Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

Archive

2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Blues

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Cheltenham Jazz Festival. The Good, Rick Astley and the Ugly.

(By  Steve T)
Rick Astley was the main reason I was able to persuade long-suffering, real music widow Mrs T to spend four nights at a Jazz Festival in Cheltenham. In the end, we decided two tickets with restricted viewing just wasn't worth sticking around for.
It seems to me the Festival has taken a giant step this year. Ever since I read Bill Bruford's autobiography, in which he described it as one of the leading festivals in the country, I've made the trip when they've had two class acts close together, which they've generally managed, though it was much easier when my in-laws lived just a little further up the M6. This was the first year I've needed to stay longer.
The good was especially good: Nigel Kennedy originally doing Hendrix, but hey, Nigel Kennedy; rising guitar wizard Rob Luft (or risen trumpet star Laura Jurd); Christian McBride (nuff said); man of the moment Kamasi Washington and classic funk from Tower of Power.

Had I not been treated so shamefully, I'd have likely done Roller Trio, Andy Sheppard, Seun Kuti, Jordan Rakei, Empirical and Arun Ghosh at least.
The bad wasn't all that bad this year either. I could have quite fancied Randy Crawford and Corrine Bailey Rae. We almost saw Caro Emerald a while back and have seen Van Morrison and Imelda May, though not under the banner of Jazz. Apparently, Van (like Bob Dylan, Neil Young and the late Leonard Cohen) still thinks he ranks with Miles and Zappa, so he thinks he can be rude and turn his back on his audience - in his dreams.  

A couple of people couldn't believe I was going to see Rick. We've become so accustomed to popstars being terrible singers (see above), we automatically assume they all are. Astley is no Sinatra or Tom Jones, but nor is he Jagger or Bowie; maybe George Michael or Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet. 
We had a brief listen to rehearsals and he sounded in good voice doing something from the Great American Songbook. On return a little later he was doing a song I recognised, identified by Mrs T as one of his hits, but could just have easily been from the GAS. And of course, Ronnie Scott's Big Band sounded terrific.
I think the ugly has become so much worse this year because it no longer knows what it is or who it's for. On a scorching hot bank-holiday weekend, it's a massive event for the town and the local area. A small Co-op shop opposite the park took more money than every other Co-op in the country on Sunday, and the café in the park had its best day ever on Saturday, no doubt superseded on Sunday. But I know of some who travelled for the free stage who were disappointed, presumably because the whole area was completely rammed.
Lots of people come from all over to see the big names and take in some Jazz while they're there, using the programme as a guide and the wish-list, where they rank their preferences.
Then there's the Jazz people, who don't expect preferential treatment, but expect the Box Office to understand that we know what we want to do, and when we do what it takes to achieve that, if the Box Office cocks it up, it's not enough for them to just say 'tough'! But, once they've got your money they don't care; why should they when there are plenty more Van fans where they came from?
The line-up was excellent this year but will need to be spectacular in the future to ever get me back
Steve T.

No comments :

Blog Archive

Subscribe!