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Bebop Spoken There

Cécile McLorin Salvant: “I feel like once the song is gone, it’s gone. Music is the fleeting art form – it should be.”(Down Beat October 2017).

John Beasley: “So many jazz band leaders nowadays, they really want to plan out their sets. I came up with guys that read the crowd.” – (Jazz Journal October 2017)

Today Friday November 24

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Monkseaton Arms, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.

Graham Hardy & Paul Edis @ Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. 03000 266 600. 1:00pm. £5.00.

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Evening

Sandrani - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:45pm. £10.00. & £8.00. JNE Women Make Music.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Skidoo 52: The Joint Is Jumpin’ - Middleton & Tonbridge Village Hall, Middleton, Morpeth NE61 4RA. 01670 772600. 7:30pm. £8.00. adult, £4.00. child.

Rendezvous Jazz - Riverdale Hall Country House Hotel, Bellingham NE48 2JT. 01434 435402. Three-day event, two night stay £164.00.pp, band performing evening Friday 24 & Saturday 25.

Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Chillin’ with the Cello - Ayanna Witter-Johnson @ The Jazz Cafe December 9


(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Mike Tilley).
Despite this gig starting at the ungodly hour of 7pm the Jazz Cafe was packed for the performance of the British folk/soul singer Ayanna Witter-Johnson. The audience, some with sleep still in their eyes, were rewarded with a performance of charm, elegance, and sheer quality. Witter-Johnson had arrived with a very impressive CV - MOBO nominated and the only non-American ever to win Amateur Night at the iconic Apollo Theatre in Harlem.

Accompanied mainly on her cello ‘Reuben’ and occasionally on her first instrument, piano, Ayanna performed a series of self-penned songs with a smattering of covers with great aplomb. Most of the originals are based on her own life’s experience encompassing loves past, present, and future. My only reservation with these numbers was that they all seemed to be played at the same smooth and relaxed level. Personally, I would have preferred some occasional dramatic outbursts to take us out of our comfort zone.
The covers did offer some welcome contrast particularly a Jamaican folk song and Oleta Adam’s Get Here which was the first song Ayanna performed in public (aged 9) and was further enhanced with backing vocals from the audience. Her cello playing was absolutely enthralling,  aside from the traditional bow, Ayanna plucked, strummed and hit (ever so gently)  Reuben to extract some wonderful sound from this most beguiling of instruments. By the end of the evening the packed Cafe had been thoroughly captivated and entertained by this super talented artist who will only get better and better. To quote from the song of night; Black Panther ‘like a black panther I’m free to roam without a keeper you’ll never need to feel my power’.
Steve H.

1 comment :

Steve T said...

Looks like I picked the wrong weekend to stop eating.

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About this blog - contact details.

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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