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Bebop Spoken There

Bill Reglein (JJ Babbitt m/pieces): "We made this mouthpiece for Eddie Harris. He played tenor sax and trumpet. He played in some pretty rough bars. The story goes that he was afraid he'd get in a fight and get his teeth knocked out. He figured that if even that happened he could still play tenor. So, the request came in, 'Can I get a reed mouthpiece for my trumpet?' the company made exactly one." - (DownBeat October 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 Sunday September 22

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon.

Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 1:00pm. Free.

Sunday Jazz in the Crypt - Middlesbrough Town Hall, Albert Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2QJ. Tel: 01642 729729. 2:00-6:00pm. £12.00. + bf. Line-up: Noel Dennis Trio + Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat + Anthony Strong.

More Jam - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3:00pm. Free.

Jazz Social - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 4:00pm. Free.

Somethin' Blue Trio - The Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. Tel: 01325 468411. 5:00-7:00pm. Free.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Memphis Cruisers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Alexys de Alfaro - Revoluçion de Cuba, Cloth Market, Newcastle NE1 1EE. Tel: 0191 917 7076. 6:00pm. Free.

Paper Moon Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. Free.

Fabled - Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. Tel: 0191 232 6400. 8:00pm. £8.00. & £6.00. JNE.

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

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Virtuoso Jazz Trio @ The Gala, Durham - August 24

George MacDonald (clarinet); James Birkett (guitar); Bruce Rollo (double bass)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Brian Ebbatson)
As an advertisement for this weekend's Ushaw Jazz Festival a lunchtime concert at the Gala Theatre featuring genial George MacDonald and friends James Birkett and Bruce Rollo - themselves affable types - proved to be just the tonic as prescribed by our mutual friend Dr. Jazz.
The Gala's monthly jazz concert invariably attracts a capacity audience and this appearance by the Virtuoso Jazz Trio wasn't about to buck the trend. All seats occupied, Mr. MacDonald said they would begin with two tunes written by George Gershwin...one up to the VJT with the first note yet to be played! 
But Not For Me, then Somebody Loves Me - splendid. MacDonald and Birkett seated, Rollo standing to their left, the trio's easy going, obvious musical compatibility shone through. Canadian ex-pat MacDonald, a long-serving, founder member of the Northern Sinfonia knows his jazz onions and it was with relish that he launched head-long into a swift take on After You've Gone

MacDonald is a Benny Goodman man who takes great delight in recounting the story of the American's rise to fame following a year-long, coast to coast tour with invaluable radio broadcasts along the way. As BG arrived in Los Angeles the queues went around the block, just as they did eighty years later here in Durham with fans eager to hear the VJT. Stompin' at the Savoy and Flying Home evoked something of Goodman mania as our bandleader challenged guitarist Birkett and bassist Rollo to keep up. They did...but only just! 

'And now a bossa nova', said MacDonald. A good guess would be Jobim - yes, Wave. 'We have to play some Cole Porter' our man continued, and, as sure as night follows day, we got it - Night and Day, that is. The clarinetist's setlist is never less than the epitome of taste and he knows how to pace matters. We knew that another two or three numbers would take us up to the hour so a thrilling finale opened with It Don't Mean a Thing, continued with A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and reached a crescendo with a hot 'n' crazy I Got Rhythm. The rhythm boys - Birkett and Rollo - had their moments in the Gala's spotlight, yet, somehow, the Canadian octogenarian rightly occupied centre stage. Afterwards, Mr. MacDonald chatted happily with members of the audience saying to one perhaps he and his Virtuoso Jazz Trio bandmates would make a return visit in twenty years...don't bet against it!      
Russell

1 comment :

Lance said...

George MacDonald is playing a duo set with pianist Ken Irvine at St. George's Church, Morpeth this afternoon (August 25).
The hour-long set begins at 3pm and is preceded by a strawberry Tea at 2:30pm.
Details in today's listings.

Blog Archive

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