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Bebop Spoken There

Aubrey Logan: "I chose trombone because trombone just kicks my ass, and I needed to do something that was hard" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Thursday May 23

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Elina Duni + Trio FCT - Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £10.00. & £8.00.

Tees Hot Club w. Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

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

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book Review: Dear Reflection: I Never Meant To Be A Rebel - Jessica Bell

(Review by Ann Alex)
Ms Bell, an Australian woman who lives in Athens, is an award-winning author, poet, creative writing teacher, graphic designer, singer, songwriter, and musician. She also co-founded Vine Leaves Press and she writes for various language teaching publishers. She is the daughter of Erika Bach, who with her partner Demetri Vlass, founded two of Melbourne’s iconic indie bands, Ape The Cry and Hard Candy.
The book is a memoir about Jessica’s childhood and youth, an interesting account of growing up with two talented adults who were heavily into their music, who encouraged Jessica in her own creativity and yet sometimes neglected her when following their careers. We read about her mother’s constant problems caused by being addicted to prescription drugs which gave rise to fits of anger and depression, and the effect this had on Jessica and Demetri. We learn about Jessica’s troubled adolescence, during which she tried all sorts of stimulants and lifestyles, experienced abusive relationships with men, and gave out some abuse herself. Without giving too much of the story away, things more or less come right in the end for both Jessica and her Mother, and Jessica becomes the successful woman described in the first paragraph.
 The book is saved from being just another misery memoir (a popular genre these days) by being skilfully written. For example, describing nerves felt before performing in a show, out author says tellingly ‘Butterflies head-butted the lining of my stomach.’ Jessica regularly has conversations about her situation with her mirror, which is both friend and enemy, as she imagines it is pointing out her faults and occasionally suggesting solutions. A note at the beginning of the work explains the methods of writing which are sound, for example, the writer has tried hard to be as accurate as possible but to avoid long-windedness she has sometimes combined three friends into one person to give the essence of what someone was like. I certainly believed the account that she provided of her life. And she does something which I wish all so-called celebrities would do when writing about their lives – she has the good sense to disguise the identity of all those she mentions, including even her husband, except for the names of her parents, who agreed to be identified.

So this tale is one of triumph against heavy odds, full of interest despite the reading being occasionally hard to take because of the problems described. And there is an added bonus – the music!  It’s not jazz but I loved it, so if your taste is for post punk indie bands, listen to Jessica’s parents in their youth by Googling  Ape The Cry and Hard Candy.( And ladies, Demetri Vlass is really dishy in the video) To hear samples of our author’s current band (electronic  indie pop/rock) go to www.keepshellyinathens.com 
The book was published on June 6. See www.jessicabellauthor.com
Ann Alex

2 comments :

Jessica Bell said...

Wow! Thank you so much for this fabulous review. So pleased you enjoyed my book. All the best to you!

Anonymous said...

Jessica, from Ann, You're very welcome. And I also loved your website, very inviting, and the Keep Shelly In Athens music is intriguingly good.

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