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Bebop Spoken There

Giovanni Guidi: "So many jazz albums today are all original compositions, and five minutes after the record is finished, you can't remember a single song. I think it's a problem." - (JazzTimes Oct. 2019).

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Friday October 18

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see above).

Classic Swing - Jesmond Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond Avenue, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 3EX. Tel: 0191 281 0736. 1:00pm. Free.

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

Evening.

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things - Forum Cinema, Market Place, Hexham NE46 1XF. Tel: 01434 601144. 7:00pm. £8.30. - £5.80. Film (2019, 89 mins) directed by Leslie Woodhead. Swing Bridge Trio in Café Bar following screening.

Dave O’Higgins & Colin Oxley - Great Broughton Village Hall, Ingleby Road, Great Broughton TS9 7ER. 7:30pm. £20.00. ‘O’Higgins & Oxley Play Monk & ‘Trane’. Oxley replaces Rob Luft.

Paul Taylor - Ushaw College, Durham DH7 7DW. Tel: 0191 334 5119. 7:30pm. Free (donations). An Ushaw Piano Festival event.

Jazz Lads - Saltburn Cricket Club, Marske Mill Lane, Saltburn TS12 1HJ. Tel: 01287 622761. 8:00pm. £5.00.

Guisborough Big Band - Saltburn Golf Club, Guisborough Road, Saltburn TS12 1NJ. Tel: 01287 622812. Time TBC.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. Time 8:30pm. Screening of Stanley Nelson's documentary film (2019, cert. 15, 1hr 55mins).

Blues/Soul etc.

Ray Stubbs R & B All Stars - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Friday, December 08, 2017

The Zoë Gilby University Group - “Constellation Jam" @ Jazz Café - December 1

Zoë Gilby (Mentor and Vocals) / Grace Alexander (Keyboard) / Ross Barnes (Bass) / Oliver Cobb (Guitar) / Amber Cox (Vocals) / Will Earl (Drums & Percussion) / Chris McMahon (Drums & Percussion)
 (Review/photos by Ken Drew)
“For the past four weeks, vocalist and songwriter Zoë Gilby has been running a series of workshops for the postgraduate music students of Newcastle University, culminating in this final performance for the students "History of Jazz" module.  Also, as part of Jazz North East’s ‘Women Make Music' series, this composition Constellation Jam illustrates the evolving nature of jazz.  Accepting no boundaries, the constant progression of this particular genre of music has entertained and inspired modern popular music and beyond.  The concept of this piece highlights the importance and integral need for jazz to be always changing. Often not to everyone’s taste, but never compromising, always a curious adventure.”
Not only was this the first performance of this piece, they were being videoed too. Also, the young performers were being assessed as part of their degree course as they played!   Over four workshop sessions with Gilby, in as many weeks, they wrote this piece about the history and evolution of Jazz.  Starting straight in with a song led by Cox which developed nicely with Earl and McMahon providing the rhythm and Barnes solidly on bass.  This was an intriguingly catchy tune, simple but very effective, giving quite a powerful start.  Then into a slower section of improvised vocalese with Gilby leading and bringing out the improvised nature of the piece. It soon became apparent that there were several sections to this single piece, so, many segues ensued, including some vocalese from Gilby.

Then a long section of keys (Alexander) and guitar (Cobb) followed by percussion, building to a crescendo with all, then onto a gentle, quiet song eventually building to its own crescendo. This then segued into a sole percussion section (notwithstanding the vocal contributions from Gilby and Cox). The final section was a good combination of improvisation including spoken word which gave quite a contemporary urban feel to the piece, slowing down and finally fading to a close.

Overall, there seemed to be a good level of improvisation during the piece, with a well-composed structure, and a nice ‘feel’ to it throughout.  The six music students worked hard, concentrating even harder and working well together as the piece progressed. Their leader/mentor was always there to guide, occasionally leading, but always inspirational. It would have been interesting to have been at the four workshop sessions which led to this performance just to see how the individuals, the group overall and the final composition had developed. But their live performance was fine and well appreciated by the audience.  Possibly two small things to comment on. The sound balance across the band could have been a little better, although I don’t think we missed anything. And maybe each performer could, in general, have given a bit more dynamic expression to give a bigger impact to their contribution and to the overall sound of the piece.  Maybe this translates to playing to the audience rather than across the stage.  Still, what a terrific 45-minute uninterrupted piece, and all their own work!!!

Afterthought:   This long piece made a big impact, and is worthy of being heard again. Hopefully, it will. And given that these young players are still on their Uni music course, this could perhaps be quickly followed by a day in the recording studio to give them the experience too of producing their very own CD. Just sayin’.  Hopefully, it could happen!
Ken

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance