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Bebop Spoken There

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.)

Archive

Today Thursday December 12

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 12:00pm. Free.

Note earlier time for this week only!

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Evening

Jazz

Hot Club du Nord - Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Willerby Drive, Peterlee SR8 2RN. Tel: 0191 518 2000. 7:00pm. £10.00. (£5.00. under 18s). 'Jazz at the Lubetkin'.

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). ‘Gala Big Band Does Christmas’.

Durham University Big Band - Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. Tel: 0191 334 1777. Free. 7:30pm. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£2.00. student).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Blues/Soul/Funk/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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