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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

Archives

Thursday September 21

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:oopm. Free.
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Tees Valley Jazzmen - White Horse Hotel, Burtree Lane, Harrowgate Hill, Darlington DL1 3AD. 1:30pm. Free. 01325 463262.

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Evening.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter's Wheel, Sunniside NE16 5EE. 8:30pm. Free.
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Courtney Pine: Black Notes from the Deep - Sage Gateshead NE8 2JR. 7:30pm. £25.60. 0191 4434661.
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Katie Mac (w. 6 piece band) - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. Free.
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Emma Fisk & James Birkett - St. Cuthbert's Church, Shadforth DH6 1LF. 7:30pm.
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Pocket Jazz Orchestra: Jazz & Tapas - No. 60, Arc, Dovecote St., Stockton TS18 1LL. 7pm. £10.
Tees Hot Club w. Alan Marshall (saxes); Kevin Eland (trumpet); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. 9pm. Free.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.01642 678129.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Young, Gifted and Back (In Crook). The Early Bird Band @ St. Cuthbert’s Parish Centre, Crook. Friday June 9.

Paul Edis (flute, saxophone, MD); Ben Lawrence (piano); James Metcalf (trumpet); Alex Thompson (alto); Matthew Downey (guitar); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar); Matthew MacKellar (drums).
(Review by Jerry E)
Young? “Average age 15?” suggested the MD. This seemed to ruffle the feathers of band members and after much head-scratching and mental maths they came up with “about 17”. I still think that’s young to have built up so much experience and to perform jazz live with such maturity. This stems from the excellent rapport between band members and their MD, who invariably treats them like fellow professionals rather than young tyros. Age established, they launched into I’ll Remember April on which James Metcalf soloed impressively as did everyone else (if you count trading fours) apart from the guitarists whose opportunities soon came with Matthew Downey taking the lead on Nature Boy ditto Alex Shipsey’s bass on So What?
Gifted? After the tight ensemble playing and the aforementioned solos in the first four numbers (Eddie Vinson’s Four was the other) no-one can question the talent. MD, Edis, takes it as read, preparing them “in true jazz style” with “very little direction” allowing them to spread their wings which they did on “the band’s anthem”, Lady Bird. All were flying now, having really relaxed into the gig.
Blue Bossa followed and was, briefly, my favourite tune of the set with appealing harmonies from the combination of flute, alto and trumpet. I say “briefly” because it was swiftly ousted by the next-but-one tune, the set-closer Blues Walk. Yardbird Suite, the penultimate number, was mighty good as well with Alex Thompson impressive on alto (not for the first time this evening!).
Blues Walk illustrated the adaptability of the musicians, performed as it was with “a bit of a New Orleans thing going on”. There were duelling saxophones, a section where keys, guitars and drums went silent leaving just the horns centre stage and more fours with Matthew MacKellar reminding us again how much Bebop readers’ loss will be Berklee’s gain! Adaptability was seen too when the guitarists and Ben Lawrence (excellent contributions all night) slotted straight into the big band set which followed the interval.
All in all, an excellent set, well received.
Jerry.

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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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