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Bebop Spoken There

Cécile McLorin Salvant: "She [Melissa Aldana] makes us realise how terrible it is to be complacent." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Thursday June 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Arc, Dovecot St., Stockton on Tees TS18 1LL. Tel: 01642 525199. 7:00pm. £12.00. + £0.10. bf. ‘Jazz & Tapas’ - booking essential.

Ruth Lambert Quartet - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00.

Heller-Glendinning: Billie Meets Kurt - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm (doors). £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Acoustic Infusion - The Forum, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £5.00. Line-up: Alan Thompson (tenor sax); Rick Laughlin (piano); Bruce Rollo (double bass); Ian Halford (drums). Now Abbie Finn on drums.

Durham University Concert Band + Grollingwood Big Band - Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ. 7:30pm. £10.00., £9.00., £8.00.

Durham University Big Band - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00 concs.). JNE.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax), Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

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

Monday, June 11, 2018

DJazz reflections...

(...by Steve H)
Just a brief note on the bands from the Djazz festival that I saw but haven’t had a previous mention on BSH.
On Friday night, the Empty Shop hosted 2 bands from out of town.
First up was Manchester’s Early Nite. I had enjoyed seeing them about a year ago at The Bridge and once again they produced a very enjoyable set. The band play short sharp improvised pieces with a high degree of energy. They also like to add a touch of humour to their performances which is fine in small doses but, on this occasion, they possibly overdid the jokes to the detriment of an otherwise very fine performance.
Belfast outfit Robocobra Quartet concluded the proceedings for day one of the festival.  

Billed as ‘minininfluence from jazz, hardcore and contemporary classical music’ they seemed as close to jazz as Kylie is to grand opera.  However, ‘Howling’ drummer Chris Ryan gives a sterling performance. I have nothing against heavy metal covers   I’ve heard some great jazz versions of Nirvana songs by more than one jazz performer but this band’s cover of a  Guns and Roses song did nothing for me and kind of summed up the whole performance for lively, energetic, raucous but just not jazz.
On Saturday evening I went to the charming Barber of Neville improvised venue to see JFrisco . Billed as a trio they were, in fact, a duo on the night as keyboard player Jemma Freese was performing in Holland. Nevertheless, Megan Roe on guitar/vocals and Lara Jones on sax/electronics seemed to cover for the missing third seamlessly. Incorporating all sorts of additional special effects - mobile phones, bubble wrap, Tibetan sound bowls etc. they produced a mesmerising soundscape which captivated the audience. It may not be jazz as some know it but as a piece of improvised music it was second to none.
Sunday afternoon saw me back at the Empty Shop for Shatner’s Bassoon. I had seen this band a couple of weeks back at the Jazz Cafe where they had the floor shaking so knew I what to expect and I certainly wasn’t disappointed as their unique brand of heavy metal punk jazz got the day off to an exhilarating start.  There could be no better way to finish the festival than a visit to the Jam Jah to see my current favourite band Skeltr. They didn’t disappoint and their wonderful swirly electronic musical magic carpet ride musical was actually enhanced by it being in a standing venue.
 So a wonderful end to a fantastic festival I really enjoyed being able to dip in and out of the tremendous variety of gigs that were on offer as opposed to having to decide well in advance of the event what you wanted to see and all for a tenner- amazing.

Steve H.

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