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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 10, 2017

Virtuoso Jazz Trio @ St George’s URC, Morpeth - September 9


George MacDonald (clarinet), James Birkett (guitar) & Bruce Rollo (double bass)
(Review by Russell)
Heritage Open Days’ weekend happened to coincide with a concert appearance by the Virtuoso Jazz Trio. St George’s Church, standing on the River Wansbeck, participating in the open doors event, temporarily closed its doors to ensure the virtuosi could perform without distraction. A one hour set presented a selection of George MacDonald’s favourite numbers, and his fellow virtuosi,   James Birkett and Bruce Rollo, no doubt share the enthusiasm of the Northern Sinfonia’s former principal clarinetist for a good tune.
St George’s billed the concert as a ‘jazzberry event’ with strawberries and cream, tea and coffee, and other refreshments included in the modest admission charge. Octogenarian MacDonald did the talking, his Canadian accent adding an extra dollar’s worth to the story telling. Softly spoken,   to this day Benny Goodman his man, the clarinetist sat between James Birkett, guitar, and Bruce Rollo, double bass. Having heard the VJT on numerous occasions, here in Morpeth it occurred to your reviewer that Mr MacDonald doesn’t count in any of the tunes. The tempo determined in his mind, he began to play. Messrs Birkett and Rollo were on it instantly. First Summertime then, as  MacDonald observed wryly, time for Autumn Leaves. Our Canadian ex-pat enjoys putting Birkett and Rollo to the test with an up tempo number. Straight in, a breakneck After You’ve Gone. How do they do it? Marvellous! An exquisite A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square held the audience spellbound, a swift It Don’t Mean a Thing breaking the spell.

Mr MacDonald recalled touring in Brazil with the Northern Sinfonia…a hotel on Copacabana, the iconic  Ipanema girl, yes, a couple of bossas were called for. Wave, then Meditation. Easy when you know how! The VJT are masters of the form, MacDonald stated the melody, Birkett conjured the magical solo, Rollo rolling with the rhythm. Thinking out loud, Mr MacDonald said: Doris Day sang this one, didn’t she? It’s Only a Paper Moon…wonderful...One hour flew by listening to the Virtuoso Jazz Trio. Time for one last tune. Sweet Georgia Brown. As the lyric goes: It’s been said she knocks ’em dead when she lands in town, the same could be said of the Virtuoso Jazz Trio.                           
Russell

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