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Bebop Spoken There

Sting: "I wrote that song [Roxanne], it was originally a bossa nova". - (Stewart Copeland's Adventures in Music BBC 4, 17 January 2020)

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Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Today Tuesday January 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Cancelled - room being decorated back on Jan. 28.

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Evening

Air4ce - Cluny 2, Lime St., Newcastle NE1 2PQ. Tel: 0191 230 4474. Doors 7:30pm. £8.00. Ginger Baker tribute featuring regional jazz & blues musicians.

Acoustic Infusion with the Mighty Horns - Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm (doors 7:00pm). £5.00.

Blues/Soul/Folk etc.

?????

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

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Faye MacCalman/John Pope Duo @ Jazz Café - April 14

Faye MacCalman (tenor sax, clarinet), John Pope (bass).
(Review/photo courtesy of Steve T).
Of all the Jazz Cafés in all the world, I wonder how many featured a double bass, sometimes bowed, and a tenor sax, sometimes a clarinet, playing Blakey, Shorter, Ornette Coleman Hawkins - see what I did there? MacCalman, Monk, Roland Kirk, Sonny Rollins and Sun Ra - see what I did there? - on Friday. And by a lady in her early/mid-twenties and a 'slightly' older male. This is why Jazz is so unique.
We expected more pedals than the Tour de France, more loops than a primary school playground and more freefall than a Bridge too far. What we got was certainly edgy, but in a very different way. Only Jazz can defy expectations in this way. 
I'd wondered how it would work out, without percussion, a keyboard or even a guitar, but half way through the opener, Moanin, I knew it was going to be just fine.
Faye is a raspy, breathy player with a classic tenor sound all the way from Pres and Webster, through Dexter and Sonny to Trane and Wayne, a mischievous hint of Ornette and Roland lingering never far beneath the surface.
Pope is one of the very best and most exploratory bass players around, whether acoustic or electric, though he stayed upright here, some subtle slapping giving a bit of percussive affect.
JuJu, Body and Soul, Ornette and Archipelago reflecting some of their other shared ventures. Monks Dream, Roland Kirk and Sun Ra, fairly 'out there' in their own right but here used as springboards, sometimes barely recognisable, for their own improvisations and innovations. Always on that tightrope, that knife edge between success and failure, the site of much great art, and if at times they seemed to flounder - what the long suffering/eternally skint Mrs T calls Jazz - one or other was never far away with a means of resolution. 
They shared the announcements conversationally, Faye personable and human and expect her to grow into this role as she increasingly becomes a regular fixture at the Caff and beyond, Pope the seasoned pro and mentor.
At one point half way through set two, it felt like Trane and Garrison during that vital moment between relatively straight Jazz and the warp factor launch into hyperspace, and I can give no higher praise than that.
With big names at the O2 Arena and City Hall, and hundreds passing after something up the road at Sid James' Park, the faithful sat silently around the duo with comers and goers noisy around the corner, but not to the point of distraction. A highly enjoyable evening and I'm now very much looking forward to something very different from them round the corner at the Swan on 30th May.
Steve T.

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