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Bebop Spoken There

Jeremy Pelt: "In my experience, the hottest player on the scene is almost always the most annoying motherfucker on the scene because they know that they're hot." - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Monday May 20

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

?????

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

Monday, August 27, 2018

In Other Words & BABA @ Ushaw, Durham - August 26

(Review by Russell)
Offering performance opportunities to young musicians has become an integral part of the Ushaw Jazz Festival. This year's three day event opened on Friday evening with the Early Bird Big Band, Saturday afternoon featured the hothouse duo of Francis Tulip and Matt MacKellar (Birmingham and Berklee students, respectively) alongside the Whitley Bay keyboard wizard Joel Brown, and, on a lazy Sunday afternoon in the Francis Thompson Room, two bands (seven musicians, average age seemingly not much more than seventeen and three quarters!) were intent on making a big impression. 
A short set, all of thirty minutes, meant there was no time to waste for the three young musicians calling themselves In Other Words.

In Other Words: Alex Thompson (alto sax, clarinet); Nathan Lawson (guitar); Dylan Thompson (drums)
Straight ahead jazz is what In Other Words are all about. Autumn LeavesA Foggy Day in London TownLi'l Darlin' and the trio's signature tune, yes, you've got it, Fly Me to the Moon

Alex Thompson plays alto saxophone and clarinet - the former determinedly, the latter leisurely, both effectively. The young man positioned in the middle of the Thompsons (drummer Dylan is brother to Alex), left-hander Nathan Lawson,  plays a beautiful black Gretsch guitar. A fine player is Nathan, playing with or without a plectrum, the influence of Dr James Birkett all too evident. The trio's arrangements impressed and Dylan Thompson's expert use of brushes belied his tender years. DT has just left school and college beckons...watch out music world! Similarly, Alex will soon be off to university and a chair in a student big band surely awaits. 

Nathan's considered intro to Goodbye Pork Pie Hat set up Alex to unleash an impassioned, bluesy alto solo. Perhaps the tune of the set, but wait, their closing number ...I Got Rhythm with Dylan's hi-hat working overtime as he brushed at a lick and Alex's swift execution ideas, not shy about throwing in a quote or two - The Flintstones, for one - and Nathan on the case just about topped it. A most enjoyable set.
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BABA: Thomas Dixon (alto sax, tenor sax); Ben Lawrence (piano); Adam Cornell (bass guitar); Dylan Thompson (drums)
Thomas Dixon co-leads BABA. The name roughly translates to 'spit' and it's a fair bet that alto saxophonist Dixon felt like doing it - spitting, that is - as a certain low-cost airline cancelled flights across Europe resulting in co-leader Inês Gonçalves being stranded in Portugal. What to do...find a piano dep or play as a piano-less trio? A potential dep happened to be at Ushaw and, with little time to get to grips with the all-original material, Ben Lawrence agreed to play the piano parts.

Dixon on tenor sax suggested the set's untitled opening number, written by the absent Gonçalves, could be called The Ryanair Debacle. A structured piece with space to improvise, Dixon led the way and didn't hesitate in giving the nod to the depping Lawrence who set about the material as if a long time member of the quartet. 

Binker and Moses and other high profile names are said to be influences on BABA and the intriguingly titled Origami Grandma incorporated elements of the drum 'n' bass, or rather the drum (Moses) and tenor sax (Binker) sound currently in vogue with Dixon on alto swooping in and out of swingtime sections. 

Dixon's clapped intro set up the band on Mouthwashing - drummer Dylan Thompson brandishing mallets with rock steady bassist Adam Cornell at his side.  Dixon has been busy writing material with some crazy time signatures and in introducing Moon Drunk suggested he and his bandmates could well be seen mumbling to themselves such was the level of concentration required. And concentrate they did! Drummer Thompson set up and maintained a complex rhythm as short-notice dep Ben Lawrence somehow or other produced a fully formed solo. 

BABA concluded the afternoon's entertainment in the Francis Thompson Room with Inciting Incident but not before Dixon thanked Paul Edis for giving the band the opportunity to perform at this, the third Ushaw Jazz Festival. All original material, some of it premiere material, keep an eye out for BABA.    
Russell.   
Ushaw photos.     

1 comment :

Lance said...

What Russell failed to mention was that Tom Dixon was playing on a borrowed alto. A very fine alto indeed but, as saxophonists, motorists and womanisers will affirm - each one is different and it takes time to find the comfort zone.
On alto, Tom found that comfort zone fairly quickly...

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