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Bebop Spoken There

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11,618 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 753 of them this year alone and, so far, 17 this month (July 5).

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Jam Session @ Dun Cow, Jesmond - May 23.

Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Russ Morgan (drums) + Kay Usher (violin); Paul Ruddick (alto); Matt MacKellar (drums); Kevin Green (soprano); Pete Gilligan (piano); Dan Garel (alto).
(Review by Lance).
There comes a time in a person's life when he or she realises something special is happening. In music, and jazz in particular, that moment sometimes happens and sometimes it doesn't.
Tonight it happened!
The jam was progressing nicely. Mark Williams, at his most sensitive, got the set underway with I Should Care and all three slugged it out on Solar culminating with a knockout solo from Russ - Solar power indeed!
Kay Usher swung On the Sunny Side of the Street following up with a faster than usual Willow Weep For Me- it worked.
Next to answer the call was Paul Ruddick who blew the socks off  Nature Boy before playing that most challenging of tunes - Body and Soul. He met the challenge full on without a safety net or an iPad for guidance. Spurring him on was Matt MacKellar which is always an incentive. 
A first timer, Kevin Green, entered the lion's den with only a soprano saxophone for protection. Pete Gilligan took up his position at the keyboard ready for battle to commence. Kevin admitted that this was his first ever jam with major-league players and, despite a nervous start, he came through Autumn Leaves unscathed, gaining confidence as he progressed.
He'll be back.
Dan Garel is probably the best of the younger breed of altoists doing the rounds and How Deep is the Ocean? did nothing to dispel that notion.
I began this review by mentioning that something special happened which it did at about 9:45pm.
Stella By Starlight has been worked over so many times that one can ofttimes take it for granted - not tonight though.
It was as if this was the eve of Armageddon. Garel, Gilligan and MacKellar playing above and beyond mere mortals. Grainger holding it all together - why wasn't I recording this? If you weren't there you won't believe me!
In the cold light of morning, I probably won't believe it myself!
To bring us down to earth,  Kay stepped up with Dan for a somewhat confusing My Funny Valentine and the full cast jammed on the Black Orpheus Theme.
Phew!
Lance.
Photos.
PS: Next week - Lindsay Hannon and Bradley Johnston.

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