Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Dave Puddy: "Eventually we paid our entrance money [to Eel Pie Island] and fought our way to one of the many bars where we could buy our Newcastle Brown and retire to the back of the heaving dancefloor. There must have been lights somewhere, but my memory remains of being in some dark cavernous wonderland." - (Just Jazz July 2020)

Dave Rempis:Ten years from now, I can see musicians streaming concerts in real time and charging a minimal amount for people to watch.” - (DownBeat September 2013)

Archive.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

Postage

11,600 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 735 of them this year alone and, so far, 3 this month (July 1).

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

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.

Blog Archive