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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 Monday May 20

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

?????

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Durham Brass Festival: James Morrison Quartet @ Gala Theatre - January 16.

James Morrison (trumpet/trombone/flugel/piano); William Morrison (guitar); Harry Morrison (bass); Patrick Danao (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Another knockout Durham Brass Festival concert. This time by the amazingly gifted Australian multi-instrumentalist James Morrison.
Morrison, accompanied by sons William and Harry along with super drummer Danao blew trumpet à la Dizzy, trombone with the rapid technique of JJ and, on piano, just about outran Peterson.
A Beautiful Friendship began soft and gentle,  treating the ballad with the respect it deserves. A nice solo from his number 2 son William on guitar before James exploded reaching Dizzy heights and beyond. We also got a taster of Danao's drums.
In the Silence of the Night, a composition by William featured his pop on a most unusual instrument.
Difficult to make out from where I was sitting. It could be a rotary valved flugelhorn or some kind of bass trumpet. It had the mellifluous sound of a flugel but maybe it was a hybrid James himself had designed.
Autumn Leaves was a bit of a curate's egg for me. James was now on trombone and he played a longish opening cadenza blowing three notes at once which, as everyone knows, is impossible unless you have a forked-tongue or you're James Morrison. All clever stuff but I was more comfortable hearing him play straight - what a great tone! The trio had an interesting chorus or six where they went into a baroque mode.
The Battle Hymn of the Republic or John Brown's Body saw James move to the piano to demonstrate how any song can become a jazz song. This amazing man then ran the gamut of the Oscar Peterson Book of Licks with maybe a touch of Waller and Tatum thrown in for good measure.
To finish off the set we had Bourbon St. Parade and this time the inspiration was good old Satchmo with Danao bringing Baby Dodds into the 21st Century.
Out in the foyer, it seemed as though every other person was a trumpet player - no surprise there!
Back inside, blissfully ignorant of the darkening clouds outside, we enjoyed an in-depth description of Erroll Garner's technique on piano followed by a hands-on display of how the great man (Erroll) might play Deep Purple.
There is no Greater Love brought Danao's brushwork to the fore whilst, getting back to Garner, saw James and William on trombone and guitar respectively play a lush version of Misty.
A jazzed-up piano blast on Chopsticks (I think) then more three note exhibitionism on Things Ain't What They Used to be. The encore was a slow Blues in G that brought the show to a close.
I've no doubt missed some of the finer points out but, with so much happening on stage in a pitch-black auditorium making notes was difficult.
I have, unforgivably, made little mention of Harry Morrison. Not only is he a stellar lynchpin and soloist but also the foil for much of James' humour.
Like Gunhild Carling, here last Friday, James Morrison sees jazz, not only as art but also as entertainment and he too scores heavily in both departments.
The standing ovation at the end was, after such a show, almost a foregone conclusion.
What wasn't a foregone conclusion was the weather that awaited us as we made to leave.
It thundered, it lightninged, in a matter of minutes the streets of Durham were awash. A few had brollies but most did not. A poster advertised a forthcoming movie - Swimming With Men - was this the premiere? Eventually, I made it to the underground car park for a drive home that was, to say the least, frightening.
Would I do it all again?
To hear the James Morrison Quartet the answer is YES! Most definitely.
Lance.

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