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Bebop Spoken There

Camila Meza: "Some tonalities or chords are colors to me: G major is blue, D major is orange and B minor is totally yellow." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Sunday June 16

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Free.

Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 1:00pm (doors 12 noon). Free.

Alice Grace & Ben Helm - Bonbar, Fenkle St., Newcastle NE1 5XU. Tel: 0191 232 8695. 1:30pm.

Jazz Social - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 4:00pm. Free.

Blues/Funk/Soul

The Panthers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 3:00pm. Free.

Sour Mash Trio - The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3AF. 5:00pm. Free.

Evening

Customs House Big Band - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE33 1ES. Tel: 0191 454 1234. 6:00pm. £13.00. ‘Swing on a Summer’s Evening’. The band’s 20th anniversary concert.

East Coast Jazz Jam - The Exchange, Howard Street, North Shields NE30 1SE. Tel: 0191 258 4111. 6:00pm. Free.

Gerry Richardson Quartet - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. ( (£3.00. student).

DU Jazz Soc jam session - Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St, Durham DH13NP. Tel: 0191 383 9290. 7:30pm. Free.

Francis Tulip Quartet - Black Bull, Bridge Street, Blaydon NE21 4JJ. Tel: 0191 414 2846. 7:30pm. £7.00. Line-up: Francis Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (piano); John Pope (bass); Matt MacKellar (drums)

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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Berlin Jazz Quartet @ St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Newcastle - September 16*

Ulrich Hübner (tenor saxophone), Max Arsava (piano), Leo Helgert (double bass) & Jonas Sorgenfrei (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Four young music degree students drove from Germany to Tyneside (autobahn, a cross-Channel ferry, motorway) to undertake a tour playing five gigs in five days – two churches, a church hall, a sixth form college, and a recently revived community music venue. Studying at prestigious music conservatoires, members of the quartet had worked together in numerous combinations but it was this short tour that afforded them a first opportunity to perform together as the Berlin Jazz Quartet.
St James’ and St Basil’s Church in the Fenham area of Newcastle is one of many venues utilised by Master Musicians International to facilitate performance opportunities for classical musicians – emerging and established – and this Saturday lunchtime concert featuring the Berlin Jazz Quartet was a new venture. Happily, the event was well supported. Those thinking they were about to hear something like Acker Bilk were in for a surprise!
A one set performance of some forty-five minutes comprised Wayne Shorter, original composition, and a composition by a professor of music. Tenor saxophonist Ulrich Hübner played it acoustically, as did pianist Max Arsava and drummer Jonas Sorgenfrei, with bass player Leo Helgert employing minimal volume to ensure the bottom end projected sufficiently enabling his bandmates to hear his contribution. Wayne Shorter’s mid-sixties album Speak No Evil featured heavily during the concert and indeed the eponymous title track opened proceedings. A modal approach, the unhurried style of Shorter, tenor player Ulrich Hübner is clearly an admirer of the legendary American. The second number, Ulrich’s Blue Flower, offered further evidence, the title itself a nod to WS.

Max Arsava sat at the Danemann piano on a simple, stackable chair, replying to Hübner’s opening statements with his own considered solos. Hübner’s professor – saxophonist Johannes Enders – is likely to award his student top marks given that the quartet played his melodic For Carla! Later, the English speaking saxophonist suggested the title wasn’t a reference to Carla Bley, more a personal response by the composer. Leo Helgert’s quiet military medium snare pattern introduced Neptune Catcher (comp. Hübner) and the drummer maintained this simple motif throughout the piece. Sticks or brushes, Helgert is yet another fine young player. More Wayne Shorter – Wild Flower – from the same mid-sixties vinyl source. Post-performance, your reviewer suggested to Hübner that he could check out Matt Anderson, a likely kindred spirit.

The Berlin Jazz Quartet concluded their set with Long Goodbye. The four musicians made time to talk to all and sundry before heading to St James’ Park to watch Newcastle United play Stoke City saying it was too good an opportunity to pass up. For the record, Newcastle won 2-1.  

On this evidence, German music conservatoires are developing young musicians every bit as good their British counterparts such as Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds and London
Russell.
An impromptu and not altogether appropriate name as there is a long established quartet in Berlin of the same name.  

1 comment :

Hugh said...

Interesting, thanks Russell.

St James' and St Basil's is also a fine building in in its own right (Pevsner: "a solid, prosperous building without extravagant show, but with considerable imagination") and a fitting backdrop for quality music of any kind. The building has an intersting history too, having been paid for by Sir James Knott in memory of his sons James and Basil, killed in the First World War.

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