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Bebop Spoken There

Sting: "It was great. They [the River City Jazzmen] all wore blue suits. The band had been together for about twenty years, which was the same age as the suits." - (Melody Maker Sept. 22, 1979).

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 Monday October 21

Afternoon

Jazz

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

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

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 3:00pm/5:30pm. Screening of Stanley Nelson's documentary film (2019, cert. 15, 1hr 55mins).

Evening

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

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ The Globe – September 8

Nifemi Osiyemi (vocals); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex/Photo courtesy of Sheila Herrick)
I’d wanted to hear Niffi ever since I recently caught the tail end of one of her songs at a Jazz Cafe jam session, where she’d gone down a storm. Saturday night was my chance, and thank goodness I was there, as this gig was a real humdinger. Niffi’s voice is rich and sultry, the delivery skilled and enthusiastic, and her friendly personality shone throughout. The material included some numbers that you don’t hear very often nowadays, such as Darktown Strutters’ Ball.
But no drummer?
No problem! This gave lots more space for soloing on piano, and especially for the bass to really show what he could do. Paul had long, rich, solos, fooling the audience (and possibly Niffi and Alan!) with pretend endings, encouraging and clapping along for some tunes, unusual variations, and even knocking on the instrument’s belly during Hallelujah I Love Him So to illustrate the boy next door calling on his girlfriend. And the audience, mostly younger people, was with the band all the way.
Almost Like Being In Love, began Niffi, and I believe the audience fell in love with her voice. The instrumentalists had solos during most songs, an advantage of being a trio. I Love Being Here With You, she sang, surely a message to the audience. Then came a slow, slinky Undecided (First you say you will and then you won’t); a bluesy Why Don’t You Do Right? very expressive, with some wordless vocals.
The audience needed some swing, in the form of This Can’t Be Love. Then came one of my personal favourite songs, not heard often enough, so thank you Niffi from me, for I Keep Going Back To Joe’s. As Niffi said, this song conveys perfectly the atmosphere of a smoky, lonely bar. Hallelujah I Love Him So had Alan doing great blocks of sound on piano, Paul with his false endings and knocking the body of the bass, all stops out. Darktown Strutters’ Ball rounded off the first half with scat singing.

The second half was even livelier: Sweet Georgia Brown was slow then faster; Get Happy had a beautiful melodic piano introduction, fast bass, audience clap-a-long, then Niffi  holding one of the longest notes I’ve heard this year, I wish I had her lungs! A surprise, Radiohead’s Creep, a rather dark rock number, which I wish had lasted longer as it’s a very satisfying song to sing. (I know, I’ve tried it). Bill Bailey Won’t You Please Come Home? had some original words as the singer sang that she was sick of the words usually sung! After Drown In My Own Tears and I’ll Put A Spell On You, we had I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free, which was sung with feeling as it was the first song that Niffi did in public; the final song was Let The Good Times Roll, with fearless, wild, high, scat, and an improvising mention of all people, old, young, from wherever, Darlington, Newcastle...

A fitting finale to an exuberant evening.

Ann Alex    

1 comment :

Robin Bosanquet said...

Completely agree that this was a great evening. What a great Trio and Niffi's voice is very special.

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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