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Bebop Spoken There

Sting: "It was great. They [the River City Jazzmen] all wore blue suits. The band had been together for about twenty years, which was the same age as the suits." - (Melody Maker Sept. 22, 1979).


Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Monday October 21



Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see centre column).

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

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 3:00pm/5:30pm. Screening of Stanley Nelson's documentary film (2019, cert. 15, 1hr 55mins).



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

Friday, July 20, 2018

Francis Tulip Quartet @The Fox Inn, Hexham - July 17

Francis Tulip (guitar); Joel Brown (piano); Michael Dunlop (bass); Matthew MacKellar (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Thumbs up to the Edinburgh-Newcastle rail service. It was on time - why shouldn't it be? - thus enabling your correspondent to dash up to Hexham to catch the Francis Tulip Quartet's return visit to Hexham Jazz Club. 
The Fox Inn was busy. Francis Tulip & co were sitting outside making the most of the summer weather before the start of their first set at eight thirty. A Deuchar's the choice, 'hello' to Tom, Ines and Jamie, a seat, 'hello' to Mike and Pauline - they had come from all parts.
The Francis Tulip quartet is the band of the moment; all 'vacationing' - Tulip home from Birmingham, Joel Brown chilling in Whitley Bay, Michael Dunlop temporarily escaping 'The Smoke' and Matt MacKellar eyeing a return to Boston, Massachusetts. 

First set: Milestones, MacKellar first up with a solo, the standard set. By way of contrast Darn That Dream featured Tulip in relaxed mode. Hearing the quartet on a regular basis allows the listener to note subtle changes, on occasion noting giant steps. One such development here at the Fox was the introduction of original material. The 'new', the 'original' can be fraught with difficulties, in short, the composition doesn't always make the grade. It is pleasing to report that MacKellar's as yet untitled Latin piece worked just fine.  

Peter Bernstein is a current favourite of Tulip's and we heard Bones with the band leader knocking out a tremendous solo. Visions is the working title of a Tulip composition, whatever it finally ends up being called, it sounded good with piano player Brown most impressive.    
It seems that the student generation of musicians like Robert Glasper and it was the American's Rise and Shine - Tulip described it as 'hard and a bit mad' - that closed the set. Difficult? The Francis Tulip Quartet, with a superb MacKellar solo, made it look easy! 

Another Deuchar's, second set: Inner Urge (Joe Henderson), Ma Belle Helene (Kenny Wheeler) with sensitive guitar playing, Wayne Shorter's Deluge featured a short solo from the five-string bass playing of Dunlop and again on Someday My Prince Will Come and to close, Sco's Keep Me in Mind. The Fox Inn crowd wanted another one so drummer Matt MacKellar suggested they play another of his compositions, this one with a title - Transience. Excellent musicianship all round with the composer absolutely killing! The FT4 can be heard again on Saturday at Zeffirelli's in Ambleside and again a week tomorrow (Friday 27) at the Lit and Phil, Newcastle, one o'clock start. Arrive early, it's sure to be busy. 

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
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