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Bebop Spoken There

Kenny Davern: "Now I like traditional jazz, but I don't like Dixieland per se, and the reason is that there's not enough ensemble playing or interplay." - (Melody Maker September 22, 1979)

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Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

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11,807 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1047 of them this year alone and, so far, 74 this month (Sept. 28).

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IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON.

OCTOBER

THURSDAY 1

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

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Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00 -10:00pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish. CANCELLED! Back on October 8

Smoove & Turrell (Unplugged) - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 7:00pm (6:00pm doors). £25.00. Limited capacity, book at www.hoochiecoochie.co.uk.

FRIDAY 2

Smoove & Turrell (Unplugged) - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 7:00pm (6:00pm doors). £25.00. Limited capacity, book at www.hoochiecoochie.co.uk. SOLD OUT!

Lee Bates - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm-10:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity. A Blind Pig Blues Club event.

SATURDAY 3

Emma Wilson Blues Band - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7DN. 8:00pm. Limited capacity, in the first instance register for the live stream (£5.45.) at: www.jazzcoop.

SUNDAY 4

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Tel: 0191 691 7090. Free.

Gerry Richardson Quintet - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7DN. 8:00pm. Limited capacity, in the first instance register for the live stream (£5.45.) at: www.jazzcoop. The band’s 25th anniversary celebrations!

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Ayanna Witter-Johnson @ The Black Swan December 7

Ayanna Witter-Johnson (cello/keys/voice).
(Review by Steve H/photo courtesy of Mike Tilley from archives)
Ayanna Witter-Johnson made a more than welcome return to Newcastle at The Black Swan, virtually a year after appearing the Jazz Café. Everything I said in the review of that gig still applies The audience ….. were rewarded with a performance of charm, elegance, and sheer quality’. Her performance on Thursday night seemed to be more relaxed and confident than previously and there were some new songs to appreciate and enjoy. A measure of just how comfortable Witter-Johnson felt on stage was that she invited questions from the audience in between numbers. 
Two questions were asked about the history of Reuben her beloved cello which we found out was originally loaned and then subsequently purchased from her headmaster at secondary school. A lot of the self-penned songs are autobiographical referring to relationships past and present. One composition Romeo was a commission from the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company which featured many of the bard's most famous works. 
A traditional Jamaican call and response song  Hill an Gully gave the gave the audience the opportunity to participate in proceedings. As a tribute to the 100th anniversary of Ella’s birth, a moving version of Misty was performed. One of the advantages of performing in the larger venue of the Black Swan as opposed to the Jazz Café was that it allowed Witter-Johnson to use the large stage to great effect. Her main stance was standing upright at a microphone whilst accompanying herself on Reuben but this was only one of the performance positions adopted. Reuben was played lying on the floor, guitar like on the lap and at one point Witter-Johnson curled herself downwards and sung into the cello mike. The only method not employed seemed to be the classical one of cello being rested on chest whilst being sat down on a chair. However, she did adopt a more conventional style when playing the keyboard on a selection of numbers. 
The final scheduled piece of the evening was a non-reggae cover of Bob Marley’s One Love but luckily for the select and highly appreciative audience, they managed to coax one more tune. Unconditionally dedicated to her mother which seemed only fair since her father had previously had a song Chariot honouring him. A really entertaining evening and I look forward to not only seeing Witter-Johnson back in Newcastle again but also to see her becoming a major star on the British music scene which her talent and personality surely deserve.
Steve H.

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