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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.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

CD Review:Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra - Efferevescence

Youth Jazz Orchestra no longer conjures up images of well-intentioned youngsters vainly attempting to emulate their peers. Quite the contrary. Like NYJO and many of the bands who will compete in this year's Sunderland Big Band Festival (March 3-5 at Chester le Street) the YJOs are of a standard where they can hold their own with just about any of the more seasoned performers. This is due, of course, to the ability of some of those seasoned performers to pass on their wisdom to the emerging talents. In the case of the TSYJO there can be few better equipped to bring out the best in a band than Tommy Smith. Equally at home with the internationally acclaimed Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, or a small band, or a symphony orchestra, Smith can do the business. On this third album by the TSYJO tribute is paid to some vintage numbers and some fresh interpretations of more contemporary jazz classics.

Apple Honey: The old potboiler from Woody's First Herd. It's near enough the original arrangement with the young soloists capturing the spirit of the original. Michael Butcher is Flip, Liam Shortall close enough to Bill Harris to almost fool you, Helena Kay plays some smooth clarinet that is perhaps nearer to Benny than Woody, Fergus McReady holds Ralph Burns to a score draw and Tom Walsh takes it out on a [literal] high.
The Way You Look Tonight: Florian Ross' imaginative arrangement features Jackson on alto and Garrity on trombone. Two assured soloists who do credit to Tommy Smith, Ross and - Jerome Kern. I doubt if the latter's estate will be going to litigation over this as they once did over a version of a Kern tune by Dizzy!
Blues March: It may not have the earthy rawness of the original version by Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, indeed, I doubt if any of the umpteen versions recorded since then have matched it but, nevertheless, the TSYJO make a decent fist of it with solos by Bates, Stylianides and Bowden.
Humpty Dumpty: The first of two Chick Corea numbers showcases Williamson, Johnstone and Henderson in another Ross arrangement. None of whom took a great fall but did take great solos and nobody laid an egg
Tam O' Shanter: An original by Sean Bates that, as the title implies, takes us through the heather to Bannockburn to the skirl of Joe Williamson's guitar with maybe a wee dram on the way and a Michael Butcher chaser on the way back.
Nefertiti: Ross arranged the Miles Davis classic as a tenor feature for Butcher who does his growing reputation no harm.
Things to Come: Needless to say, the trumpets needed their lip in for this one taking Dizzy's look to the future even further forward. Gibbs and Kay the soloists with Henderson propelling the spaceship.
Bud Powell: A second helping of Chick Corea, this time arranged by Christian Jacob, has Gibbs once again in the spotlight and the first glimpse of Tessier on tenor. It rounds off an album that restores my faith in the future - at least jazzwise!
Lance.
Tom Walsh, Sean Gibbs, Joshua Elcock, Christos Stylianides, Cameron T Duncan, Tom Clay Harris (trumpets); Michael Owers, Liam Shortall, Kevin Garrity, Richard Foote (trombones); Helen Clay (alto/clarinet), Adam Jackson (alto), Samuel Tessier, Michael Butcher (tenors), Heather Mackintosh (baritone); Joe Williamson (guitar), Fergus McCreadie/ Pete Johnstone (piano), David Bowden (bass), Stephen Henderson (drums); Tommy Smith (MD/producer).
Available on Spartacus Records. Contact ts@spartacusrecords.com.

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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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