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Bebop Spoken There

Marc Myers: " If the original group with Baker was Dover sole, the group with Brookmeyer was beef stew." - (JazzWax, December 7, 2019).

Archive

Today Tuesday December 10

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jam session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Mark Williams, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

Tyne Valley Big Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

Blues/Soul/Folk etc.

?????

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

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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