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Bebop Spoken There

Marc Myers: " If the original group with Baker was Dover sole, the group with Brookmeyer was beef stew." - (JazzWax, December 7, 2019).

Archive

Today Monday December 9

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

St Cuth’s Big Band - St Cuthbert’s Society, 12 South Bailey, Durham DH1 3EE. 8:00pm. Free (donations). St Cuth’s Big Band ‘Christmas Concert’. Concert in dining hall, licensed bar

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

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender 2018: Beats & Pieces @ Middlesbrough Town Hall - October 19

(Review by Lance).
After hearing the Mingus Big Band at Ronnie's on Wednesday, I hope I can be forgiven for feeling that nothing could follow that until this coming Sunday when the American ensemble brings the MJW to a close.
However, it is fair to say that the Manchester-based outfit, Beats & Pieces who opened the weekend, produced a scintillating performance that set the benchmark for all the bands who follow.

Ben Cottrell has, over the years, whipped up a crew that holds a candle to no one. His arrangements and compositions are as imaginative as those by any of his contemporaries. 


There were only two visible music stands, one for baritone saxist Burkhardt – a relative newcomer – indicating that they’ve either played them so many times that they could play them in their sleep or, and I think this is more likely, a lot of them are head arrangements fashioned over time from Cottrell's initial scores by the intuitive playing of the sections.
Most likely, a bit of both. Whatever, the end result is effective.

The moods change, not just from piece to piece but within the composition itself so you can be hearing a funereal chorus that, almost imperceptibly, morphs into a frantic free-for-all then, with the tension at a post-orgasmic high it stops. For a second or two, nobody applauds until it dawns upon them that the piece has ended. A kind of musical coitus interruptus.

I'm not going to single out individual musicians as each contributed to the overall picture both as soloists and section members. Although one of the many highlights that can't go without mention was the unaccompanied trombone trio blast with all three sliders playing a wild, contrapuntal, no holds barred, battle royal where there were no losers.

As befits a relatively young band various effects were incorporated, delays, sustains, reverbs and what-have-yous that produced an occasional surreal effect that didn't hurt at all.
What did hurt for some of us sitting at the front was the piercing lighting effects (see pic. by Russell) that detracted rather than enhanced the music and one of our worthy constituents, not Russell, did complain. I guess it's because I belong to an age where the music spoke for itself which, with B & P, certainly applies.
Despite that small reservation, it was a knockout evening that should have had half the population of Middlesborough crammed into the magnificently renovated building.
As it was, they didn't, perhaps they'd all gone to Sheffield to see The Boro beat Wednesday on a Friday.
Lance.
Setlist
1) Jazzwalk
2) Three
3) Toan (the first ever number the band played at its first rehearsal)
4) Let's Dance (David Bowie)
5) Pop
6) Nois 
7) Rain
8) Broken
9) Banger
Encore
10) Fairytale
11) Hendo
Ben Cottrell (MD & guitar); Anthony Brown (tenor/soprano); Ollie Dover (alto/  soprano); Emily Burkhardt (baritone); Nick Walters, Owen Bryce, Graham South  (trumpets); Richard Foote, Simon Lodge (trombones); Richard McVeigh (bass  trombone); Anton Hunter (guitar); Richard Jones (piano/Nord); Stewart Wilson (bass); Finlay Panter (drums).

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