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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Dee: "I feel my generation had one advantage over today's players in that we were not musically educated in colleges, so we all sounded different. I could tell who it was just by the sound." - (Jazz Rag, Summer 2020).

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

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SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

SATURDAY

Happy Birthday Katy Trigger & Mia Webb.

SUNDAY 20

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. Tel: 0191 691 7090. 12 noon. Free.

Riviera Quartet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. A limited number of seats are available which MUST be bought in advance online. £7:50 or £5:45 live stream only.

THURSDAY 24

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Portraits @ Pizza Express, Holborn - June 15

Georgia Turnbull (vocal/keys); Adam Cornell (bass); Ben Fitzgerald (drums); Thomas Dixon (sax); Jamie Mackay (guitar).
(Review by James M).
Buoyed by feedback from recent shows in the North East and supportive reviews in BSH, Portraits headed south for a gig at the Holborn outlet of the respected Pizza Express Live Jazz Club where an enthusiastic audience was treated to 2 x 45-minute sets of original music plus a fresh cover of a well-known jazz standard.
In the audience were a couple who described themselves as ‘New York’s Greenwich Village regulars on vacation.’ They said that Portraits sounded great. I guess they’ve heard plenty of music to compare with at home so their comments weren’t to be taken lightly!
There was some great interplay between the band themselves as well as with the audience who were treated to a couple of minutes of ‘Larn Yersel Geordie’ to ensure that basic lines of communication were opened and maintained.
There’s a couple of lines in Why Aye Man by the great Mark Knopfler that say ‘We got wor tools and working gear and humped it all from Newcastle to here’.
Prophetic words as, unbeknown to the band, one of the keyboard keys were damaged in transit and Georgia didn’t pick up on this until the start of a song. Looking across the stage to the band’s leader and founder, Jamie, she complained to him that the E key was broken. Jamie’s reply of ‘Georgia, there are loads of people here are you sure?’ brought a wave of laughter from the audience. Jamie’s next comment, ‘don’t worry, I’ll play it on guitar’ earned several knowing nods from the live music junkies in the audience, slick stuff!
James.

PS: Pizza Express billed the show as follows, and in doing so, probably gave a more accurate picture of what Portraits is all about.

“Newcastle Neo-soul, Jazz and hip-hop band Portraits offer their contribution the UK music scene through Improvisation, lyricism, arrangement and a strong focus on moving their music into unexplored territory.
Portraits’ contribution to the UK music scene is not easily identified in terms of genre. ‘Jazz’ seems the most fitting to describe the harmony and improvisations, the use of the sax and upright bass support this assessment although you won’t hear the band play a medium swing Stella by Starlight. The heavy ‘LA jazz scene’ informed drum grooves subvert ideas of a faithful homage to the greats. the focus is on offering their own experiences and interpretations, expressing their own voices through improvisation. The band explores storytelling through arrangement and lyricism, aiming for an honest account of the modern experience.”

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