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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Gala Big Band @ Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art - August 19

(Review by Russell/photos courtesy of Russell (1/3) and Brian Ebbatson (2/4))
For the duration of the Great Exhibition of the North, Lubaina Himid is the star of the show at Baltic. The Turner Prize-winning artist is exhibiting Our Kisses are Petals at Gateshead's contemporary art gallery with an accompanying twelve-week programme of events inviting musicians to create a response to Himid's work. Week nine (August 19) featured the Gala Big Band performing in Baltic's ground floor gallery surrounded by the artist's paint-on-cloth series exploring, and subverting, the symbolism of the flag. 
Gala Big Band MD Paul Edis embarked upon writing a seven-part suite and at eleven o'clock on Sunday morning the Durham-based community orchestra played the challenging pieces in front of an enthusiastic audience. Several familiar faces populated the sections - Ben Lawrence, piano, and Matthew Downey, guitar, sat in the rhythm section, Thomas Dixon, alto, and Alex Thompson, tenor, produced telling solos from the reeds, and the trombone section was bolstered by a couple of senior practitioners in the form of Jason Holcomb and Alan Bravey. 

The Gala Big Band meets fortnightly and the level of musicianship in evidence at this early hour was testament to Edis' abilities as MD and the commitment of all in the band to present a professional show. Two particular highlights; Glenn Miller singing - yes, that's the man's name, no relation to the long-lost US band leader! - and a Basie-like swing-a-rooney of a tune titled How Do You Spell Change? incorporating references to Armstrong's West End Blues and Bird's Now's the Time with Dixon and Thompson contributing incisive solos. 

Somehow or other MD Edis found time to play flute on a couple of numbers, a constantly busy man is Dr Edis! One or two things to mention - housekeeping, one could call it - if G Miller, vocalist, is anywhere in the vicinity of Newcastle's Jazz Café tomorrow (Tuesday) at 8:00 he should drop by, he'd be welcome to sit-in at the jam session and, it just so happens, Paul Edis will be at the piano! Secondly, the Gala Big Band is keen to recruit a trombone player or three. 
If you're thinking That's me! 
email: www.bigband@galadurham.co.uk                 
The Gala Big Band is developing at a rate of knots, be sure to check 'em out!    
Russell

2 comments :

Lance said...

I'll have to check Lubiana Himid out - find out about subverting the symbolism of the flag. I'm a Jack Vettriano man myself and he doesn't do much in the way of subverting symbolism - or does he?

Russell said...

JV? Chocolate box painting by numbers!

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