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Bebop Spoken There

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Postage

16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...

May

Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Baghdaddies @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sat 25: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 4:30pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sat 25: Paul Edis Trio w. Bruce Adams & Alan Barnes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:30pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sat 25: Nubiyan Twist @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 25: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 26: Bellavana @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 11:00am. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Emma Fisk and Paul Edis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle - April 12

Emma Fisk (violin) and Paul Edis (piano).
(Review/photos by Jerry)
A sign above the stage appeared to say “A DISCO”. Really? I adjusted my bifocals and found it was a date stone reading “AD1860” – when The Witham opened as a music hall – which is interesting as its Victorian / Edwardian heyday coincided with many of the performers and composers referenced in Emma Fisk’s fascinating introductions and links between the twenty pieces of music thoughtfully selected and brilliantly performed tonight. Might tangos on the set-list have been performed on that stage back then? That’s a connection which would appeal to Emma, I think.
I don’t remember Nuages (Grappelli and Reinhardt’s “reunion” recording after WW2) from the duo’s gig in 2016, so will start with that even though it was in the second set. There was good applause (not always easy to elicit from a crowd which was not unappreciative but a tad “polite”!) for a “trilling” piano solo and for the improbably high note which capped Emma Fisk’s ornate finish – some kind of high F?
Next up, beautifully performed, was the catchy Hot Club number, Undecided, introduced with the story of the vocalist, Beryl Davis. She toured with Reinhardt and Grappelli from the age of about 14 (!) and went on, via Glenn Miller in WW2, to an amazing career which by rights should have made her a household name such as Ella Fitzgerald, for example. Inspired by this biographical snippet I found Undecided on YouTube and was blown away by both the singing and the lyrics. The clip was dated 1939 when Davis was 15! I am going into detail here because in 2016 I said that I “learnt stuff” at the concert in Crook and all the above exemplifies that. Such a carefully crafted show put together by a performer who feels almost evangelical about the material cannot fail to enthuse even the ignorant such as myself.
Also new to me was Pardon Me, Pretty Baby which, after a “florid, showy intro” was an infectiously catchy tune which probably explains it being covered by so many bands / vocalists, including Harold Arlen, no less! Edis’ piano solo here seemed to be more Joplin-esque than A la Luz de los Faroles where Joplin was mentioned earlier.
I think the “quirky tango” in 2016 from The Threepenny Opera (Brecht / Weill) might have been The Pimp’s Song here reprised after the contrasting Polly’s Song (new to me) which is more lyrical than quirky suggesting that Macheath’s wife, like Dickens’ Nancy, might have been a naïve romantic at heart.
16 other numbers featured classical, tango, gypsy jazz and show-tunes (all of which featured in 2016), all beautifully performed with the musicians, clearly in tune with the dynamics of each piece, interpreting and bringing it to life. The tunes hailed from Paris, London, New York, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Prague and Vienna with every decade from the 1880’s to the 1960’s represented. It was, (the Witham’s website publicity) “…a musical tour (de force) across continents, centuries and genres..” I was dead chuffed to realise that the website, there, was quoting from my October 2016 review on Bebop….! Fame at last!
Special mention, among those 16 tunes for Someone to Watch Over Me (my favourite on the night) and Lady Be Good, which Emma clearly loves to play.
And finally, The Witham is an imposing building with a fine auditorium and good acoustics. The staff were friendly and helpful and the technical side of things all went well. They are “trying to re-establish jazz” there (other genres flourish) so please check out future listings and support them if you can. Oh, and the beer was good too!
Jerry

3 comments :

Steve T said...

Surely you weren't imbibing Jerry. Now I'm really jealous. Had hoped to go - at about a dozen miles it's almost our local - but everybody's knackered, what with FDTs practice regime beginning at everyone else's bedtime - he's a Jazzer through and through.

JERRY said...

Was able to imbibe (some) as I had a lift back with the pianist!

Lance said...

Beryl was a class singer who died in 2011 age 87. She did okay in America with records (I've got a couple of her CDs, one of which includes the 2 Django track) and appeared on tv with Sinatra. Her father, Harry Davis, was co-leader of the Oscar Rabin band who buried himself in the sax section whilst Oscar conducted and, of course, Beryl sang. No disrespect to Vera but...

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