? Ken Marley answered in the affirmative. The former Voice of the North Jazz Orchestra double bass player made the journey across the Pennines at short notice to work with a regular visitor to Darlington, the one and only Vasilis Xenopoulos. It has been several years since bassist Marley featured in these BSH pages. It was, perhaps, a Voice of the North concert, or a memorable Marley septet gig at the Cluny in Newcastle. Whenever, wherever, it was way back when.
Tenor saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos is a favourite at Opus 4 Jazz Club. This October date is a fixture in the calendar (he’ll be back next year!), attracting fans from Tyneside to the north and Yorkshire to the south. From the walls of the upstairs room hang large portraits of the jazz greats. Over Xenopoulos’ left shoulder Dexter Gordon looked down. Vasilis likes Dexter, Dexter would have loved to hear Vasilis play! Darlington’s regular crowd loves to hear Vasilis play. They were queuing on the stairs well ahead of time. A sense of anticipation hung in the air…
 Hank Mobley, then Dexter Gordon opened proceedings; This I Dig of You, Opus 4 Jazz Club digs Vasilis. The London-based tenor player is currently developing a suite – Exile. A recording/touring project for next year, Darlington got a sneak preview hearing Part II. Ken Marley, like the rest of us, hadn’t heard the music, but that didn’t stop him excelling, contributing one of several accomplished solos, an ace dep if ever there was one.

But Beautiful took it down, superb tenor playing, then the set closer, Four Brothers. The dynamism as thrilling as ever, a fabulous first set.

What of the second set? Fabulous, as simple as that. A Dexter Gordon arrangement of   Billy Eckstine, Lee Morgan’s Cesora and another Xenopoulos original composition The Courtyard just three of many highlights. What of Paul Edis and Russ Morgan? The best in the business, as simple as that. Edis’ solos were never less than top drawer with Vasilis listening intently, the tenor man similarly appreciating the ‘in the spotlight’ contributions of the depping  Marley and drummer Russ Morgan. Ornette Coleman concluded matters, not withstanding, a fully deserved encore.

Tomorrow (Sunday 23) at eight o’clock, Vasilis Xenopoulos returns to the Black Bull in Blaydon to do it all again. This annual Blaydon Jazz Club date will see Xenopoulos once again in the company of Edis and Morgan working with another depping bass player, the one and only Mick Shoulder. Admission on the door is £7.00.. Arrive early or you could find yourself standing at the bar (an appealing proposition, for some!). Lyrical, swinging tenor playing is your thing? The Black Bull (NE21 4JJ), eight o’clock, is the place to be.

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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