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Bebop Spoken There

Bob Dawbarn (review of Joe Harriott's LP 'Free Form'): "Both horns scream and roar away, Keane at times doing a pretty fair imitation of an elephant angry with its keeper." - (Melody Maker, December 16, 1961).

Steve Race: "The non-musician critic knows how music ought to sound. But he cannot possibly know how it feels to create it. He is in the position of the marriage guidance counsellor who has never been married." – (Jazz News, June 6th 1962).

Archives.

Today Thursday July 27

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:oopm. Free.
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Tyne Valley Jazzmen - No 1 Champagne Bar, 1 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL4 7 NJ 12:30pm. Free.
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Evening.
Strictly Smokin' Big Band - The Millstone, Haddricks Mill Rd., South Gosforth NE3 3DB. 7pm. Cancelled for pub refurbishment. Back August 31.
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Alter Ego - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £5.
Jo Harrop & Paul Edis - The Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm
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Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter's Wheel, Sunniside NE16 5EE, 8:30pm. Free.
Ray Johnson & Richard Herdman - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling St., Gateshead NE2 2BA. 8pm. Free.
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Paul Skerritt Band - The Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. 9pm. Free.
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Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland (tpt); Donna Hewitt (alto); Graham Thompson (keys); Mark Hawkins (drums) - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Free. 9pm.
Pocket Jazz Orchestra "Jazz & Tapas" - No 60, Arc, Dovecote St., Stockton TS18 1LL 7pm. £10.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.01642 678129.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Alter Ego @ Empty Shop, Durham - December 1

Keith Robinson (alto), Niall Armstrong (tenor, flute), Dave Hignott (trumpet, flugelhorn), Andy Hawking (keys), Tony Abell (bass), David Francis (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
In an attempt to keep the wife from the door, that's the exit, and with so much going on over the next three weeks, I decided to make this gig one [set] only. I thought musicians/promoters gave our bank accounts a break in December! 
I wasn't sure if I'd seen this band before and I'm still not; maybe I saw them under another name. I'll get my coat.
With natives of places like Blyth and wildest Northumberland on stage, I felt like a Teessider in need of a translator. This linguistic problem was remedied by a set list handed over in the interval. Beauty became Budini, Don't Leave Paris became Dog Leap Bounce. Thereafter I seemed to get the hang of it.  
The rhythm section were solid, the keyboardist slipping seamlessly between a Fender Rhodes electric sound and something close to acoustic piano. No over-indulgence whatsoever from bass and drums, the former taking three solos in the first set alone but with no padding, no needless flash, each solo serving the melody and the piece.
Some Latin, some funk, three first set originals from Niall and you couldn't separate them from originals by McCoy Tyner (Blues on the Corner), Neil Larson (Sudden Samba) and Kenny Garrett (Computer G).
The horns were a revelation, a background in Big Bands a given but I was amazed to find they didn't feature routinely in the same Big Band. The solos, counterpoint and harmonising were all great, the remaining two coming in behind the soloist to give an extra lift. During Niall’s Mustard Mash all three riffed behind the piano solo taking it even higher.

Not quite full to capacity, but cracking thirty by the break, meant a bit more space for the people there. No reflection on the band whatsoever. I'd forgotten how grateful the Empty Shop regulars are, beaming smiles like they can't believe they've landed in a city which has this. A cold night in that 'calm before the storm' period, though your co-host Alison thinks it is Christmas every day, at least in December. Clearly lots going on around the Uni too, with some dressed like Bruce Wayne at a society event and others like his alter ego. I'll get that coat.

Is it still the coolest regular Jazz night in the region? You need to check it out and make your own mind up, but you may need to get there early or you might find yourself listening with the smokers outside the Fighting Cocks, where you'll need a coat, and maybe even someone with a cape.
Steve T.

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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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