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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.)

Archive

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, November 14, 2017

Paul Gowland Quartet does Bird and the Noel Dennis Quartet does Miles @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle, November 12

Paul Gowland (alto), Jeremy McMurray (piano), Alan Rudd (bass), Ian Hetherington (drums).
Noel Dennis (trumpet, flugelhorn), Paul Edis (piano), Andy Champion (bass), Richard Brown (drums).
(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
Even my long-suffering wife, with a trip to Hull the night before, Glasgow this coming Tuesday, and the balance of power shifting back to my first love - soul music - knew she didn't stand a chance of getting me out of this one.
She even drove, bringing her curious liking for Bird, her enforced familiarity with Miles and her love, respect and gratitude for his lordship. Bird, Miles and four pints of blonde ale: what's not to like? As it happened, nothing.
I've long admired Paul Gowland's playing from the other side of the Newcastle Jazz Café on jam nights. He kept his intros to a minimum, in the tradition of prickly leaders like Bird and Miles, and I long since stopped trying to rack my brains identifying the titles of particular pieces. I was along for the ride, having a ball with short pieces, concise and effective solos from the sidemen, all of whom acquitted themselves splendidly.
Even without a love of Jazz, why would anybody not want to watch and listen to this, and I'm pleased to report many did with all seats occupied.
It took me a long time to fully appreciate the magnificence of Bird - in fact I got Duke before Bird - but Miles was instant. Had I not got Miles straight off, I may never have got past Jazz-funk and Jazz-rock.
Straight into it with So What. Would Noel go with the album or the video? Neither, genius, Mr AC digging it, Paul's perfect comping and Richard's drumming solid throughout. Boplicity has become the Birth of the Cool selection of choice, after Miles and Quincy Jones chose it for Montreux, shortly after the death of Gil Evans and not long before Miles died. A tough one for a single horn I imagine, now on flugel with Paul giving sterling support.
Seven Steps to Heaven was followed by their legendary mash-up of Blue in Green and Bitches Brew. I'm privileged to have seen it by a trio (with Paul and Andy), a quintet (add Mark Williams (guitar) and Adrian Tilbrook (drums), and now a quartet and it's always incredible. 
UNI from Star People, an album I have as part of a box set but haven't got to yet, before Paul joined them for Miles, sometimes known as the album title Milestones, which can cause confusion as there's an old Bird and Miles piece called Milestones.
In another lifetime this was the only Miles track anyone I knew had heard, which p!$$ed me off no end, but such was the nature of the northern soul derived acid/jazz/dance scene of the eighties.
Jazz North East normally looks forward, but it was great for them to pay tribute to two of the genuine cornerstones of C20th music, and I hope they do similar events in the future.
Awesome, exceptional, incredible.
Steve T

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