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Bebop Spoken There

Jeremy Pelt: "It [Birth of the Cool sessions] was bebop in sheep's clothing." - (DownBeat, December 2019).

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Today Wednesday November 13

Afternoon

Jazz

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 12:15pm. Stanley Nelson's 2019 documentary film.

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Evening

Jazz

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Swing Street - Pier Red, Castlegate, Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1LF. Tel: 01289 309168. 8:00pm. Free.

Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.00.

Blues/Folk

George Shovlin & the Radars, Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DE. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 8:00pm. Free.

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Nicola Farnon Trio & Early Bird Big Band @ Ushaw, Durham - August 24

Nicola Farnon (vocals/bass); Paul Edis (piano); Phil Johnson (drums)
(Review by Lance).
Headlining day one of Ushaw Jazz Festival 2018, and, because of an imminent power cut, the trio gave a stunning, albeit abbreviated, performance in the august setting of the historic building's Exhibition Hall.
To refer to Ms. Farnon as someone who sings and plays the double bass simultaneously is to do the artist a disservice unless you add that she does both things brilliantly and seamlessly.
A choice selection of GASbook gems plus one of her own compositions had the audience enraptured. All the usual suspects were represented: Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, Duke (V); Duke (E); Rodgers and Hart - particularly Rodgers and Hart. For me, the song of the evening in an evening full of super songs, was the Broadway duo's You Are Too Beautiful. Like Nicola Farnon, I too have loved this song since hearing Johnny Hartman do it with John Coltrane. That is the benchmark and, in its own way, so is Nicola's version. Sung with a delicate, almost ethereal quality, it was as if she was singing to you alone - or so we all thought until we got home and looked in the mirror - such was the emotional impact of her rendition.
Apart from the voice, her bass playing was well up to scratch and her inter-song patter both amusing and informative.
On drums, Phil Johnson did the business exploding when explosions were called for particularly when exchanging fours with Nicola during scat choruses. The pair work well together and by adding the ubiquitous Paul Edis you have a trio - and boy what a trio!

Earlier, Paul had helped to move chairs to accommodate more people in the Francis Thompson Room where he led and played alto with the Early Bird Big Band - more about that shortly. Being the prime organiser of the festival, the news of the impending power cut or 'outage' as the bright sparks ('sparks' get it?) called it might have detracted a lesser person from the business in hand. Not Paul, he played his customary blinder, a fact that didn't go unnoticed by either Nicola or the audience.
A truly magical evening.
Lance.
That Old Devil Moon; Day in, Day Out; The Summer Wind; Taking a Chance on Love; A Foggy Day; The More I See You; This Can't Be Love; It's Just Got To Be That Way (original); Just in Time; You'd Be So Nice to Come Home to; One Note Samba; You Are Too Beautiful; Don't Get Around Much Anymore: Cheek to Cheek.
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Early Bird Big Band: Paul Edis (MD, alto); Haaruun Miller (alto, soprano); Alex Thompson (tenor); Megan Robinson (flute); Ryan de Silva (baritone); Andrew Hedges (trombone); James Metcalf, Graham Hardy (trumpets); Ben Lawrence (piano); Matthew Downey (guitar); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar); Dylan Thompson (drums).
Six O'Clock and the third Ushaw Jazz Festival was underway. Maestro Edis, as Nicola Farnon was to refer to him later, announced that apart from himself and guest trumpet player Graham Hardy all of the band were 18 or under and, not only that but four of them were also composers of very demanding scores - don't they grow up fast these days!

James Metcalf provided Lincoln's Lament, Alex Thompson chipped in with In a Distant Dream, flautist Megan asked Where's it All Leading? and Ben Lawrence gave us the picturesque titled Soft Hazel, inspired, I was told by some hazelnut painted walls!.
In a band of this nature it would be unfair to single out individual soloists - they all soled bar one so I'll mention him.

On drums, Dylan Thompson proved his worth by handling the different rhythms and time signatures thrown at him with the ease of a seasoned professional. Having heard him in different settings I know what an accomplished soloist he is and a couple of choruses on the 12 bar finale would have told the audience just that.
Nevertheless, it was an enlightening set and an eyeopener to anyone hearing these young musicians for the first time.
Lance.
Photos.

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About this blog - contact details.

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