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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Dee: "I feel my generation had one advantage over today's players in that we were not musically educated in colleges, so we all sounded different. I could tell who it was just by the sound." - (Jazz Rag, Summer 2020).

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

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SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

SATURDAY

Happy Birthday Katy Trigger & Mia Webb.

SUNDAY 20

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. Tel: 0191 691 7090. 12 noon. Free.

Riviera Quartet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. A limited number of seats are available which MUST be bought in advance online. £7:50 or £5:45 live stream only.

THURSDAY 24

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Alex Hitchcock Quintet @ the Jazz Café – May 17

Alex Hitchcock (tenor sax); James Copus (trumpet & flugelhorn); Will Barry (piano); Jay Davis (drums); Conor Chaplin (bass)
(Review by Steve H/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew) 
This was the third time in a week that  I had attended a Jazz North East gig. The first two, Deep Cabaret and Malby, Bonnet & Darrifourcq, although completely different in content, were both absolutely superb. Could the last in the triumvirate match the variety and quality of its predecessors? I am very happy to report that it did so and in spades. Although possibly the most conventional of the three, the jazz being of the ‘straight ahead’ type,  the enthusiasm and the calibre of both the music and the performers made it another night to remember.
All five were marvellous, from Hitchcock's very first tenor solo, Gift Horse, onwards.

Will Barry on electric piano was fabulous and I would really love to hear him on a ‘proper’ piano such as a concert grand. Conor Chaplin, a frequent visitor to Tyneside, most recently with Laura Jurd’s Dinosaur, was brilliant particularly considering he was deputising for regular bass player Joe Downard (apparently he was on his stag night).
Drummer Jay Davis kept things rockin’ all night and also contributed some very impressive solos. Although not wanting to single anyone out in such a fine quintet, James Corpus on trumpet and flugelhorn simply blew the audience away. If there is a more exciting and finer trumpeter currently on the circuit, I would be amazed. However, having praised all the soloists it was actually in the ensemble playing that I found the music most enjoyable. The tunes, all original, were catchy and well crafted. Hitchcock came over as a very charming and affable fellow when introducing the numbers.
Two deserve a special mention because of their backstory.  Wojciech is named after a Polish tobacco salesman who kept on delivering shots of top quality vodka to the band during a show in Krakow. After the gig he took them to a club and at some point revealed to the band a revolver on one hip and a full magazine on the other.
Being a Brentford fan, Hamburg 2010 was a little more problematic, as it references Fulham’s UEFA cup final appearance in 2010 and in particular their fullback at the time John Pantsil who had a curious habit of doing a lap of honour before and after the game regardless of the result. As it happens, the Cottagers lost the final so I was still able to enjoy the tune. I did mention to Alex after the gig that if I had known he was a Fulham fan I wouldn’t have come to the gig which would have been more fool me for I would have missed a thoroughly entertaining and top class evening.

Steve H.

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