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Bebop Spoken There

Anat Cohen: "With the tenor, it's so iconic with jazz. With the clarinet, I can improvise, but it doesn't have to be called jazz." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Tuesday June 18

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

Lickety Split - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 813983 (info). 8:00pm. £5.00. (inc raffle). Line-up inc special guests Don Fairley (trombone) & Maureen Hall (vocals).

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

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hand to Mouth @ The Dun Cow - May 30

 Lindsay Hannon (vocal); Bradley Johnston (guitar).
(Review by Lance).
Delightful!
I could end the review now for that one word sums up a session that had indeed been – delightful!
However, my readers, hopefully, want more i.e. what made it so delightful?
It all began about 40 years ago when Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass recorded the first of a series of duo albums that became genre classics. Until recently, they were hallowed ground where angels feared to tread but, with the (Joe) passage of time, the realisation that this was relatively unploughed pastures encouraged newer faces to explore the source material.
To my ears, none have done it better than Hannon and Johnston or, to give them their official title, Hand to Mouth.
This was proven tonight when they held the small, but attentive, audience in the palm of their hands. For me it was the first time in living memory that I’ve attended a pub gig where the performers were shown such undivided attention that, had someone dropped a pin, it would have sounded like a Buddy Rich drum solo.

Needless to say, the silence was well and truly broken by the applause at the end of each number.
Lindsay makes no attempt to emulate Ella, who could? Lindsay is Lindsay and if there are any extraneous influences then perhaps a hint of Anita O’Day occasionally seeps in in the way that both singers take outrageous liberties with melody and lyric that, nevertheless, always seems to work.
Bradley too is his own man. He’s absorbed the Joe Pass approach and, via a glance at Pat Metheny, tailored it to suit – he wears it well.

The material was, in the main, familiar without being hackneyed: Take Love Easy; Dindi; Don’t Be That Way; Willow Weep For me; I Love Being Here with You; I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But the Blues; The Very Thought of You and I Can’t Escape from You
Amazingly, I couldn’t recall this latter number even though it was written in 1936 by Leo Robin and Richard Whiting and sung by Bing in the film Rhythm on the Range. It’s a lovely song and yet, back in 1936, it was the flipside to Bing’s 78 that became the big hit – I’m an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande!  

All Too Soon; Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You?; Someone to Watch Over me*; A bop number, was it Well You Needn’t?; Solitude; Down With Love; I Wish I Were in Love Again (Larry Hart’s amazing quadruple-rhymed lyrics – (The broken dates, the endless waits, the conversations with the flying plates, the lovely loving and the hateful hates… magic!) and Some Other Time.

As I wrote at the beginning…
Delightful!
Lance.

*Someone to Watch Over me was a particularly poignant moment as Brad reminded us that it was just over a year ago on May 25 that Margaret Barnes died. Margaret, who was such an enthusiastic supporter of jazz was perhaps Brad’s biggest fan and whenever possible attended his gigs even though on one occasion it meant postponing the start of her chemotherapy. Everyone who knew Margaret had fond memories of her and Brad’s words helped keep that memory alive.
The choice of song was apt and Lindsay’s interpretation of the verse added to the emotional content.
RIP Margaret, we still miss you, we always will...

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