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Bebop Spoken There

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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.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Jam Session @ The Dun Cow, Jesmond - June 27.

(Review by Lance/Photos.).
Another 'other' Wednesday at the Dun Cow which meant that even though there was World Cup football on TV (Brazil 2 Croatia 0) the jam session went ahead in front of perhaps the biggest audience yet and why not? The football was live in Russia whereas this was live in Jesmond.
A special bonus this week was the presence of the effervescent James Harrison on piano whose jack-in-the-box, hyper-charged style suggests he's cornered the market in co2.
St. Thomas, being in the Virgin Islands, may seem to be a somewhat tenuous link to Brazil but, played over a samba rhythm, they got away with it - close enough for jazz, as the saying goes and Harrison did manage to insert a quote from the Match of the Day theme. Geographic issues aside, it was a rousing start that continued with In a Mellow Tone and James finding space to Take the A Train.
Thus ended the overture, time to serve the jam.
Jimmy Jefford on alto played Beautiful Love followed by Four. JJ is a guy who doesn't fall into the impetuousness of youth trap, he knows how to pace himself. Like James Harrison, he declines to put everything into the shop window at once. They both know that, by doing that, come the end of the evening there's nothing left to sell.

By contrast, Kate O'Neill, probably realising that tonight she's only going to get the one-shot, came on with all guns blazing. Close to You and My Funny Valentine were delivered in her usual full-on manner. Dramatic, theatrical, Kate gives it everything and the audience responded accordingly.

James Metcalf, now free from his studies, joined Jefford for, let's be honest, a less than inspiring All Blues. Not totally the fault of the players. Despite being possibly the most played composition from A Kind of Blue it's also, in my opinion, the least appealing and if Miles, Trane and Cannonball couldn't do it, what chance did James and Jimmy have?
Metcalf fared better on I'll Remember April. Confident and in control, with a full tone the suggestion being that, over the past week or two, he's abandoned the classroom for the woodshed which, in reality, is just another classroom.

Two weeks back, part of the all-female group I-Sister impressed and this week they returned to once more deliver knockout blows aided and abetted by Matt on drums, James Harrison on piano and Rob Walker on bass guitar. Nature Boy and Lover Man. Great vocals by Andrea and, this week, Helen Wardle ditched the French horn in favour of muted trumpet. Lisa D filled out the rhythm section on guitar with carefully chosen chords. Nice one.

Swing fiddle from Kay Usher on This Can't be Love and Exactly Like You. No amplification problems this week and we liked what we heard. On the former tune, James and Matt indulged in some musical foreplay betwixt piano and drums. It was impressive but self-indulgent and didn't add to the continuity, Still, that's jams for you, tales of the unexpected as Jamie Cullum's wife's dad once wrote.

Mancunian pianist Oliver, who sat in at the Jazz Caff last week, gave Harrison, James, a well-earned break and John Rowland, who'd also blown at The Caff, cycled in on tenor for There Will Never be Another You and, nor it seems, will there ever be another jam session without There Will Never be Another You. Nice rounded tenor sound and sympathetic piano. Makin' Whoopee followed with a nice relaxed groove.

Look out! It's Showtime! Yes, David Gray was here. Trombone loaded and primed, Body and Soul the target. With Jefford and Rowland joining him up front they surmounted the challenging key changes with ease.
Harry Still took over on drums for Seven Steps to Heaven after solos all round I think we were much closer than that.

But, alas, all good things have to end and, after Showtime's blast on Strasbourg/St. Denis, I thought I'll leave on a high and just catch the Metro. All I can say is that I hope the Strasbourg St. Denis Metro is more reliable than the Tyne and Wear one - it was 15 minutes behind schedule! I know some will say that that's par for the course and it didn't make feel any better when Russell texted me to say that Jefford had just blown the solo of the night!
C'est la vie, as they say on le Rue de Saint-Denis.
Lance.
PS: And not forgetting the trojan work put in by Grainger, Harrison and Walker - chapeaux!

Paul Grainger (bass); James Harrison (piano); Rob Walker (drums/bass guitar) + Jimmy Jefford (alto); Kate O'Neill (vocal); James Metcalf (trumpet); Andrea Harrison (vocal); Helen Wardle (trumpet); Lisa Delarny (guitar); Kay Usher (violin); Matt MacKellar (drums); John Rowland (tenor); Oliver Dowinton (piano); David Gray (trombone); Harry Still (drums).

1 comment :

James Harrison (on F/b). said...

Ha! Great report as ever Lance 😂 Particularly impressed you heard the A train in Mellow tone! Thought that went over all heads! Nothing escapes you!

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