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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Harvey: "The exciting day arrived and we [as under age school boys] snuck into the [pub's] rehearsal room, sat awkwardly to attention on hard chairs in a row facing the band and heard our first - very loud - live jazz. What an occasion that was - we even drank beer because we understood that's what jazz people did and that's what the band were drinking." - (Just Jazz June 2020)

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Notes from day three of Durham City Jazz Festival - June 3.

(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Carlo Viglianisi)
Day three and the years, booze and late nights have caught up, so apologies to Mark and Joel (pictured left), Barry and the Boys and Nebulas, all of whom I heard good things about from people with longer legs and greater stamina.
The Steve Glendinning Quartet gave a legendary performance at the Empty Shop a couple of years back and I know Steve will forgive me for saying the audience were mesmerised by the creative virtuosity of vibraphonist Chris Jelly. They both feature in fine funk band King Bee but the quartet gives them greater opportunity to show what they've got and, my goodness, what a lot they've got. Solid bass and drums too who are happy to stay back.
Some Pat Metheny, some Chick Corea, a fine original in a later Santana vein, Steve taking several opportunities to rock it up, this was a strong contender for set of the festival, and everyone I spoke to agreed.
Some people stuck around for the Sue Ferris Quartet, some crossed the bridge to the Empty Shop for Triptych, some of those returned to see both and others, myself included, watched a bit of Sue before heading over to catch a bit of Triptych.
Sue is always wonderful, a soulful player and a genuinely lovely person who always plays a tasteful set of lesser known gems from the greats including lesser known greats. She also had a cracking band of Dean Stockdale, Paul Grainger and boy wonder Matthew Mackellar depping on drums.
Triptych (pictured left) were deeper and funkier than I'd expected, with a definite Fender Rhodes sound which took me by surprise and means Paul Edis just about covers the entire spectrum across the various bands he fronts or features in. Serious music but in a different way to Sue, with mostly original compositions aimed at the head.
At the end he paid a sincere and heartfelt tribute to Carlo for his role in the festival, acknowledging that, as a Chester-le-Street lad, he would have loved this growing up. I had similar thoughts, having grown up in Durham City, odd unknowing flirtations notwithstanding, my introduction to Jazz (funk) was at mid-week nights at the old Coach and Eight, a triple jump from the Empty Shop. A seventeen year old me wouldn't have believed it.
Shock of the festival for me came from the Danny Allan Band. Great sax player who was happy to leave the stage to let the rest of this excellent band run and run. Not just a saxophone quartet, it was like alternating with a piano trio, like two bands for the price of one, sometimes funky, sometimes straight.
The closing party was at Jam Jah, an institution in Durham for a number of years, which began with another jam session and I regret to inform you, number one son was dominant again. A local professional drummer from a pop/rock covers band had played the final number at the Friday jam session which turned out to be Spain which he'd never heard, so good effort. Tonight they put together a funk workout to play to his strengths, FDT ramping it up to a funky blues, giving him carte blanch to just play and play without anyone thinking he should take the plectrum out of his hand.
The regular Jam Jah DJ brought the festival to a close with some funk, soul, fusion, disco, club classics, hip hop, rare groove - these terms become redundant - including Roy Ayers, Lamont Dozier, Idris Muhammed, Thundercat and Fela Kuti; and some reggae too.
First Class Honours with stars to Heather, Nick, Carlo and Ali and everybody who worked tirelessly to put this together, and I'm already looking forward to part two. 
Steve T

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