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Bebop Spoken There

Don Rendell: “The public...complain of a lack of modern jazz in their area and then don't support it when it arrives." - (Melody Maker, May 5th 1962)

Ronnie Scott: "People are just not prepared to sit and listen to jazz during the week." (Melody Maker, July 21st 1962)

Today Thursday July 20

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:oopm. Free.
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Evening.
Sarathy Korwar Quintet - Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre, 59 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. 8pm. £10. (£8 conc.).JNE gig.
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Tyne Valley Big Band + Tyne Valley Youth Big Band + Tyne Valley Junior Jazz Ensemble -Phoenix Bar, Chisholm Place, Hexham. 6pm (Collection).
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Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter's Wheel, Sunniside NE16 5EE, 8:30pm. Free.
Screamin' Miss Jackson & the Slap Ya Mama Big Band - The Schooner, South Shore Rd., Gateshead. 8:30pm. Free.
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Tees Hot Club w. James Harrison (piano); Richie Emmerson (tenor); Ray Dales (alto) - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Free. 9pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Alter Ego @ Blaydon Jazz Club - May 21

Keith Robinson (alto saxophone), Niall Armstrong (tenor saxophone & flute), Dave Hignett (trumpet & flugelhorn), Andy Hawking (keyboards), Tony Abell (bass) & David Francis (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Roly Veitch).
You can hang your pork pie hat on some bands - Alter Ego is one of them. An accomplished sextet with a pad of original compositions and smart arrangements of classic material, Alter Ego play gigs for the fun of it with a commendable no nonsense approach. Alto saxophonist Keith Robinson pulls together a set list confident that his band mates will be up to the job with some of them contributing one or two charts which proudly take their place alongside tried and tested numbers. This Blaydon Jazz Club date found the sextet in fine form.
Lockjaw DavisRed Snapper dusted off the cobwebs - the horns blowing, the rhythm section driven by the ever-reliable David Francis. A Latin feel to Get Back In allowed Dave Hignett to warm-up his flugelhorn with the Tyne Valley Big Band MD switching between trumpet and flugel throughout the evening. JJ Johnson’s In Walked Horace heard from Niall Armstrong (tenor), Hignett’s trumpet, and the amiable Andy Hawking (keyboards). The writers in the band bring tunes to rehearsals and they invariably make it onto the set list. One such, Armstrong’s Mustard Mash, another, Andy Hawking’s Scriabin Scraps (likely as not inspired by Alexander Scriabin’s investigations into atonal concepts) and bassist Tony Abell’s Llangranog Blues worked a treat. It would be interesting to hear how other bands (regional or otherwise) would approach these tunes. Perhaps Robinson and co could offer to loan out a tune or two?
Tenor man Niall Armstrong plays an occasional flute. Sudden Samba presented an opportunity to play it and he did just that with Hawking weighing in on keys and Francis rattling a samba rhythm.  The sextet’s take on Coltrane’s Naima perhaps lacked something of the intensity associated with that of its composer, whereas Armstrong’s Undertone worked brilliantly revealing a multi-layered tonal exercise demanding the full concentration of all on the stand. Budini returned to the familiar, similarly Stanley Turrentine’s Sugar and two enjoyable sets came to a close with Bobby Watson’s fascinating ‘perpetual motion’ composition Wheel Within a Wheel.
Blaydon Jazz Club’s June concert (Sunday 18) presents the brilliant guitar duo James Birkett and Bradley Johnston playing anything and everything from Eddie Lang to Chick Corea to a handful of original compositions. World class jazz guitar on your doorstep…who would believe it?   
Russell.                 

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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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