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Aubrey Logan: "I chose trombone because trombone just kicks my ass, and I needed to do something that was hard" - (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 Thursday May 23

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Elina Duni + Trio FCT - Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £10.00. & £8.00.

Tees Hot Club w. Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

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

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

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

Monday, October 23, 2017

XPQ @ Blaydon Jazz Club - October 22














Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor saxophone), Nigel Price (guitar), Paul Edis (piano), Mick Shoulder (double bass) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Roly V & Jerry E)
They came from all points – Cumbria, County Durham, Tynedale, and hot foot from a star-studded Big Idea gig at Hoochie Coochie. The Black Bull bulged at the seams…Vasi X was back in town! A full house was all but assured thanks to Vasilis Xenopoulos’ hugely successful previous visits, and,  long before the advertised start time of eight o’clock, it became clear that this Blaydon Jazz Club gig would indeed attract a capacity audience.
XPQ – the ‘X’ denotes Xenopoulos, Vasilis, the ‘P’ Price, Nigel. The ‘Q’ signifies ‘quartet’ or, on this date, ‘quintet’. Tenor saxophonist Vasilis and guitarist Nigel first worked together something like ten years ago and they have had the privilege of sharing a stage with some of the finest jazz musicians in the country. This Black Bull gig found the London-based duo in exalted company. Yes, the guest names were delighted to be playing this Tyneside gig with three of the very best – Paul Edis, piano, Mick Shoulder, double bass and drummer Russ Morgan! Two sets would comprise numbers which continue to be associated with some of the great saxophone-guitar partnerships in jazz. Vasilis put down an early marker with a scintillating opening solo on Without a Song (Sonny Rollins-Jim Hall).
As at Friday evening’s gig at Darlington’s Opus 4 Jazz Club the volume of applause was something quite exceptional and all subsequent solos (Vasilis’ and those of his bandmates) were met with the same raucous enthusiasm. Detailing each and every stupendous solo contribution would require a review of ten thousand words and more. Suffice to say each and every stunning solo seemed to be trumped by the next!
Vasilis introduced Dave Cliff’s The Right Time and in so doing mentioned that the British guitarist’s upbringing was in this neck of the woods. Vasilis’ facility on tenor is unsurpassed and, at speed, he peppered the tune with fleeting quotes including Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise and Nature Boy. It was magical stuff alright but Paul Edis matched Vasilis with an astounding solo of his own. Decibel levels rose to a new high as the audience responded with ever greater enthusiasm. Nigel’s intro to When Joanna Loved Me (Paul Desmond-Jim Hall) recalled the brilliance of Jim Hall and Joe Pass.
The first set closed with an impossible, cutting-contest tempo on Ready and Able. The quintet tore up the Ronnie Cuber-George Benson vehicle with panache, relish, and no little devilment. Smiles all round, beads of sweat on foreheads, absolutely amazing!

Nigel offered the opinion that sometimes the simplest tunes are the best. The Hank Mobley-Grant Green partnership yielded Uh Huh and Nigel and the boys, in blues mode, played it. Vasilis’ solo later prompted Nigel to say: That was the best tenor saxophone solo I’ve…pausing to look across at the tenor man himself…heard this year. If Nigel was thinking That was the best tenor saxophone solo I’ve ever heard then few present would have argued. Full House, If Ever I Would Leave You, tune after tune, simply magnificent. All tunes played feature on XPQ’s CD Sidekicks.     

For an encore, Vasilis said they would combine Billie’s Bounce and Straight No Chaser. If there is a jazz heaven, it must look and sound something like this. Gig of the year? You bet!
Russell.

4 comments :

Patti said...

Oh yes - I was there ....... what a night too, a real trip to jazz paradise. Full of exquisite musical highs. Let's hope we don't have to wait too long for another bounce around with Vasilis, and the supremely talented Nigel.

JERRY said...

I debated whether to go or not as my wife had other commitments on Sunday evening. I went, and am so pleased I did! In a wholly positive sense I would have to say that I've never seen anything like it before. All the musicians were really "in the zone" and the audience response was amazing! Much thanks to Roly for bringing it all together.

Patti said...

Yes indeed - where would we be without guys like Roly, with all his enthusiasm for the good music? We owe a massive debt to people like Roly, the Jazz Cafe team, and Warren at Hoochie Coochie ......

Roly said...

You too Patti. The Whitley Bay Jazz Party is a very special thing, perhaps the finest festival of its kind worldwide. It must take a huge amount of time and effort to put it all together. It's wonderful that you continue the work and maintain the legacy of Mike who organised so much for us all. Yes Sunday evening was one of those special ones you never forget.

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