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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie Paris: "A singer's got to be able to tell a story. Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole are best at that; Mel Tormé too. I like to take a lyric that means something and sing it right to the person it was meant for." - (DownBeat October 11, 1962).

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 Tuesday September 17

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Acoustic Infusion with the Mighty Horns - Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm (doors 7:00pm). £5.00. Rick Laughlin & co.

Strictly Smokin’ Sessions - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £8.00. & £6.00.

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 819845. 8:00pm. £4.00. Guest: Don Armstrong (reeds). Note earlier start.

Blues

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

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Paul Skerritt Band @ Ashington Jazz Club - April 4

Paul Skerritt (vocals); James Harrison (piano); Anth Ord (bass); Tom Chapman (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
It was a rainy night in mid-Northumberland as the Paul Skerritt Band returned to Ashington Jazz Club some thirteen months on from a successful appearance at the Elephant public house. Jazz fans in this part of the world like Paul Skerritt and the boys and nonstop rain wasn’t to deter them.

The upstairs room of the Newbiggin Road hostelry filled up nicely as vocalist Paul Skerritt took to the stage right on time. Skerritt’s professional approach is part of the package and with his fellow musicians booted and suited a poignant opening number, What a Wonderful World, remembered two stalwarts of the regional jazz scene –  Ashington Jazz Club’s co-founder Bill Stafford and the highly respected multi-reedsman Derek Fleck who performed at the club on many occasions. 

From Curtis Stigers to Nat Cole to Lerner and Loewe’s Almost Like Being in Love, Skerritt knew what the audience wanted and duly came up with the goods. The quartet is one of friends as Paul has, seemingly, established a telepathic relationship with pianist James Harrison. They play with a sense of fun, but don’t be fooled, the musicianship is of the highest quality, and that goes for Anth Ord, bass, and drummer Tom Chapman. Amiability, good times, they’ve got it in spades, however, Gregory Porter’s committed, passionate Take Me to the Alley revealed another dimension to Paul, James, Anth and Tom. Their collective sensitivity in interpreting Porter’s song – with pianist James Harrison crafting a masterful solo – confirmed they can play heavyweight material when required.

Harold Arlen’s It’s Only a Paper Moon followed by Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine offered yet more evidence of the PSB’s ability to switch from wonderful GASbook frivolity to the heart-felt lyric: Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone. Marvin Gaye (How Sweet It Is), typical, welcome fayre, then to end the first set, a mega-pop hit – Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off – featuring James Harrison’s Teesside, as opposed to Harlem, stride piano playing. And would you believe it, Skerritt opened the second set with another huge chart success?! But wait…there was the little matter of the all-important interval raffle and your reviewer’s companion drew the winning ticket for one lucky Northumbrian jazz fan.

Those of a Postmodern Jukebox persuasion would have been up and onto the dance floor as Paul and the boys launched into their second set with Meghan Trainor’s global hit All About That Bass. Our frontman hit Ashington’s sweet spot singing the verse to Fly Me to the Moon (…in other words, baby, kiss me) then stood to one side, casually leaning Rat Pack-style on his mic stand, as the trio stretched out in swinging style. Sway, Orange Colored Sky, the Elephant’s audience lapped it up. Tom Chapman featured on I’m Beginning to See the Light – TC is on the list of top rate drummers working across the region and further afield. Skerritt kidded the band that he’d take The Lady is a Tramp at a ridiculous lick, counting them in: ‘Two, three four’ – only to relent, but, no mistake, they, were ready for it, but he was joking, neatly referring to himself as the ‘gentleman’ being the ‘tramp’ and, as if to prove a point, the trio briefly went double swing time – these boys can play, big time!

Time was pressing, and true to form, the Paul Skerritt Band obliged, finishing its set right on time with a stylish Puttin on the Ritz and the ‘having a good time’ closer Let the Good Times Roll.       
 Russell
 
            






            

1 comment :

peter sanderson said...

This evening was a wonderful tribute to the AJC in celebrating 36 years presenting great music from Jazz musicians in the North East.

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About this blog - contact details.

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