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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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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!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Chris Biscoe; Roger Turner ; John Pope. A Jazz North East 'On the Outside' performance @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - December 3

Chris Biscoe - tenor and alto sax, alto clarinet; Roger Turner - drums; John Pope – bass.  
(Review/photo courtesy of Ken Drew.)
Chris Biscoe & Roger Turner played their first duo gig in 1967 and this tour of five cities around the UK sees them working with local musicians, making each performance a unique event due to the differing range of instruments.  Biscoe and Turner, "The Collaborators" were joined tonight by John Pope with the aim of having open minds in the spirit of pure improvisation. This tremendous improvising threesome first came together four years ago after internationally acclaimed percussionist Roger Turner heard Newcastle bassist John Pope as part of a band, and was so impressed he suggested that they should play together. The brilliant reeds player Chris Biscoe was recruited to form a trio which made its debut at Sage Gateshead as part of a double bill with the Anglo-French quartet Sonsale.   And now, four years later, they share the stage again.
 Set 1 -  A blistering start from the off, quite high energy from the trio for a long while, until the pace slowed, with a bass solo from Pope followed by Turner reinforcing his presence. Then, with Biscoe included, all three once more turned up the heat. A longer, slow, meditative section ensued, Pope taking to the bow on occasion. Biscoe and Pope then quietly held back to let Turner take the focus with a short solo, but as the pace quickens, Pope reaches for a drum mallet (yes, he's still on bass!) and, along with Biscoe, joins in a lengthy rapid-fire section.  The energy of the trio was blistering.  Biscoe signalled a slowing down giving Turner the opportunity to take the lead in a very exploratory section, using 'other' devices to good percussive effect.  After some time, Biscoe breaks free, sax screaming, with Pope not far behind. Soon, the trio's frenzy returns, and in time it dissipates into a slowly fading end signalled by Biscoe and forcibly stopped by Turner with a final 'thump' on the drums. What an energetic first piece. Actually, it was the whole of the first set !! 

Set 2 began with a lively start from Biscoe on alto clarinet. Quickly the pace builds, Biscoe having swapped screaming sax for the strong overtones on the alto clarinet. After some time, the clarinet is swapped for a soprano sax bringing a different mood to the piece. By the next bass solo, Pope was pouring his energy into double bass, leading this section but not overly dominating it, Biscoe having swapped again back to bass clarinet to take off some of the heat from Pope.  Another fine extended piece of pure improvisation.

I presume it was quite a privilege for John Pope to be playing as part of this trio - he certainly stepped up to the plate and looked to be enjoying it. Notably, each member of the group played in equal measure - none were 'out in front'. Indeed, there was no significant leader, the group operating as a performer's co-operative, and worked very well on that basis.  Overall, Biscoe introduced many new ideas as the pieces progressed and developed, always making good use of his formidable technique and demonstrating his thoughtful approach, angular yet melodic, and unfailingly accessible.  Yet Biscoe never overpowered or stole the limelight, always leaving ample space for Pope and Turner to contribute, and for each to take the lead when the piece moved in their direction. Turner's dynamic contribution was everpresent, showing immense subtlety, and Pope gave his all with superbly inventive and energetic solo sections.  Not surprisingly, the audience's expectation was met - they had formed a cohesive, highly energised unit, but allowed themselves ample freedom to explore the material as it unfolded.  The visiting band members really enjoyed this venue and the performance. The decent sized audience were very appreciative too, snapping up CDs as they left.
Ken.

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