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Bebop Spoken There

Anat Fort: "In order to play and tour with people and spend a lot of time with them, you need to get along with them" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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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 Monday May 27

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12:00 - 3:00pm. Free.

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Tyne Valley Big Band - Bywell Hall, Bywell, near Stocksfield NE43 7AB. £15.00. (concs. £14.00., child £5.00., £35.00. family). 2:00-4:00pm. A Northumberland County Show (all day) event.

Evening

Ruby Turner - Whitley Bay Playhouse, Marine Avenue, Whitley Bay NE26 1LZ. Tel: 0844 248 1588. 7:30pm. £28.80. A Mouth of the Tyne event.

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

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ Jazz Café - May 18.

Niffi Osiyemi (vocals); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass).
(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Minnie F & Lance)
Niffi, a final year medical student and a first year (first rate!) jazz singer wowed a packed Jazz Café downstairs bar who roared their approval demanding, and getting, two encores! Not bad going at a venue that, on a Friday night, is sometimes noted for its indifference - not tonight though!
A choice selection of GASbook classics that varied from the tender to the not so tender to the frenetic - sometimes on the same number.
It's still a work in progress, there were a few hiccups but none to mar the overall kicks the listeners were getting and we were nowhere near Route 66.
Don't Get Around Much Anymore and Our Love is Here to Stay, were smooth, swingy songs that little prepared us for the Cry me a River to end all Cry me a Rivers. This wasn't a river, it was the North Sea at its most turbulent. The flood barriers well and truly breached!
By contrast, that well-known warning to philanderers - Makin' Whoopee - returned the room to sanity. It may have been around this point that Niffi dispensed with her stilettos, possibly prompting the tall, angular singer's next song, This Can't be Love which contains the appropriate line My head is not in the skies...
I Keep Going Back to Joe's, a longtime fave of mine - Nat King Cole and, later, Curtis Stigers both put their brand on it - didn't quite gell. Maybe it needs a little more work. Whatever, I do hope they keep it in the pad as Niffi has the voice for it.
The set finished with a belter that brought the house down - The Darktown Strutter's Ball. You couldn't make it up. A song over 100 years old being wildly applauded by a (mainly) youthful audience. I think the scat chorus did it for them (and me!)
During the break, we discussed the show as it stood and concluded that, whilst Niffi's still raw around the edges, it's something that time will partially erode. Let's hope that time knows when to stop as that rawness is part of her appeal. The other verdict 'the jury' came to was that Law and Grainger were playing a blinder. The northeast is currently well-served for pianists and bassists and these two are way up high among the contenders.

Set two began with the crowd handclapping in time [mostly], Law and Grainger 'vamping 'til ready' before Niffi hit for home with that ever-popular, triple-rhymer, I'm Beginning to See the Light.
Undecided, a surprisingly restrained Black Coffee, They Can't Take That Away From me, Honeysuckle Rose and a song even older than Darktown Strutters Ball - Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey?.
Bill left home in 1902 and, despite Ella's offer to do the cooking and pay the rent he still hadn't returned by 1963. Now, in 2018, It was Niffi's turn to apologise for that rainy evening when she turned him out with nothing but a fine tooth comb. Using Ella's version as a launchpad, she once again had the room in raptures. Maybe the younger element was hearing this, and indeed all of the songs, for the first time! I think the late First Lady would have approved.
I Love Being Here With You (the feeling was mutual) was supposed to be the last number but, of course, it wasn't, and nor was I Wish I Knew How it Felt to be Free. It wasn't until the last strains of Hallelujah I Just Love Him so had faded and the last handclap had ceased that we knew the show was over.
A memorable evening - thank you Niffi, Alan and Paul.
Photos.
Lance.
PS: The Niffi Osiyemi Trio can be heard at DJazz, the Durham City Jazz Festival held on June 1, 2 and 3 at various Durham City venues. Check it out.

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