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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Tuesday May 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Kamasi Washington - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4461. 7:30pm. £30.00.

River City Jazzmen w. Maureen Hall - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NN. Tel: 01670 813983. 8:00pm. £5 (raffle inc.) Bob Wade, Gordon Solomon, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford, Tommy Graham.

Lindsay Hannon Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Pizzicato & Pizza, Tango & Django. Emma Fisk & Paul Edis @ St. Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. October 6

Emma Fisk, violin and Paul Edis, piano.
(Review by Jerry)
Emma Fisk promised to not only reprise many of the tunes which were so well-received here last year but to also “throw in a few new ones…for variety” and she was as good as her word with about a third of the set-list being new to me. However, nothing in this well-planned and impeccably performed evening could really be described as “thrown in”!
Elgar’s “hit”, Chanson de Matin, went down well again as did Dvorak’s lyrical Romantic Piece and the hard to categorise fragments from Brecht/Weill’s Threepenny Opera. Bach popped up in the piano solo when It’s Only a Paper Moon was played as a requested “fast one” and Boehm’s Bolero helped subsidise the publication of music by Brahms – the evening was all about connections!
Jazz standards and show-tunes were again represented by I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, It Don’t Mean a Thing, Honeysuckle Rose and It Had to Be You. Standard, and repeated, but spellbinding and drawing huge applause. Someone to Watch Over Me was described as “a pretty well-known jazz tune” following a “cryptic introduction” - Lark Ascending?

The music was, as before, interspersed with biographical info and easily digestible musical history. Rosendo Mendizabal, A la Luz de los Faroles, was a playboy who blew his inheritance but he it was who gave the tango its characteristic three-part structure. He, along with Angel Villoldo, El Cachorrito and El Choclo transformed the Spanish “tanguillos” into a distinctly Argentinian sound and helped put the tango on the map at the turn of the century. Villoldo was a multi-tasker, composing in between other jobs including “cuarteador” who helps coaches and wagons up steep hills. Given Crook’s topography, he’d have his work cut out here!

Lili Boulanger’s beautiful Nocturne was reprised and big sister, Nadia was mentioned in passing. Nadia Boulanger came up again later as the composition teacher who persuaded Astor Piazzolla, Chiquilin de Bachin, not to forsake tango for classical and “Tango Nuevo” was born, which left the traditional three-part structure behind and blended elements of tango, jazz and classical – like this evening’s show!
Also reprised from 2016 wereLa Cumparsita and Besame Mucho which was “a perfect crossover tune” inspired as it was by a Spanish classical composer.

The first of the “few new ones” was the dreamy 1951 Disney theme, Alice in Wonderland. Paul Edis will have enjoyed this particularly as the tune was adopted into the jazz canon by, among others, his hero, Bill Evans. There followed another show-tune cum jazz standard, beloved of Stephane Grappelli and very appropriate for October, Autumn Leaves. New on the Classical front we had Dvorak’s Humoresque – a tune everyone recognises but probably few could name without resorting to toilet humour (me included – I’m firmly in the GI category, “General Ignorance”!)
I don’t remember Nuages from 2016: here it was served with lots of violin flourishes, a very high final note and a piano solo described by Emma as “a grand tour of Europe”. Not sure what she meant but it was certainly a distinctive solo!

Piano-solo-wise, the up-tempo 1939 number, Undecided, seemed to be served with Tea for Two. It was certainly tasty! I missed the title of the piece by Carlos Gardel – a big name not featured previously – but scribbled: “like it, but not very tango-ey”. Last year’s encore was Lady Be Good – this year’s could not have been a greater contrast, the romantic piece by an American composer, To a Wild Rose. Edward MacDowell, the composer, apparently so loved roses that he was buried beneath a boulder surrounded by them. Oh, well, come the Resurrection……! Seriously though, it was beautifully played by both tonight’s stars: a fitting end to a wonderful concert.

Thanking the musicians, Anne Timothy reminded the people of Crook that they were lucky to be able to see “world class musicians in our humble parish hall”. I think she is under-selling the venue but in all other respects, I could not agree more!
Jerry

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