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Friday, May 12, 2017

BABMUS @ The Jazz Café - May 11

(Review by Russell)
A bumper BABMUS session. Sage Gateshead students’ regular gig at the Jazz Café on Pink Lane took on an extra dimension with the presence of tutors in assessment mode. It’s that time of year… students getting the beers in, partying…sorry, studying late into the night, burning the midnight oil,   future careers at the forefront of their minds. The upstairs room comfortably full, Paul Edis handed an unsuspecting Thomas Dixon MC duties for the evening. Saxophonist Dixon thanked Dr Edis for putting him on the spot…a sink or swim moment!
BA and BMus students gathered in the upstairs room on Pink Lane, the place buzzing with a sense of anticipation. The evening would comprise a series of quick fire small group performances (tutors making notes on laptops…A+, D-, or perhaps they were shopping lists…a pound of carrots, cereal,  etc), culminating in a BABMUS big band finale. Dixon introduced his fellow students as they took to the stage. On this occasion your BSH reviewer determined name checks were unnecessary (with a quartet the exception, of which, more later), the examinees were in the spotlight, pressure enough! Some performers didn’t have a collective name.  A second’s thought, and a new name devised for the occasion would suffice. Jazz Hands, Time Wasters, Blue Strap and Radgie Little Gangsters, on the spot monikers! Tunes ranging from I Got Rhythm and Feeling Good to All Blues and Blue Boss. The latter isn’t a typo, Blue Bossa became Blue Boss. From the Gershwins and Kanye West to the familiar Miles and equally familiar Bruno Mars (for those of the Millennial generation), a composers’ who’s who?
The examiners listened to vocalists, brass and reeds, pianists, guitarists, bass players, drummers, all manner of instrumentalists. Supported by a cheering on-side audience, all acquitted themselves well. Some of the examinees have sat in at the Jazz Café’s high octane jam session (first and third Tuesdays) and lived to tell the tale. More than that, some of those sitters-in have come on in leaps and bounds. All students, any instrument, are encouraged to turn up (8:00pm) and give it a go.
Bearpark is a Sage Gateshead student quartet developing apace. Pianist (and organist) Bearpark, that’s Tom Bearpark, together with Thomas Dixon (that’s MC Tom Dixon) reeds, bassist Stephen Wall and drummer Adam Watson are leading the way at the regular BABMUS session at the Jazz Café. Now taking on Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter and the challenge of modal jazz, this quartet is not too far away from taking to the road, gigging as a working unit. If they’ve got anything like a full pad (ie two forty five minutes’ worth of material) these guys should be knocking on the Facebook doors of local promoters (Darlington, Durham, Hexham and Newcastle for starters).

To conclude an enjoyable evening the BABMUS Big Band assembled on stage for a good old blow out. Dr Edis, done with laptop duties, grabbed his alto sax to take his place in the line-up. Edis’ old Splinter Group chart For Bill got an airing in between some swinging, hard blowing ensemble work. Check out the next BABMUS session, but before then, make a point of getting along to the Caff on Tuesday (May 16) for the next installment of the always interesting jam session. Downbeat at eight, seats at a premium, it’s the greatest free show in town.
Russell.         

4 comments :

Emma Fisk (on F/b) said...

Go Lucy Playle!

Lucy Playle (on f/b) said...

Ooh thanks Emma I didn't even know XD yayayaya thank you. ����������������������

Emma Fisk (on F/b) said...

Hope it went well and you enjoyed it!�� x

Lucy Playle (on f/b) said...

��������Yes it went well thank you ����������

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