Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Dayna Stephens: "I always tell them [students] there will never be anyone who will play it [EWI] as technically proficient as this cat [Michael Brecker] did." - (JazzTimes June 2019).

Archive

Today Tuesday June 25

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, 59 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free. Trio Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

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

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Francis Tulip Quartet @ Empty Shop - Dec 20

Francis Tulip (guitar), Joel Brown (keyboards), Michael Dunlop (bass) & Matt MacKellar (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
Four globe-trotting young musicians hooked-up once again to play the first of four gigs in the region over the festive break. By way of London, Birmingham, Boston (Mass. USA) and downtown Whitley Bay, Francis, Joel, Michael and Matt were playing their first gig together in six months since leaving to further their jazz studies. Durham’s Empty Shop was anything but – empty, that is. Most seats in the first-floor performance space were occupied, this despite the mass exodus of Durham’s student population over the holiday period.

Benny Golson’s Stablemates for starters, the Francis Tulip Quartet picked up where they left off, in a in a word, the lads were ‘cooking’. Francis’ new-found inspiration, guitarist Gilad Hekselman, was in the setlist and the first of two compositions – Purim – perhaps owed something to Chick Corea’s  Return to Forever. ‘Time for a ballad’ said bandleader Francis. Body and Soul – terrific! With chops in check, this fine reading of a classic tune featured drummer Matt MacKellar’s brushes with pianist Joel Brown and bassist Michael Dunlop offering sensitive contributions.

Francis likes Monk, everyone likes Monk, let’s hear Jackie-ing. The quartet’s Jazz Co-op gig earlier in the year produced some brilliant work from Matt and this Empty Shop renewal sought to revisit a highlight of the year. Matt, pre-Berklee, brought the house down on that memorable occasion, here in Durham, some four months on from first arriving at Berklee College of Music, he did it again! And what’s more, as was evident at Tuesday’s Jazz Café jam session, he’s upped his game adding one or two tricks to his already formidable arsenal; there is a new-found dynamism, if the chart at hand requires drive and direction Matt doesn’t hesitate, kicking bass drum and an accenting snap on the snare.

A marvellous first set drew to a close with Cole Porter’s All of You followed by Caravan in 12/8. The fact that it was in 12/8 was probably neither here nor there for most in the audience, what mattered was it sounded great!

Empty Shop proprietor Carlo said he was most impressed. Durham’s hidden gem (don’t tell anyone that this marvellous latter-day speakeasy can be found at 35c Framwellgate Bridge) has supported the local jazz scene since opening its doors and there is a full programme in place for 2018. And as jazz night MC Tony Eales is fond of saying: Jazz is good for you!

Second set: Wayne Shorter and Joe Henderson with another Gilad Hekselman number in between ensured the standard didn’t slip. Shorter’s Yes or No, Henderson’s Black Narcissus, with fine solos from young buck pianist Joel Brown and Birmingham Conservatoire’s Tulip. Brown and Tulip made further, first-rate lyrical contributions on Hekeslman’s March of the Sad Ones.

Guildhall student Michael Dunlop doesn’t do flash, or, more likely, resists the temptation, but he did step up to the plate to play a telling five-string solo on In Walked Bud with Tulip, in the groove, able to quote, at a lick, a la Jim Mullen, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Time was pressing, Joel Brown had a train to catch (it’s a schlep up to the station lugging a Casio keyboard!)* but time enough for the lads to play, as Tulip called it, a ‘roastie’ of a tune in Christian McBride’s Interlude. Perhaps not quite ‘eyeballs-out’ but swift enough! All featured with Berklee student Matt MacKellar killing on kit. The northbound to Newcastle was fast approaching but Casio Joel hung around long enough for a ‘tear-arse’ finale. Coltrane’s Impressions could be considered as the band’s party piece. Absolutely brilliant playing all round.

Gig number two of the tour is tomorrow night (Friday 22 Dec) at Newcastle’s Jazz Café. It’s a nine o’clock start, a mere fiver admission (four quid concessions), Santa hats optional. A late addition to the tour schedule is a Darlington Jazz Club gig at the Quakerhouse, Sunday 14 January (6:00pm).                            
So, that’s Newcastle Dec 22, Hexham’s Fox Inn Jan 9, and Darlington Jan 14. Do get along to hear the Francis Tulip Quartet.
Russell 
* Joel accepted Christine’s kind offer of a lift to the station, arriving in good time to catch the northbound express. The spirit of Christmas!          
                                    

1 comment :

Steve T said...

He did a masterclass with Gilad so knew the stuff. Like most, he's into Rosenwinkel(picker) who he considers the greatest since McLaughlin, which many will find audacious, and some blasphemous.
Loved the new intro and outro to Impressions.

Blog Archive