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Bebop Spoken There

Piers Paul Read: "Bruce Reynolds and Biggs shared an interest in Sex, Jazz and Hemingway." - (The Train Robbers by Piers Paul Read, Coronet Books 1979.)

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

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Today Thursday July 19

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Holywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. 8:30pm. Free.

Alexys de Alfaro: Guitar Dreams with Coco Vega - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling Street, Gateshead NE8 2BA. Doors 7:00pm. A ‘jar on the bar’ gig. Guitar & percussion.

Alter Ego - St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £10.00.

Jesse Bannister Quartet - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). JNE.

Northern Monkey Brass Band - Jubilee Park, Spennymoor DL16. 6:00-9:00pm. Free. Big BRASS Bash (Durham Brass Festival).

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Tees Hot Club w. Donna Hewitt (alto); Josh Bentham (tenor); Dave Archbaid (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free.

Jazz Jam - Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241. 8pm. Free.

Billy's Buskers: Plug in and Play - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 7:00pm. Free.

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

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Southport Jazz Festival - Fabien Mary Quartet. February 5

Fabien Mary (trumpet), Hugo Uppi (guitar), Fabien Marcoz (bass), Steve Brown (drums).
(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Neil Hughes; © Robert Burns).
To say the thought of two quartets on Saturday night had caught my attention is something of an understatement; the contrast between the two palpable. Firstly the standard sax, piano, bass and drums line-up, which says to many, myself included, John Coltrane, one of the greatest Jazz groups of all time. Then the young French group with a trumpet/guitar frontline and I'm at a loss to come up with a precedent, though I've no doubt it exists.

Matching suits and ties, this was slick and enigmatic, like Borg facing McEnroe or Connors. It felt like one Golden Age to another but we're still in this one. If you think Miles, it's like going from the quintet with Trane to the Second Great Quintet, both brilliant in different ways but, while Miles with Trane are known worldwide for the most famous, successful and iconic album in Jazz history, the Second Great Quintet haven't yet entirely slipped into the collective consciousness, even of Jazzers, so it feels more on-going, a work in progress.
We'd heard the guitarist is awesome and, unlike the waters in Casablanca, we weren't misinformed. Perfect, but in the best possible way, where each note is exacted the precise same value, nothing is missed or half struck with no slipping or sliding, the solos melodic, thoughtful and wonderfully inventive, but making perfect sense even as they unfold.
Even when harmonising with the trumpet, but then I realised the trumpet was exactly the same, they all were. Think Clifford Brown or Freddie Hubbard and yip, he is that good.
Pieces selected from an impressive array of writers, including Kenny Durham, Chick Corea, Grant Green and Horace Silver and don't you just love the contradictions in art, music, Jazz - life, having said earlier in the day I'm not too preoccupied with who wrote the melody.
For the first half of just one-hour long set the guitarist looked like the happiest man alive. Then he looked terrified, then bewildered and ultimately relaxed at the adulation they received, and I wondered whether they get this response everywhere they go.
You can Take me Home said the trumpeter in his sexy French accent, and I thought there were a lot of ladies in the audience. Better grab a CD before they all go.
Terrific contrast with the Derek Nash Quartet and while this one had the edge, I'd rather have both than more of this one. Hard bop, free bop, cool bop, nu bop, it sounds classic without being retro and contemporary without threatening to fall off a cliff. Exquisite.

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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