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Bebop Spoken There

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

Archive

Today Thursday December 12

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 12:00pm. Free.

Note earlier time for this week only!

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Evening

Jazz

Hot Club du Nord - Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Willerby Drive, Peterlee SR8 2RN. Tel: 0191 518 2000. 7:00pm. £10.00. (£5.00. under 18s). 'Jazz at the Lubetkin'.

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). ‘Gala Big Band Does Christmas’.

Durham University Big Band - Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. Tel: 0191 334 1777. Free. 7:30pm. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£2.00. student).

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

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Blues/Soul/Funk/Etc.

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

Saturday, September 23, 2017

CD Review: The Mark Williams Trio - Last Bus to Bensham

Mark Williams (guitar), Paul Susans (bass) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell)
From Belfast to Gateshead, Mark Williams has made his home on Tyneside. A Newcastle College graduate, the Irishman has made a considerable contribution to the north of England’s jazz scene over the best part of two decades. A ‘first call’ sideman, Williams isn’t the type to shout the odds – more a self-deprecating, dry wit. Last Bus to Bensham is Williams’ second album as leader which comprises eight compositions written by the master guitarist.

 The title track opens the album; angular, urgent, sleight-of hand, pedal effects – this, the signature sound of Mark Williams. Those familiar with the guitarist’s work with Andy Champion’s mighty ACV and Voice of the North Jazz Orchestra will want to check out this new recording. The last couple of years have seen the trio working on material at gigs. Now the music is available in CD format. The material incorporates killer grooves, swing time sections, shifting time signatures, often in one tune! Weird Waltz is just that – weird. Beautifully crafted, disturbing, nightmarish – welcome to the world of Mark Williams. Titles are pithy, and those who have heard the Irishman speak – occasionally he does! – will attest that hearing him announce them in his affecting brogue helps our understanding. Good Answer he might say, Scoff in Peace, and the wonderful Adare Say. Great titles for sure, the music is consistently magnificent.

Williams’ trio partners are themselves A-listers. Paul Susans plays electric bass and double bass with equal facility, and drummer Russ Morgan demonstrates great musicality throughout. Mastery of one’s chosen instrument may appear to be frustratingly out of reach for many no matter that the fabled ‘10,000 hours of practice’ mantra has been followed diligently. In the case of Mark Williams he is way beyond such concerns. Last Bus to Bensham is exceptionally good, and having listened to the CD several times (most CDs for review are listened to twice, maximum) it will be on the CD player frequently for the foreseeable future.

Last Bus to Bensham was recorded and mixed by Adam Sinclair, photography by Ken Drew.
The Mark Williams Trio will play a CD launch gig at Newcastle’s Jazz Café on Friday 29 September at 9:15pm. Tickets in advance from 0191 222 9882.

Russell.

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