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Bebop Spoken There

Jennifer Wharton: "People forget that the trombone is so glorious. It can be like going to church, or getting ready for battle. It can be a lot of things....For a longtime I was the only female trombonist in New York," - (DownBeat May 2021)

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13,218 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 637 of them this year alone and, so far, 45 this month (May 11).

2021 APPJAG (All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group)

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May 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (weather, unfortunately, not permitting). CANCELLED!

May 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (Indoors!)
May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 21: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).
June 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Bradley Johnston @ The Fire Station, Sunderland - Feb 4

Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell)
Metro on time, weather fine, a stroll up the road to the Fire Station, a now familiar early Sunday evening routine. The Fire Station stands on High Street West, the heart of Sunderland’s rapidly developing ‘cultural quarter’ boasting site-specific artworks, the imposing Empire Theatre, nice pubs, restaurants and a hotel. And there is more to come. The Auditorium, a 450 capacity new build venue scheduled to open next year, will offer a state of the art performance space – good news for musicians! One top class musician is ahead of the game as guitarist Bradley Johnston recently commenced a weekly residency at the impressive, recently renovated Fire Station. 
On entering the bar/restaurant our man Bradley Johnston was in full flow. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, How High the Moon?, They Can’t Take That Away From Me. Sinking into a comfortable armchair next to Bradley’s performance platform, the thought occurred that one could settle in for the night. Perhaps that is the Fire Station’s cunning little plan! Misty, One Note Samba, Have You Met Miss Jones? – all impeccably played, think Joe Pass, that’ll give you an idea of what Brad is about on this gig.

The Beatles have long since been an abundant source of material for jazz musicians, particularly guitarists, to rearrange, reharmonise and improvise to until the cows come home. Brad picked up his six-string acoustic to play something by the Fab Four, And I Love Her and In My Life arranged respectively by Messrs P Metheny and B Johnston. The man Metheny is keeping good company!  

Brad played three sets during the evening, the intervals an opportunity to eat, then meet up with friends and, this evening, ‘Miss’ was in the house. ‘Miss’ being a former school teacher of Brad’s. Now they’re on first name terms.

A bluesy A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, Cherokee, These Foolish Things segueing into a samba then Georgia and The Very Thought of You. The artistry, invention and seamless transition from one number to another, this was a master guitarist at work. Mr Metheny’s Farmer’s Trust had to be in there somewhere and it was. Beautiful Love – what a tune! – then Harold Arlen’s Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, one could listen to this stuff all night…ah! the Fire Station’s plan was working a treat as the only reason to rise from the armchair comfort was to go to the bar again.

Satin Doll (comp Ellington/Strayhorn), James’ Waltz (comp B Johnston), the latter rightly taking its place in a long list of tunes played during the evening. As nine o’clock approached Brad played an exquisite version of Over the Rainbow. If jazz guitar is your thing do get along to the Fire Station, Sundays at six. Highly recommended.       

Russell.        

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

They were the worst singers and worst songwriters in the world too.

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