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Bebop Spoken There

Cécile McLorin Salvant: "She [Melissa Aldana] makes us realise how terrible it is to be complacent." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Thursday June 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Arc, Dovecot St., Stockton on Tees TS18 1LL. Tel: 01642 525199. 7:00pm. £12.00. + £0.10. bf. ‘Jazz & Tapas’ - booking essential.

Ruth Lambert Quartet - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00.

Heller-Glendinning: Billie Meets Kurt - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm (doors). £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Acoustic Infusion - The Forum, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £5.00. Line-up: Alan Thompson (tenor sax); Rick Laughlin (piano); Bruce Rollo (double bass); Ian Halford (drums). Now Abbie Finn on drums.

Durham University Concert Band + Grollingwood Big Band - Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ. 7:30pm. £10.00., £9.00., £8.00.

Durham University Big Band - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00 concs.). JNE.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax), Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Pak Yan Lau and Chris Corsano and Candlesnuffer @ Lit and Phil - Oct 6.

(Review by Steve T)
I wasn't sure I'd like this, the two support acts to the main event (Full Blast), but I was sure that the current Mrs T wouldn't, so a seat at the back for discreet nodding off, diversional therapy or a fuss-free escape route seemed the best option. This also meant that half of the time we couldn't see what was going on, so we knew how the judges on The Voice must feel. I thought it would sell out and it did, with lots of faces I didn't recognise from the usual haunts.

Candlesnuffer (prepared guitar).
Dave Brown was playing guitar - that much I knew - but not in any traditional sense. I could see some sort of device he was using, which looked a little like a fan. The sounds were at times akin to a sci-fi film, some eastern percussion sounds, some electronica, bird noises…
Is it Jazz? Is it music? Does it matter? As somebody who hates melodies that go on, go on, go on, go on, go on the radio, isn't there something in between? And does that make me a liberal?
One piece lasting approx. half an hour gradually built up in waves, coming further in each time, then receding; two steps forward - one back. A number of things happening simultaneously sounding like a factory shop. Some scratched vinyl sounds we apparently all want now and allegedly always did.

I had to take a look so stood by the sound chap to see a lovely natural arch-top on its side like a slide guitar. I saw Fred Frith (of prog/jazz/rock band Henry Cow) do something similar a few years back with a whole bunch of props and gadgets, but it was interspersed with more traditional musical stuff which was enhanced - Zappa like - by the doodling. It's the juxtaposition of plaisir and jouissance that enhances both. This was all doodling - clever and interesting, but doodling.

Back to where it began, then some guitar stuff - quite beautiful, the guitar now upright. An interesting half hour, though I wouldn't have wanted more, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
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Pak Yan Lau (prepared and toy pianos), Chris Corsano (drums, percussion, objects).
More of the same, this time from the Lit and Phil grand piano, giving a thicker sound, seemingly by pulling on its strings. Chris Corsano on drums was highly skilled, as much for moving various add-ons around a standard kit, as playing it. Noises coming from the vicinity of the piano periodically taking second place.

Around fifteen minutes in, a recognisable note from the piano before disappearing back into sound. Who was it that said all sound is music?
Some more than others.

Just as it appeared to end, some scraping noises followed by ferocious drumming reaching a climax. From then on it became like the Lord of the Rings trilogy which Jack Nicholson has said had too many endings, stretching the piece to another note at around fifty minutes: about twenty minutes too long. 

This type of thing requires an entirely new deconstruction from the listener, and is a once only, never to be repeated, one-off experience. But while it's never the same, for me it all just ends up sounding the same.
Steve T.

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