Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

YolanDa Brown: "Ron Dennis (former McLaren Formula 1 chairman) introduced me as 'the Lewis Hamilton of the jazz world'. I thought, 'I'll take that'." - (i newspaper July 17, 2019)

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Until July 21

Today Friday July 19

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden. See above.

John Settle’s Vibe-ology - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

New Orleans Swamp Donkeys - Ernest, Boyd Street, Newcastle NE1 2AP. Tel: 0191 260 5216. 5:00pm. Free.

Blues/Country/Folk

Summertyne Americana - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. Struggle Buggy 2:00-2:45pm., Shipcote & Friends 3:00-3:45pm. Free. Jumpin’ Hot Club stage.

Evening.

Riviera Quartet - Traveller’s Rest, West Auckland Road, Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. 8:00pm. (7:30pm doors). £8.00.

New Orleans Swamp Donkeys - Cobalt Studios, Boyd St., Newcastle NE2 1AP. Tel: 0191 232 3553. 8:00pm. £5.00. (£4.00. adv). Top class band from New Orleans.

Baghdaddies - Cumberland Arms, James Place Street, Newcastle NE6 1LD. Tel: 0191 265 6151. 8:30-9:30pm.

Global BRASS @ Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 0300 266 600. 7:30pm. £15.00. (£12.00. concs.). Joint concert featuring two bands 560 miles apart - NASUWT Riverside Band (Chester le Street) & Concord Brass Band (Copenhagen). A Durham Brass Festival event.

Haftor Medbøe & Will of the People Quartet: Global Brass Jam - Live - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. 10:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). Pan-European jam session. Will of the People Quartet line-up: Haftør Medboe (saxophones); Pete Furniss (clarinets); Jacob Karlzon (piano); Tom Bancroft (drums). A Durham Brass Festival event.

Blues/Soul/Funk/Country

Sold out!

k.d.lang - Summertyne Americana Festival, Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 7:30pm.

-----

The Hookahs - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Friday, October 06, 2017

Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music 2017 @ Black Swan Bar & Venue - September 30

(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
Julien Desprez took to the stage armed with a guitar and pedals and went straight into what I guess you could call an extended riff, lasting sufficiently long enough to make me wonder whether it would be the whole piece or even set. Europeans don't seem to have the same rush to get to the hook that we do, perhaps it’s a result of our preoccupation with pop music that we seem to do it better than the rest of the world.
Suddenly! he began striking the guitar intermittently, creating an explosion of sound. Long-suffering but eternally patient guitarist observer Mrs T joked he has anger management issues but another lady admitted to actually being a little scared. We were taken on a journey in sound utilising the full arsenal available to a modern day guitarist. He was up and down out of his seat like Westlife through a string of big key changes, when resolution was finally offered, it ended just as it had begun.
Is it Jazz? Is it music or just sound? Is all sound music? Was he playing guitar or could it just as easily have been a keyboard? Or a computer? Does it matter?
Artists generally say they prefer a response - any response - rather than indifference. They want us to love it but would rather we hate it than have nil response. Job done.
Next up, Schnellertollermeier (Andi Schnellmann (bass), Manuel Troller (guitar), David Meier (drums)a straightforward power trio, right? A bit more for the average music listener to hang on to. Very much a group effort, so more Cream than Hendrix, with the powerhouse drummer, obligatory in Progressive Jazz Rock. 
At times reminiscent of Discipline era King Crimson, there were lots of layers of sound, complex poly-rhythms, some bowed bass and much repetition, giving it an industrial feel, perhaps drawing on kraut rock or math rock, subgenres anathema to my field of expertise, maybe because they deliberately jettison any claim to soulfulness, so crucial to the tradition of Black American Music.
Rather than any Hendrix type blowout, the guitar sound remained more indie pop. A bit 'punk' my wife claimed, a major trigger word for me, but this wasn't punk at all, this was real. The crowds watching the pop/rock guitar covers band in the pub up the road, or Elvis with Nirvana at the 02 Academy would have done themselves a favour visiting the Swan instead of deluding themselves theirs was an act of rebellion.

Guitar joined by sax on the surface seemed more accessible than solo guitar but, when saxophonist Mette Rasmussen joined Julien Desprez, this proved the most difficult and challenging set of the evening.
Think Ornette and James Blood Ulmer on superskunk, turned up to twelve and furious over something. Steve H argued vociferously she's up with the best saxophonists he's ever seen anywhere ever and I have no argument with the level of virtuosity, but it's never enough on its own. Just when you thought they'd finished, they came back fiercer, faster, furiouser.
Not the sort of thing I would listen to more than once, but maybe that's the point.

Many, young and old, clearly couldn't get enough of this stuff but, those of us for whom this wasn't an entirely comfortable zone, Troyka (Chris Montague (guitar), Kit Downes (keyboards), Joshua Blackmore (drums) proved a welcome respite.
Not that their music is in any way straightforward or easily accessible. Lots of funky, syncopated drumming, lots of Progressive Jazz Rock and more pedals than a tandem tour, with weird sounds coming from guitar and keyboards alongside a warming approximation of a classic Hammond organ sound. If the earlier band were more Trio of Doom, that would make Troyka more akin to Lifetime.

So, much to cherish for anyone who likes John McLaughlin and/or Tony WIlliams and something for Jaco and Larry Young people too, Troyka also reminding me of post Jaco Weather Report at times.
Some had the night of their lives, others didn't. Some were sufficiently intrigued for it to be essential, others weren't. 

2 comments :

stevebfc said...

I had been looking forward to this gig from when it was announced Julien Desprez being one my favourite guitarists and Mette Rasmussen one being one of my favourite saxophonists and I certainly wasn't disappointed by either performer. I still stand by my hyperbole of the evening about how great I think the pair are. The opening solo set by Desprez was so dynmamic and creative that it did disturb my friend but the excitement of having no idea about what was going to happen next was for me exhillirating. As for Schnellertollermeier they were more Swiss rock and roll rather than Jelly Roll. Troyka had the disadvantage of coming on after the amazing Desprez/Rasmussen set so it took a while to adjust their stuff but a few minutes I managed to retune and enjoyed the rest of the set immensely

Steve T said...

Great - some discussion.
I remember I used to play Dancing Queen (my wifes of course) after Tranes 57 mins of My Favourite Things, 2 tracks off Judy Mowatts Black Woman after Petrushka, and Spice Girls after Ravel.
I guess you do it in reverse.

Blog Archive

About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance