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Bebop Spoken There

Guy Barker: "You have to play it [the trumpet] every day or you just won't be match-fit." - (Jazz Rag, Winter 2019.)

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Today Friday December 13

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux CarréJazzmen - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. ‘Christmas Jazz Lunch’. Details from 0191 252 9429).

Dean Stockdale Trio - The Merry Monk, 30 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening.

Jazz

‘An Evening of Swing & Sparkle’ - National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0GL. Tel: 0191 515 5555. 7:30pm. £35.00. Rat Pack evening inc. 4-course meal.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. First night of two.

Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Orchestra - Yarm School, Stockton TS15 9EJ. Tel: 01642 786023. 7:30pm (6:30pm doors). £18.00. + £1.80. bf (£15.00. + £1.50. bf). 'Mistletoe & Miller'.

Blues, Funk/Soul etc.

Baghdaddies - Cobalt Studios, Boyd Street, NewcastleNE2 1AP. £10.68 (inc. bf). ‘Big Xmas Knees Up’.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

George Shovlin & the Acoustic Radars feat. Pat Rafferty + George Pallas & John Wilkins - Whitburn Cricket Club, East Street, Whitburn SR6 7BZ. Tel: 0191 529 3187. 7:30pm (7:00pm doors). £7.50. admission by ticket only (from www.wegottickets.com). 'The Bents Road Sessions'.

Dead Skunk Skiffle & Blues Orchestra + Stetson Five - Station East, Hills Street, Gateshead NE8 2AN. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thundercat @ O2 Glasgow - November 14

If the West Coast Get Down is a modern-day P Funk, Thundercat is clearly Bootsy Collins, though on stage he looked more like some glitter rock throwback. While all the P Funk bands essentially played funk, there was inevitably loads of jazz, oodles of rock and no small amount of silliness, which belied the undeniable musicality of it all.
The West Coast Get Down, of which Thundercat is an affiliate member, incorporates hip-hop, which is more or less equal parts P Funk James Brown, street funk, reggae DJing and, apparently Gil Scott Heron, jazz, and modern production techniques.
It's an oversimplification to accuse Thundercat of producing pop-funk but it's essentially song-based music but there's plenty of jazz in there too, though more the fusion varieties, rock and funk. Many of the songs went into very intricate freaked out free-form jams which hung together as if by magic. The drummer operated at full pelt throughout and the keyboardist wasn't far behind, with a violinist getting sounds prog rock and Jazz-rock fiddlers could never have imagined in the early seventies.
The man played a six string bass and also stretched it way beyond Larry Graham, Bootsy, Stanley Clark and Jaco, but with the funk only coming through intermittently, and I thought a relentless get down would have been nice.
His voice was actually better live than on record, especially on Marvin Gaye style forced falsetto, though apart from 'awesome' and his increasing use of the f word, I couldn't really understand anything, either spoken or sang, which seems to be a feature of O2s.
My favourite Thundercat track is Oh sheit it's X and I was beginning to think it isn't rated by the faithful when he played it last before returning for an encore of two more songs.
The place was full of studenty types, too cool for the latest guitar bands, and a few oldies desperately trying to hang on to some long lost semblance of cool. though we managed to find some seats with a direct view of the stage.
You travel to Hull to see an artist many consider one of the worlds leading guitarists and one of the greatest living jazz artists, and you travel to Glasgow to see the latest 'new hope' but a better night than either was had on the doorstep by two quartets of local alleycats paying tribute to a pair of giants.
That New Dawn I still live in hope of hasn't quite broken yet.
Steve T.

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