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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.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Jam Session @ The Dun Cow, Jesmond - August 8

Francis Tulip (guitar); Deon Krishnan (bass guitars/vocal); Matt MacKellar (drums) + James Metcalf (flugel); Miriam McCormick (vocal); Alex Thompson (alto).
(Review by Lance).
Remember last weekend? The start of the football season and Sunderland were level with Charlton Athletic and Middlesbrough were 2 down against Millwall. We're in the dying minutes and what happens? The Cats grab a last-minute winner and The Smoggies pull back two for an unlikely draw!
So what's all this got to do with jazz?
Well, after last night's fantastic jam at the Caff there was no jam in the world going to follow that even though some of the same musicians were involved.
It had all been swinging along smoothly, maybe a little bland at times, and it looked like a goalless draw was on the cards and then, once again in the dying minutes, up jumps Deon and gives us a vocal version of Chick Corea's Spain whilst playing unison lines on the 5 string of his two bass guitars (the other was a 6 stringer). 3 points in the bag.
We thought it was all over - it was now!
The football analogy is not so far removed as Deon told me he once played a function gig at the Stadium of Light and Steve Bruce, Sunderland's hundred and third manager of that particular week, mistook Deon for centre-back Paolo da Silva - and, in truth, they do look quite similar.
Prior to this, the guys had played tastefully, supported Metcalf on You Stepped Out of a Dream and Stella by Starlight; backed Miriam on Don't Explain and No Moon at All and provided the backdrop for Alex on Nica's Dream.
A good crowd but, whereas at the Jazz Café they can be too noisy, here they are too quiet. Sacrilege I know but I always think that, in an intimate setting, too much rapt attention causes the experienced player to play safe and the novice to falter nervously whereas if it's a boisterous crowd the player will go for broke knowing that a fluffed note won't be headlines in BSH the next day!
----- 
Talking of BSH, I attended the funeral of Clive Gray along with some fellow jazzers linked to Clive's banjo-playing past. I was surprised and very proud, even humbled, that my short obituary posted after Dave Kerr had told me of his death was read out by the Humanist lady who was conducting the ceremony.
Rest In Peace.
Lance.

4 comments :

Jude Murphy (on F/b). said...

Wish these were any night but a Wednesday. We missed Deon doing Spain!!!

Steve T said...

As a non musician who doesn't really like jam sessions, or for that matter, singers in Jazz (sans Sinatra(sic)(if you think of him as Jazz) and the local ladies (nice recovery?), I really enjoyed it.
More like a gig with guests, it was great to hear Francis and Mathew in more relaxed mode, playing straight stuff straight.
Roberta Flacks Feel Like Makin Love, as interpreted by Benson, was a nice addition.

Lance said...

Sinatra? Jazz? well er yes er maybe er sometimes er... Early days, no. Latter days, no. In between? most definitely yes. Like Billie Holiday, Sinatra didn't have to scat to stamp his individuality on a tune. They both did it by timbre, timing and phrasing. Try singing along with either of them on a tune you think you know well. After 4 bars you discover that you didn't really know the tune at all - a fraction of a beat behind or ahead - they give the song a new dimension that even the composer/lyricist hadn't foreseen. You can sing along with Ella, her jazz chops were in the scatting whereas with Frank and Billie it was the way they transformed the wordsmith's rhymes into some of the greatest romantic poetry ever written.

Steve T said...

My own view is that Sinatra was a pop star, but at a time when pop music was based on Jazz, before it was based on rock and roll, which made him the greatest pop star of the century, and it's hard to think of any peers. He towered over the century the way the rock and roll based Beatles towered over sixties pop. The Capital albums, in particular, are amongst the great achievements in music. Sadly, he suffers the same fate as jazz, whereby most people don't feel the need to listen to more than Kind of Blue, most don't get past Songs for Swinging Lovers.

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