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Bebop Spoken There

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Postage

15103 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 122 of them this year alone and, so far, 20 this month (Feb. 6).

From This Moment On ...

February

Tue 07: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums). Jam session reverts to a first & third Tuesday in the month schedule.

Wed 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 08: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Free. TBC.
Wed 08: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 08: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 08: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 09: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 4:00pm (this week only). Free.
Thu 09: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00.
Thu 09: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guest band: Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Richie Emmerson (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Fri 10: Alan Barnes w Dean Stockdale Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 10: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 10: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: Alan Barnes w Dean Stockdale Trio @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £12.00.

Sat 11: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 2:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com.
First gig of four (1/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA.
Sat 11: New Century Ragtime Orchestra @ King's Hall, Newcastle University. 7:00pm. £15.00. on the door.
Sat 11: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 7:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com. Second gig of four (2/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA. SOLD OUT!
Sat 11: Vermont Big Band & the Coast Connection @ The Seahorse, Whitley Bay FC. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. hot buffet), raffle. SOLD OUT!
Sat 11: The Rebelators @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 12: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. LAST SESSION!
Sun 12: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 2:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com. Third gig of four (3/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA.
Sun 12: Am Jam @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. Jam session, all welcome.
Sun 12: Jive Aces @ Queen's Hall, Hexham. 7:30pm.
Sun 12: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 7:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com. Fourth gig of four (4/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA. SOLD OUT!
Sun 12: Sylvain Darrifourcq-Manuel Hermia-Valentin Ceccaldi @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion (upstairs).

Mon 13: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 13: Central Bar Quintet @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £5.00. First set: The Central Bar Quintet plays Horace Silver's The Tokyo Blues (featuring Pete Tanton). Second set: standards & more (no jam session).

Tue 14: ???

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.

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