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Bebop Spoken There

Cécile McLorin Salvant: "She [Melissa Aldana] makes us realise how terrible it is to be complacent." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Thursday June 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Arc, Dovecot St., Stockton on Tees TS18 1LL. Tel: 01642 525199. 7:00pm. £12.00. + £0.10. bf. ‘Jazz & Tapas’ - booking essential.

Ruth Lambert Quartet - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00.

Heller-Glendinning: Billie Meets Kurt - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm (doors). £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Acoustic Infusion - The Forum, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £5.00. Line-up: Alan Thompson (tenor sax); Rick Laughlin (piano); Bruce Rollo (double bass); Ian Halford (drums). Now Abbie Finn on drums.

Durham University Concert Band + Grollingwood Big Band - Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ. 7:30pm. £10.00., £9.00., £8.00.

Durham University Big Band - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00 concs.). JNE.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax), Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

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

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

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

Saturday, April 07, 2018

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ The Lit & Phil - April 6

James Birkett (guitar) & Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell) 
Brilliant, simply brilliant. As an hors-d'oeuvre to this weekend’s Gateshead International Jazz Festival this duo performance by master guitarists James Birkett and Bradley Johnston was of exceptional quality. We in the northeast of England could quite easily become blasé about the number of first-rate guitarists on our doorstep. Two of the very best entertained a full house at Newcastle’s Literary and Philosophical Society and there was the added dimension to today ’s hour-long programme being performed in its entirety on guitars especially made for them by a master luthier, Mr Jeongwoo Cho (www.jwc-guitars.com).

One can’t imagine master guitarists suffering from stage fright and to open this afternoon’s set Birkett and Johnston faced-down any such terrors by playing Stage Fright (comp. McDonough
& Kress). Benny Carter’s Only Trust Your Heart (sage advice?) then another Dick McDonough
- Carl Kress number followed by the delightfully titled Chicken a la Swing. All were exceptional.    

Michel Colombier’s Emmanuel is a recent addition to the Birkett-Johnston setlist and the Love Theme from the hugely successful film Cinema Paradiso offered further new material. Top rank jazz numbers occupied much of the rest of the programme – Waltz for Debby (comp. B Evans), perhaps the tune of the day Artillerie Lourde (comp. D. Reinhardt), Always and Forever (comp.
Pat Metheny) and Jimmy Giuffre’s much-loved Four Brothers. Birkett and Johnston conjure the most amazing solos and their rhythm guitar playing is to die for. Such is their level of ability the
duo will sometimes play a whole number without so much as a glance, trusting in one another, secure in the knowledge that they’ve been here before and can play anything and it’ll work.

If Artillerie Lourde took the honours as the performance of the day then the finale – Django’s Swing

42 – ran it a close second. Guitar playing to marvel at, James Birkett and Bradley Johnston are, come to think of it, second to none. 
Russell                       

1 comment :

Roly said...

As you say Russell, brilliant. The performance ranged from exquisite to dazzling.

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