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Bebop Spoken There

James Beckworth: "I studied composition but hung out with the jazzers. I was basically the kid who would be at school with my classmates but then go and hang out with the cool kids." - (Jazzwise October 2020).

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

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SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

THURSDAY 24

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

FRIDAY 25

SouLutions Sistas - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 8:30pm (7:00pm doors). £10.00. SOLD OUT!

SATURDAY 26

Boys of Brass - Tyne Bank Brewery, Walker Road, Newcastle NE6 2AB. Tel: 0191 265 2828. 7:00pm. £10.00. + £1.37 bf for table for two. Other packages available. See www.tynebankbrewery.co.uk.

SUNDAY 27

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Tel: 0191 691 7090. Free.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tom Rivière Family Band @ TESTT Space, Durham - July 11

Kim Macari (trumpet), Riley Stone-Lonergan (tenor saxophone), Tom Rivière (double bass) & Steve Hanley (drums)
(Review by Russell)
The Empty Shop’s satellite venue on North Road, Durham is a temporary affair as the bus station building is to be demolished in another major redevelopment in the city. Visual artists are tenants alongside other ‘creatives’ until such time as they’re given notice to quit. A makeshift performance space on the second floor (no stage, blacked-out windows) with a bottle bar and a warm welcome from Durham Brass Festival/Empty Shop staff, this the venue for Cutting Edge Brass.

Cutting Edge Brass presented Tom Rivière’s Family Band. The ‘cutting edge’ refers to the ‘new’, to the ‘contemporary’, to the ‘innovative’ or so it would seem. Do labels such as ‘cutting edge’ attract? Do they deter? Remove the label and what have we got? A quartet comprising of Leeds College of Music alumni, the musicians no longer live in one another’s student pockets, living miles apart and meeting up for rehearsals and gigs – gigs such as this Durham date. The late Ornette Coleman is a stated influence on the band, and, to the ears of your correspondent, John Coltrane equally so.

Tenor saxophonist Riley Stone-Lonergan’s big frame generates a big sound, and frontline partner, by comparison the physically diminutive trumpeter Kim Macari, plays fearlessly, not giving an inch. The guys in the shadows – bassist Tom Rivière and drummer Steve Hanley – make it possible for the horns to do their thing. A Stone-Lonergan original for openers, Macari’s Rashtam and Scorpi (a tale of a pet scorpion!) to follow, the Family Band was in the zone. Time and again RSL took a first solo, Macari replying. The in-the-pocket playing of Rivière and Hanley would have secured them a slew of gigs on the 1960s New York free jazz scene had they been around; metronomic, swinging, frequent change in tempi, all taken in their stride. Drummer Hanley is a composer; the quartet took a look at one of his new tunes – Mind Hoover. Hanley is a supremely talented musician/composer, Rivière, nominally the leader of the Family Band, as assured a performer as you’re likely to hear.

At some gigs you can sense you’re at the heart of it, you can hear it. The numbers preceding, the numbers following, this, the ‘in-the-moment’, is it. Impressions was the moment. Glorious playing, the reason one goes to a gig, file under ‘memorable moments’.             

TESTT Space will, perhaps, be gone this time next year when Durham Brass Festival is once more in full swing, but Durham’s Empty Shop is sure to find itself another quirky pop-up venue which will contribute to this big, bold, brasstastic event, Durham Brass Festival.

Russell.        

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