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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.)

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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.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Preview: XPQ for Blaydon

(By Russell)
It’s early autumn, the nights are beginning to draw in, this means our annual tenor saxophone treat is almost upon us. Year in year out, mid-October, Darlington’s Opus 4 Jazz Club and Blaydon Jazz Club present two of the best jazz gigs anywhere in the country. A capacity audience is the norm, it pays to arrive early to secure a seat, then sit back and enjoy two sets of swinging, mainstream jazz the likes of which one can only dream about.


Yes, it’s the return of Vasilis Xenopoulos! Described by Blaydon Jazz Club’s promoter Roly Veitch as a ‘mercurial’ tenor player, Vasi X, as he is known in some quarters, is indeed a supremely gifted musician. The northeast connection comes about thanks to his longstanding friendship with pianist Paul Edis. They met in London, gigged, and have maintained an enduring musical partnership. The set list comprises the Great American Songbook sprinkled with one or two original compositions. A top class rhythm section makes all the difference on a gig like this and without question, these northeast dates are five-star affairs thanks to the calibre of musician available to Vasilis and Paul. Opus 4 Jazz Club at the Traveller’s Rest in Cockerton, Darlington, will feature Andy Champion and Russ Morgan. Andy is, for some, the finest bass player in the country, and drummer Russ is considered, rightly, as a ‘first call’ musician for prestigious gigs such as these. The Blaydon Jazz Club date will feature Bishop Auckland’s Mick Shoulder on bass working alongside Russ Morgan. Mick is one of the most accomplished musicians on the scene and Vasi has secured his services for this Blaydon gig and a second date north of the border in Eyemouth.

Of course, the piano player at Darlington and Blaydon will be Paul Edis. Based on Tyneside, Edis, if he so chose, could work in London or New York. When Vasi makes the trip ‘up north’ he must think Christmas has come early! You’re thinking: What’s the ‘XPQ’ all about. Well, not only will we get to hear Xenopoulos (Vasilis), but, believe it or not, Price (Nigel)! Guitarist Nigel Price is co-leader with Vasi of their quintet, hence XPQ. Nigel is an amazing guitarist. Gigging relentlessly, his recent tour of Britain comprised a mere fifty-six dates!!! Vasi and Nigel have worked together for ten years yet these October gigs will be the first time they have ventured north with their quintet. The saxophone-guitar format has an illustrious history in jazz and their concerts will look at some of the classic duo partnerships including Jim Hall-Sonny Rollins, Wes Montgomery-Johnny Griffin, Charlie Byrd-Stan Getz, and Kenny Burrell-Stanley Turrentine.

As an hors-d'oeuvre Xenopolous will play a duo gig with Paul Edis at the Lit and Phil Library at one o’clock on Friday 20 October. Pay on the door, £5.00 admission. It is advisable to arrive early as it will almost certainly be a sell-out. No advance sales, pay on the day, first come, first served. Then in the evening at the Traveller’s Rest it’s the quintet (XPQ). Doors at eight, first set at eight thirty, it too will be very busy. £10.00 on the door. The Blaydon Jazz Club date – Sunday 22 October – will similarly be busy. First set at 8:00pm, ten pounds on the door. Parking is available adjacent to the Black Bull on Bridge Street, and an excellent, reliable last bus departs Blaydon at 22:55, arriving at Clayton Street West, Newcastle at 23:08 leaving plenty of time to catch a Metro or last bus home.
Hopefully, XPQ will have their CD Sidekicks with them. Buy one, Christmas has come early.    

Russell

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