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Bebop Spoken There

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

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Today Thursday December 12

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 12:00pm. Free.

Note earlier time for this week only!

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Evening

Jazz

Hot Club du Nord - Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Willerby Drive, Peterlee SR8 2RN. Tel: 0191 518 2000. 7:00pm. £10.00. (£5.00. under 18s). 'Jazz at the Lubetkin'.

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). ‘Gala Big Band Does Christmas’.

Durham University Big Band - Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. Tel: 0191 334 1777. Free. 7:30pm. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£2.00. student).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Blues/Soul/Funk/Etc.

?????

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

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Daniel Levin (cello) + Squeteague @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - March 4

Squeteague Graeme Wilson (saxes); Andy Champion (bass); Stu Brown (drums)
(Review/photos by Steve H)
What a fabulous night of improvised music the capacity audience experienced at The Bridge on Sunday night. Headliner Daniel Levin had not appeared in Newcastle since the ‘On the Outside’ festival of 2009 and one can only say his return to the North East was an absolute triumph.
The cello is one of the most beautiful of classical instruments able to evoke vibrancy and melancholy in equal measure; however, it is not commonly featured in the world of jazz compared to its smaller cousin the violin.  Why this is so I am not sure, but if there was a free jazz ambassador for this instrument Daniel Levin would surely be it. One of the joys of his performance was simply not knowing what was going to happen next, for there were classical, minimalist, free, gentle and ferocious sections throughout.
Levin seemed to employ every single part of the cello, sometimes several at the same time, as he plucked, bowed, tweaked and rapped the instrument. Anyone not in the room could have been forgiven if they had thought there was more than one player on stage. The effect was both riveting and mesmerising.
Levin also added his own unique percussion effects to proceedings. These included ‘cutting’ the air with his bows and the use of what I thought at first was his setlist. Several pieces of note paper were torn, rustled and shuffled to great visual and percussive effect.  A wonderful performance which I believe surpassed many people’s already high expectations of what the evening would deliver.
The interval saw the launch of a new career as Zoe Gilby turned auctioneer extraordinaire as she expertly auctioned off a Gina Southgate print of an original painted at the ‘On The Outside’ festival in 2009. The print featured not only Daniel Levin but also Andy Champion who was to perform with Squeteague in the second half of this double bill.
Squeteague came together in Glasgow in 2017 for a one-off gig but enjoyed it so much they decided to do it again. Jazz North East were happy to fulfil this desire. After the pyrotechnics of Daniel Levin, it took me a while to get into the set but once I did I thoroughly enjoyed this skilful and sometimes funky free improv combo. At the end of the Squeteague’s set Daniel Levin was asked to join the trio and what followed were two absolutely stupendous pieces of improvised music. At the conclusion of the performance, the audience seemed completely spellbound having been party to a memorable and life-affirming evening of contemporary jazz.
Steve H.

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