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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (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 Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Blues

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Friday, June 01, 2018

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Millstone - May 31

(Review by Russell).
Last Thursday in the month down at the Millstone public house it’s the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band’s public rehearsal night. May’s session featured no fewer than six deps across all sections. It didn’t make a jot of difference with the band on form from the off and, what’s more, some thirty minutes before the downbeat all seats in the upstairs function room were occupied. It was a warm, humid evening yet the windows remained closed, perhaps to comply with licensing restrictions on noise levels.

So, the band hit the ground running with Alice Grace singing That Old Black Magic. That is reason enough to get along to the band’s rehearsal session – fantastic! Ja-Da with Michael Lamb leading the way with some blistering trumpet playing before the fabulous Alice Grace returned to confess You Make Me Feel So Young. Tyneside and the wider north east region boasts many fine singers, Ms Grace is right up there with the best of them and nothing but nothing could match her take on a Songs for Swingin’ Lovers’ masterpiece.


How D’Ya Like Your Eggs in the Morning? enquired F’reez of Alice, Alice, in turn, asking the same of F’reez. All good fun! A tremendous, lazily slow, arrangement of Bobby Hebb’s Sunny featured a soulful F’reez at his best. MD Lamb raided Dave Slonaker’s big band pad for something just a little more contemporary, choosing Point of Departure from the American’s Grammy-nominated Intrada album. A Bob Mintzer chart – ‘a Spanish thing’ said Lamb – maintained the contemporary feel with a bona fide American, trumpeter Pete Tanton, wearing a brightly coloured Hawaiian shirt, sharing the honours with tenor man Paul Gowland.

The interval; a rush to the downstairs’ bar, another pint of Workie Ticket and a nicely chilled Pinot. Right on cue Brian and Jimmy walked through the door. Never on time for the first set, but always in time for the second, they joined the queue at the bar.                       

A swinging Sweet Georgia Brown resumed matters, a contemporary piece with the band clapping as one opened and closed the unnamed piece (note to self…ask MD Michael Lamb about the title) and Quincy Jones’ Jessica’s Day mixed it up, keeping the orchestra on its toes. The deps were on top of matters, no question about it: Elliott Todd bolstered the trumpet section, Tom Dowling made a return to the ’bones, Niall Armstrong wielded baritone in Laurie Rangecroft’s absence, Ben Helm subbed for Pav on guitar, and the man at the back, bassist Paul Grainger, didn’t miss a trick. That leaves Dave Kerridge. Up from Teesside, DK is little heard on Tyneside yet when he does turn up he certainly makes a big impression. Alice Grace returned to sing Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right. It was a more than an alright evening down at the Millstone.   

Russell.

Michael Lamb MD, Elliott Todd, Pete Tanton, Dick Stacey  trumpets; David Barnes, Keiran Parnaby, Tom Dowling, John Flood trombones; Dave Kerridge, Paul Gowland, Steve Summers, Keith Robinson, Niall Armstrong reeds; Ben Helm guitar; Graham Don piano; Paul Grainger double bass; Guy Swinton drums; Alice Grace, F’reez vocals

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