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Bebop Spoken There

Anat Cohen: "With the tenor, it's so iconic with jazz. With the clarinet, I can improvise, but it doesn't have to be called jazz." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Tuesday June 18

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

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

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 813983 (info). 8:00pm. £5.00. (inc raffle). Line-up inc special guest Don Fairley (trombone).

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

Friday, November 24, 2017

Group Theory @ The Jazz Co-op, The Globe, Newcastle - November 23

Dan Garel (alto saxophone); Tom Burgess (guitar); Dylan Purches (bass) & Tristan Bacon (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Group Theory emerged from a jazz hothouse in the heart of Durham city. Durham University and the ever quirky Empty Shop on Framwellgate Bridge are key elements in a burgeoning jazz scene to be found, and heard, in Dunelm House (Students’ Union), the Music Department up on Palace Green, the Gala Theatre, the county-wide Brass Festival, and the new Durham Jazz Festival with its many unusual venues which in its first year included a gig in a barber’s shop.
Earlier this year Group Theory played a superb gig at Newcastle’s Jazz Café and the opportunity to hear the quartet again just along the road at the Jazz Co-op was too good to pass up. Dan Garel is no stranger to the Jazz Café’s bi-monthly jam session and here at the Globe on Railway Street the alto saxophonist (and Group Theory’s composer) played two sets in the company of his old mate, Durham University Big Band drummer, Tristan Bacon, bassist Dylan Purches, and debutant Gibson guitar playing Tom Burgess.

The quartet’s setlist comprised the familiar – Garel’s compositions and a few standards. The select audience observed that Group Theory adhered to the ‘solo-head-solo-fours’ formula, but of interest beyond such strictures were Garel’s razor-sharp alto and Bacon’s frequent injection of hip-hop and drum ’n’ bass grooves. Symmetries (comp. D Garel) and Pumpkin Vermicelli (comp. D Garel) were in the set list earlier in the year and it was great to hear them again. New boy Tom Burgess played the gig seated, without a pick, studious rather than demonstrative. It would appear Tom has rapidly got his head around Dan’s compositional ideas, and perched (no pun intended) on a high bar stool,  bassist Dylan Purches played it straight down the line, unperturbed by Dan’s coruscating alto solos fizzing around the room.          

Garel’s ballad Signal Hill featured Bacon’s sustained brush work and fluent improvisation from the impressive Burgess. The quartet’s senior members, Garel and Bacon, brought in Stella by Starlight ahead of an insistent, urgent alto solo. A short interval, time enough to get to the bar, the choice an easy one; Another bottle of Black Sheep, Keith, thanks.

A new Garel tune with the working title Modal Composition resumed matters, Burgess hitting on a motif, then our altoist taking off once again. A new one, Circling Hours, then the familiar two-mallet, oh-so-slow number, Eight Weeks. Garel likes to play Have You Met Miss Jones? (Bacon doesn’t!), they played it, great stuff! To close this Jazz Co-op engagement, a ‘free groove’ number, possibly titled Free Groove. A slow fuse burner, Burgess impressed, likewise the quartet. Group Theory can be heard again early in the new year at the Jazz Café. Recommended.
Russell                                      

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