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Bebop Spoken There

Dayna Stephens: "I always tell them [students] there will never be anyone who will play it [EWI] as technically proficient as this cat [Michael Brecker] did." - (JazzTimes June 2019).

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Today Tuesday June 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, 59 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free. Trio Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

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

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music @ The Lit and Phil: Stan Sulzmann and Nikki Iles – Oct. 5

Stan Sulzmann (tenor); Nikki Iles (piano)
(Review by Ann Alex/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
By 12.45 the Lit and Phil concert room was almost full. I took a side seat (I like to be near the action), but this meant that I was behind our pianist, not ideal for hearing the names of the tunes, so excuse me for any titles I’ve omitted. Wes Stephenson introduced the proceedings, sporting a shaggy beard, which goes well with the concept of improvised music.

I really am at quite a loss to describe the music as it was so, so good, as proved by the hearty applause. I wish I knew more about jazz technically, in order to do full justice to the playing. But Who Can I Turn To? which was the first tune. Flowing piano, and a slower, contrasting sax, alternating solos. This was very danceable music and I’d have been on my feet if I’d been listening at home. The next piece was from Porgy and Bess, beginning with long, slow sax notes, and now I wanted to sing.
A sax-led boppy number followed. A strong lively tune which never far below the surface during the improvisation, an effect which I love, and the piano neatly varying the timing. Apparently, Norma Winstone has written lyrics to this one.

Film music: The Night We Called It A Day, slow and serene, followed by a Kenny Wheeler composition. Nikki suggested a tea break as she’d supposed that the gig was to last until 3pm, but the scheduled ending was 2pm, so our players continued, probably thirstily, but it didn’t affect the high standard of music. A wonderfully sensitive You Don’t Know What Love is (from Billie Holiday’s album Lady in Satin), then the last tune, How Deep Is the Ocean?
 Ros Rigby did the final announcements, telling us that the Middlesbrough Jazz Weekend (Oct 19-21) will feature Nikki Iles’ brand new composition for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

I must add that we were given a very informative leaflet with lots of information about the musicians. Stan Sulzmann, a veteran of the jazz scene, has played with many of the ‘greats’ and Nikki Iles, an award-winning musician, composer and teacher also has an impressive résumé.
Photos.
Ann Alex

2 comments :

Hugh said...

This was a great gig with a full hall. The third item was Ladies in Mercedes (the place, not the car apparently!), by Steve Swallow.

What struck me about the gig (in the light of Lance's previous piece on clapping) was the applause. The Literary and Philosophical audience did not applaud after each solo, but reserved their (enthusiastic and full) applause until the last embers of each carefully crafted ending had died down. This, in my view, added to the great atmosphere in this chamber setting.

Nikki Iles also announced a forthcoming duo album with Stan Sulzmann: Lush Life, available shortly.

Hugh said...

Nice photo. Glad that's not the back of my head in the foreground!

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