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Bebop Spoken There

Danny Gatton: "I was tired of playing in beer joints. I wanted to do something tangible like building cars. But once you do music it gets into your blood. You can get away from it for awhile but sooner or later it comes back to you." - (Down Beat April 1991).

Tal Farlow: "There were times when I would stop [playing guitar] and do sign painting." - (Downbeat December 5, 1963)

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Today Monday August 21

Radio
Radio 3: Jazz Now. Live from Pizza Express, Soweto Kinch featuring Andy Sheppard/Carla Bley/Steve Swallow. 11pm.
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Afternoon.
Jazz in the Afternoon - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
?????
To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Jason Isaacs & The Ambassadors of Swing @ Hoochie Coochie - July 23

(Review by Russell)
Warren at the decks mixing bass-heavy soul grooves with chart-topping soul 45s, cocktail mixing at the bar, the Hoochie Coochie vibe was lazy Sunday afternoon. The Ambassadors of Swing were in the house, primed, pumped and ready to go. Mr Isaacs’ fan club occupied booths and precious few bar stools, many dressed to look good on the dance floor.
Dressed in black the Ambassadors of Swing took to the stage. These guys have played everything, played everywhere, and performed with anyone who is, or was, somebody. When they get down to business they are just that… ’the business’. To the opening of Wonderwall Jason Isaacs strolled out to a hero’s welcome. Sharp suit, Vegas Strip polished shoes, Jason Isaacs’ whirlwind performance is a masterpiece in choreography allied to the tightest of bands taking its cue from MD Darren Irwin as the main man charms his audience. Welcome to the Church of Music says Isaacs. The Hoochie Coochie congregation cheers as the band goes into Beyond the Sea. Isaacs’ show is non-stop, it’s a revue combining jazz and pop standards – meat and drink to the Ambassadors of Swing – with a few of Elvis’ hits. As Bebop Spoken Here is a jazz blog, one mention of the bloke last seen down at the chip shop is mention enough.


Come Fly with Me, Mr Bojangles, the finger-snapping Isaacs has the faithful in the palm of his hand as Michael Bublé’s arrangement of Van the Man’s Moondance brings ’em onto the dance floor. Our all action front man plays a mean tenor saxophone albeit bowing in deference to the man to his left, Mr Lewis Watson. That’s Life! exclaims Isaacs. Is it any wonder he won a television talent show? A swinging Mack the Knife called time on an exhausting first set.

Outside, the faithful took the air, the finest of summer rain a most welcome relief, no brolly required on Pilgrim Street. Inside, as the Ambassadors of Swing were reconvening on stage, a chilled bottle of London Pride was passed over a parade of bar top umbrella cocktails into your correspondent’s  outstretched hand. 

Ain’t That a Kick in the Head? asked the dancing, high-kicking Isaacs. Jacket off, the man engaged with his audience. Reading out loud names scribbled on scraps of paper, identifying individuals out celebrating a birthday and wishing them a happy birthday, Isaacs noted that there were quite a few prompting him to ask: Is anyone not celebrating a birthday?! Behind this frivolity the Ambassadors were being counted in…Feeling Good, then It Don’t Mean a Thing. Casual but so very professional and a winning formula. For those unfamiliar with the names in the band, all are on the jazz A-list. It wasn’t a ‘blowing’ gig, however, a solo feature for one or two in the band wouldn’t have gone amiss. Jason Isaacs plays very few public engagements with the Ambassadors of Swing. Next time, be it at Hoochie Coochie or elsewhere, get along to hear a consummate performer.

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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