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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Dee: "I feel my generation had one advantage over today's players in that we were not musically educated in colleges, so we all sounded different. I could tell who it was just by the sound." - (Jazz Rag, Summer 2020).

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

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SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

SUNDAY 20

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. Tel: 0191 691 7090. 12 noon. Free.

Riviera Quartet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. A limited number of seats are available which MUST be bought in advance online. £7:50 or £5:45 live stream only.

THURSDAY 24

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music @ The Bridge Hotel: Joe McPhee & Chris Corsano Duo - Oct. 7

Joe McPhee (tenor/trumpet); Chris Corsano (drums/objects).
(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
To be truthful, I came to this, the closing gig of the festival, partly as a show of support for organiser Wes Stephenson who has done such a magnificent job of organising the multi-venue/multi-genre event and partly to check out Joe McPhee who, at the start of the festival, had created such a buzz and yet was only second banana in the billing at The Bridge.
Jazz, as in most art forms, is forever pursuing new directions. That quest for change invariably wins a few and loses a few. Last night's sell-out concert by sheer force of numbers came down on the side of the forward-looking element.
I arrived convinced I was going to hate it. But in music, as in life, hate can turn to love and vice-versa.
McPhee looked every inch the archetypal jazzman: pork pie hat, black shirt, black trousers and tenor saxophone at the ready, or so we thought. The only oddment being the red shoes.
No, that wasn't the only oddment, the other was the white trumpet with which he started off the opening piece.
The sound that emerged bore no resemblance to any trumpet sounds I'd ever heard - it was almost as if he was blowing the instrument without a mouthpiece or maybe the mouthpiece without an instrument.
Strange - but not as strange as the noises that erupted when he switched to tenor. It took my ears a while to absorb what was going on. The instrument looked like a tenor saxophone but the wild harmonics, the chords - yes, chords on a saxophone - made the excesses of the latterday Coltrane or Albert Ayler sound like Bud Freeman!
Then it happened! Damascus appeared on the horizon!
Have you ever dated a plain Jane or a boring Basil and looked for an excuse to make an early exit? Everyone has but, sometimes you find those protruding teeth suddenly seem to enhance his/her smile, fat becomes pleasingly plump and, before you know it, you're holding hands at midnight...
Such was the case, metaphorically speaking, at this gig. About quarter of an hour into the first number I stopped thinking saxophone and concentrated, instead, on sound. Sound and excitement were what this was all about. Propelled through the unchartered waters by Corsano and an array of 'objects' that I couldn't see but heard clearly, McPhee took me with him - me and 99 others - on a journey to another world where unconventional is conventional, odd is even and even is odd.
This was tremendous stuff and I wanted more which is the sign of a good anything - always leave them asking for more...
I didn't hang around for the headliners, I didn't want anything to erase the memory of what had gone before.
Photos.
Lance.
PS: Next year's festival will be held on the first weekend in October.

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