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Bebop Spoken There

Jazzmeia Horn: "Sometimes my grandmother visits me in my dreams when I feel like I want to give up or I'm too tired, just for inspiration and encouragement." - (Jazzwise, Dec., Jan., 2019/20).

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Today Thursday December 5

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

Jazz

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

Tees Hot Club w. Middlesbrough Jazz & Blues Orchestra - 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.

Jools Holland’s R&B Orchestra - Newcastle City Hall, Northumberland Road, Newcastle NE1 8SF. Tel: 0844 8112121. 7:30pm. £47.50. & £34.00. Second night of two.

Chris Farlowe & the Norman Beaker Band + Teresa Watson Band - Newcastle Labour Club, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle NE1 4PF. Tel: 0191 232 8049. 7:45pm (doors). £22.00. (£19.00. adv.).

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

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Funchal Fiesta:CD in the Offing? Paul Edis Sextet @ St. Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook, November 17.

Paul Edis (Piano), Mick Shoulder (Bass), Russ Morgan (Drums), Graeme Wilson (Tenor Sax / Flute), Chris Hibbard (Trombone) and Graham Hardy (Trumpet and Flugelhorn).
(Review by Jerry/Photos courtesy of Jerry)
The band started with a standard, Out of Nowhere, despite having memories of getting parking tickets while playing it as an opener at the Whitley Bay Festival! I was there, as Max Boyce used to say. No worries here - Crook is always friendly! The rest of an excellent set-list consisted of originals, some familiar from the sextet’s previous albums, others being “newer tunes” (in some cases totally new to me).
The familiar tunes included Dorian Grey, Blues for Dad, Mr.Hipster and Better than a Punch in the Face. Dorian alludes to something musically complex (i.e. beyond me!) but I can’t help visualising the eponymous hero just about to pull the cover off the portrait…Blues for Dad raised the tempo and featured a great bass solo from Mick Shoulder and Russ Morgan’s excellent drumming. Russ was depping for Adam Sinclair who was unavailable due to some Children in Need-related duties. As anyone who saw the marvellous Blaydon gig in October (Vasilis Xenopoulos & Nigel Price) will know, Russ Morgan is a (more than) safe pair of hands. Mr. Hipster featured a five-star solo by Graham Hardy on flugelhorn. Better than a Punch in the Face was sassy and brassy and saw Chris Hibbard in fine form on trombone.
Though I have heard it once before, It’s Been, It’s Gone, It’s Happened, is definitely a “newer” tune. Written for the bandleader's mum (“it’s cheaper than buying presents”!), it is an instantly memorable ballad with hints of Country and Western in some of the piano parts and hints of Auld Lang Syne in the brass. An eclectic mix, I know, but effectively conveying the message of “get over it/get on with it”. This should definitely be a CD track!
As should Madeira, inspired by the sights, the sounds, the colours and the vibrancy of that island. Muted trumpet and flute featured on this lively, rhythmic “fiesta” tune with an excellent extended flute solo by Graeme Wilson carrying the mood. I loved it! Wilson also starred, with sax this time, on his own composition which closed the second set, Brand New Mountain. I’d like this on the CD as well: so far I know it’s a mountain in Japan, or a sculpture of a mountain on the island of Hokkaido. The CD sleeve notes could fill in rest of the back-story, perhaps…
The band-members’ composing skills were further showcased at the start of set 2 with Graham Hardy’s The Pounce - inspired, apparently, by his kitten! This piece, understandably, gave the front three plenty to do as did another “newer” piece, Cluster Fluster. This also alludes to something musical (i.e. beyond me) but what struck me was the contrast between the almost classical piano and the wah-wah-wah-wah of the brass, muted trumpet and all. More variety for my would-be CD!
Add in the two remaining tunes, Muddle Through and Lost – both totally new to me – and you are close to filling the disc! Muddle Through is a very bluesy blues (winter draws on and my dog done died!) with lugubrious flugelhorn, “lazy” piano and great bass. I loved it!. Lost, is, apparently, about moments of panic (plenty of them in my teaching career!) followed by gradual calming (that didn’t always happen for me!). Tremulous brass and mallets on cymbals (I’m guessing at terminology here) gave way to lyrical piano, brushed rhythms and bowed bass and a quieter finish. Lost, then found?
The evening was the last Crook gig until 2018: watch out for the programme next year. It is an excellent venue and the jazz never disappoints.
So, will there be a CD? The answer is almost certainly “yes” once the band can afford the not inconsiderable cost of recording. Whenever it happens, it’ll be worth the wait!
Jerry

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