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Bebop Spoken There

Guy Barker: "You have to play it [the trumpet] every day or you just won't be match-fit." - (Jazz Rag, Winter 2019.)

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Today Friday December 13

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux CarréJazzmen - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. ‘Christmas Jazz Lunch’. Details from 0191 252 9429).

Dean Stockdale Trio - The Merry Monk, 30 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening.

Jazz

‘An Evening of Swing & Sparkle’ - National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0GL. Tel: 0191 515 5555. 7:30pm. £35.00. Rat Pack evening inc. 4-course meal.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. First night of two.

Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Orchestra - Yarm School, Stockton TS15 9EJ. Tel: 01642 786023. 7:30pm (6:30pm doors). £18.00. + £1.80. bf (£15.00. + £1.50. bf). 'Mistletoe & Miller'.

Blues, Funk/Soul etc.

Baghdaddies - Cobalt Studios, Boyd Street, NewcastleNE2 1AP. £10.68 (inc. bf). ‘Big Xmas Knees Up’.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

George Shovlin & the Acoustic Radars feat. Pat Rafferty + George Pallas & John Wilkins - Whitburn Cricket Club, East Street, Whitburn SR6 7BZ. Tel: 0191 529 3187. 7:30pm (7:00pm doors). £7.50. admission by ticket only (from www.wegottickets.com). 'The Bents Road Sessions'.

Dead Skunk Skiffle & Blues Orchestra + Stetson Five - Station East, Hills Street, Gateshead NE8 2AN. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Thursday, April 06, 2017

GIJF Day 3:John Pope Quintet @ Sage Gateshead - April 2

John Pope (bass), Jamie Stockbridge (alto), Faye  MacCalman   (tenor), Graham Hardy (pocket trumpet), Johnny Hunter (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
Having missed them at the Bridge last summer, this was a major fixture in the program for me, without which the Festival would likely have become two gigs over consecutive nights, which isn't that unusual at Sage Gateshead where I often spend three or four consecutive nights.
Coincidentally, Ornette Coleman's Shape of Jazz to Come is on number one son's listening list so, not having heard it for many years, I bought us each a copy. Like probably many others, I saw the great man in Sage One shortly after returning to the North East, which I expected to be an act of homage but was actually excellent, despite being younger and (even) less responsible - I think I may have nodded off during a pocket trumpet or violin part.
Although I wouldn't cite Ornette as an all-time favourite, I consider the initial breakthrough period as essential listening for any Jazz enthusiast with an interest in free, adventurous, innovative, challenging music - oh I'm sorry, I've just quoted Martin’s Listening to the Future by mistake (the Alan Barnes ones are the best).
It was a short set of just four pieces, including two from the aforementioned album, and a reminder of one of the great ironies and contradictions of Ornette, that he had a fantastic flair for melody.
Graham Hardy demonstrated why he's the first choice trumpet player for many in the North East. Jamie Stockbridge on alto was clearly an important component and rose to the challenge impeccably. Faye is at the forefront of TNG in North East Jazz, and Trekkies will know what that means and the rest may work it out - no passive reporting on BSH. She's a favourite of Jazz North East, (who did a splendid job putting the afternoon on), and you can hear why. Johnny Hunter on drums was a new name to me (I think and apologies if not) and I understand there's a Leeds or Manchester connection, but he could just as easily been dipped in the Tyne by his mam as a bairn, where we only produce top drawer drummers.
It's hard to think how anybody other than a sax player could lead a band dedicated to the music of Ornette, but there's no doubt at all who's in control of this, the horns watching him closely, providing a rock solid foundation with outstanding musicianship and stretching something already stretched beyond capacity into new musical terrain.
I missed a set I'd paid good money for to watch this and I'm satisfied it was a good call.
Steve T.

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