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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 Saturday July 22

Afternoon
SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017 - Sage Gateshead. Day two of three. Details. From 12 noon all day.
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Evening
Steve Glendinning (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
The Hookahs - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Big Chris Barber Band - Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. £21.50/£20.50.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

New Century Ragtime Orchestra with Keith Nichols & Nick Ward @ The Caedmon Hall, Gateshead. February 3

(Review by Russell)
Welcome to the New Century Ragtime Orchestra’s twentieth annual concert in Gateshead… what an achievement! Several members of the orchestra were there at the beginning. As much as band mastermind Dave Kerr tries, he just can’t get shot of them! Seriously, the longevity of an orchestra dedicated to uncovering lesser known charts of the period (c.1890-1935) and presenting the music to an audience on a regular basis is no mean feat.
Befitting of the occasion, Keith Nichols, a long-standing friend of the orchestra, appeared as guest star, together with Brummie period percussion specialist Nick Ward. A full house at Caedmon Hall enjoyed two sets of ragtime, swing and popular song. Sweet Jennie Lee for starters, then Ellington (MC Steve Andrews joked that they might as well get Ellington out of the way!), Cole Porter’s Let’s Do It (a first vocal feature of the evening for Caroline Irwin) and I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (Baby).

Keith Nichols’ first contribution, accompanied by Nick Ward (the orchestra made a dash for the bar, not that they didn’t appreciate Nichols’ talents, they simply wanted another drink!) included Maceo Pinkard’s Sugar and a brilliant rendition of James P Johnson’s The Mule Walk.

Caroline Irwin returned to the stage with the reassembled orchestra to sing Irving Berlin’s You’d be Surprised. Steve Andrews has a penchant for gently poking fun at one or two members of the band and on this occasion he had Ms Irwin in his sights. The diminutive Irwin gave as good as she got – if you dish it out…To close an enjoyable first set Andrews himself sang Nagasaki (tongue-twisting lyrics to boot) and played with his new toy – a baritone saxophone! Someone enquired how much it was worth, Andrews replied: I’d accept two grand for it!

Numerous raffle prizes found a home, someone found the band in the bar, and soon we were into the second set. Deep Henderson, then Chattanooga Stomp (Keith Stephen, on banjo, Gavin Lee, clarinet). Irwin wanted to Get Out and Get Under the Moon following up with a new chart in the pad It Was Only a Sun Shower. Target number two: Andrews waxed lyrical about Louis Armstrong and his world famous recording of West End Blues. Looking at Graham Hardy, MC Andrews wished the bearded trumpeter all the best. Hardy stood up…Louis’ intro surely a terrifying prospect? It should be noted that G Hardy lives to tell the tale. Take a bow Graham!

Keith Nichols and Nick Ward resumed their partnership with a selection from the 1928 stage show Blackbirds of 1928 (the production made Adelaide Hall’s name). At times playing at a bewildering speed, Nichols found time, without breaking stride, to quip: You think this looks easy! A virtuoso.
Steve Andrews – baritone sax in hand – made it a trio in joining the evening’s guest stars to play Sophisticated Lady. A magical performance ensued, prefaced by typical jazz musician wit. Steve and Keith suggesting two alternative titles…Suffocated Lady in A Flat or Suffocated Lady in a flat. Spot the difference.
A marvellous evening with the New Century Ragtime Orchestra. Here’s to the next twenty years!
Russell.          

The New Century Ragtime Orchestra: Ed Cross (violin), Jim McBriarty (clarinet, alto sax, soprano sax & vocals), Alan Marshall (clarinet, alto sax & soprano sax), Gavin Lee (clarinet, tenor sax & soprano sax),Steve Andrews (MC, clarinet, baritone sax & vocals), Alex Lewis (trumpet), Graham Hardy (trumpet), Neville Hartley (trombone), Colin Haikney (piano), Keith Stephen (banjo & guitar), Phil Rutherford (sousaphone) & Caroline Irwin (vocals) + Keith Nichols (piano & vocals) & Nick Ward (drums)  

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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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