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Bebop Spoken There

Paul Edis: "One of the regulars at The Gala today called me a 'turncoat' and another a 'deserter' - that's a very northern way of displaying affection in response to the news that I'm leaving the area. 'They're vicious down there mind you'. " - (Twitter January24, 2020)

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Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Today Saturday January 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Tees Valley Jazzmen - Hammer & Pincers, Preston Lane, Preston-le-Skerne, Newton Aycliffe DL5 6JH. Tel: 01325 314873. 1:00pm. £2.00.

Evening

Shirt Tail Stompers - Durham Town Hall, Durham DH1 3NJ. 7:30-11:15pm. £25.00. (£20.00. adv.). DJam 2020: Lindy Hop Festival ‘Masquerade Ball’. Line-up inc. Michael McQuaid (reeds), Nick Ball (drums). A Lindy Jazz event.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Broken Levee + John Carroll - Saltburn Cricket Club, Marske Mill Lane, Saltburn TS12 1HJ. 7:30pm (doors). £10.00. Info & tickets: 07960 935263. Saltburn Blues Club.

Ojay - Outstanding Art, North Road, Durham DH1 4SQ. Tel: 0191 649 0553. 8:00pm. Free. Electric bassist Ojay.

Raggy Ass Boys - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

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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