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Bebop Spoken There

Giovanni Guidi: "So many jazz albums today are all original compositions, and five minutes after the record is finished, you can't remember a single song. I think it's a problem." - (JazzTimes Oct. 2019).

Archive

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 Thursday October 17

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Aurora - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00. (£4.00. student). Zoë Gilby, Noel Dennis & co play the music of Tom Harrell.

No Fox - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

Darlington Big Band - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Gerry Richardson Jazz Quartet - Hoochie Coochie, 54 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 8:30pm (doors 7:00pm). Free.

Blues/Soul/Funk

Holy Moly & the Crackers - Georgian Theatre, Green Dragon Yard, Stockton TS18 1AE. Tel: 01642 674115. 7:30pm. £12.00.

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

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Graeme Wilson Quartet @ Ushaw, Durham - August 25

Graeme Wilson (reeds); Paul Edis (piano, flute); Andy Champion (double bass, flute); Adam Sinclair (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Graeme Wilson, reeds. It doesn't tell half the story. A one-time major figure on the north east jazz scene until relocating north of the border, north of Hadrian's Wall being home to the affable Scot, Wilson has maintained links with the region, not least running his quartet comprising three Sassenachs - Paul Edis, Andy Champion and Adam Sinclair.  

This first concert of the second day of this year's Ushaw Jazz Festival drew a standing-room-only audience to the Francis Thompsom Room. Scottishness, if there is such a thing, permeates Wilson's compositions in subtle and often humourous ways. Hyvot Hill began with drummer Sinclair evoking a Scottish jig - or was it a reel? what's the difference? other than folk music degree students, who cares? - before the quartet went headlong into some serious, heavyweight jazz playing. Complex, constantly changing time signatures, this was the music - and compositional talents - of stellar musicians.  
Wilson is a literate, not to say, academic fellow, and favourite authors and books, often provide inspiration to Wilson. James Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner provided the material for an intense exchange between bandleader Wilson and pianist - and Ushaw Jazz Festival director! - Edis, thus establishing the benchmark and the standard didn't slip across two sets of utterly compelling music.  

The Bings...never heard of them? Join the club. Wilson hadn't, then he did, they're a product of Scotland's 19th-century oil boom. What 19th-century oil boom? Further reading required! Wilson's composition was an Ushaw exclusive, a world premiere, no less. How best to listen to this stuff? Be open to it, expect the unexpected and immerse oneself in the sound of it all. 

The Honourary Scot - that's Mr G Wilson - plays multi-reeds. Here at Ushaw, he utilised tenor sax, baritone sax, bass clarinet and flute. Golden Gate - more gospel quartet of renown than iconic West Coast feat of engineering - found Edis at a Korg synth and Andy Champion playing bass guitar - as they reprised a tune of Wilson's first heard on Tyneside in the days of John Warren's Splinter Group. Tremendous stuff, complex, intense, shot through with left-of-centre humour.

Second set and the Francis Thompson Room remained packed, no one was going anywhere. Anyone wandering in could be forgiven for thinking Rahsaan Roland Kirk had risen from the dead. The three flutes of Wilson, Edis and Champion resumed matters suggesting many things: Township jazz, perhaps Asian influences, and drummer Adam Sinclair's sampled drum pad intervention evoking a Gamelan-like soundscape. Joyous is the word.

Edis' Korg came in handy on Why Are You Staring at Me? Demented, humourous, add Champion's funkin' bass lines and you've got a typical - there's no such thing! - Wilson composition. The quartet's hugely varied set drew to a close with A Dwindling - as Wilson switched to bass clarinet he said he couldn't recall the title's origins - and The Bold Sammy (check out author James Kelman) reaffirming the Graeme Wilson Quartet's imperious jazz - and beyond - credentials. 
Russell
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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.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance