Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

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

Archive

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.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music @ The Black Swan Bar & Venue: Something Smashing - an Evening of Improvised Music and Dance. Oct. 4

Graeme Wilson (reeds); Mike Parr-Burman (guitar); Ana Almeida (voice, shoes); Christian Alderson (drums, percussion); Russell Wimbush (double bass); Alma Lindenhovius, Holly Irving, Tess Letham, Emma Snellgrove, Skye Reynolds, Adam Russell (dancers).  
(Review by Steve T/photos to follow)   
Dance is not really my thing (as anybody who has seen me will attest) but I'm always interested in anything cultural, particularly in seeing how people respond. 
A rough headcount at the start revealed almost thirty willing souls, but I think it may have grown during the course of three separate performances. Our preference was to split it up with a bite in the middle, so we only got the first and last; often a good idea I've found at things you're not entirely sure about. Once over I would stringently sit through long, boring drum solos and solo piano pieces before realising a short sojourn to the bar could make the whole evening far more enjoyable.

With an accordion player sat on the stage, an unmanned drum kit just off it and reeds maestro Graeme Wilson in the audience, we weren't sure what to expect. A lady with a mic and shoes, on stage ad-libbing, some heavy breathing. Another, barefoot, walking around the stage, spinning around, walking backwards. Another, more animated, also barefoot with a fourth off stage, as the first left. Then a fifth, all barefoot.   
The cast were in among the seats interacting with the audience; one like a zombie in a modern day zombie film; another like Truly Scrumptious on a music box that's wound by a key, sometimes like the expressionless, graceless cast of Humans and some that could have been inspired by the drunken, stoned antics in Ab Fab.
Turned out the first lady, the one with shoes, was a really good singer, including some pretty impressive conical style Indian singing Graeme may have got from Zakir Hussain, who he saw in the summer. Some French singing, with sea-faring accordion. 

Some humour, others in the audience were getting more than me, and others taking it a little more seriously than I felt it warranted; but what do I know?!
For the first part we were sat at the front but by part two we found ourselves at the back with a more panoramic view of the entire performance including audience interaction - very important in modern theatre.
By now we had a drummer/percussionist; a guitarist, though not doing anything so straightforward as strumming or picking the strings; and Graeme - Roland Kirk-like - walking around with a pair of horns at his mouth, before settling on bass clarinet.

Most significantly, there was now at least one male dancer as well, which slightly altered any underlying sexual connotations in what was generally mildly erotic, though sexual tension was only hinted at and remained fluid throughout the two performances we caught. At one point, during a tenor/violin duet, bodies were writhing and contorting between the two flirting instruments.
The finale inevitably had all musicians and dancers in action centre stage, Graeme (now on tenor I believe) suitably honking away interminably. Earlier he'd claim that all the music and dance was entirely improvised, reopening the eternal discussion in jazz about whether it's pure improvisation when players inevitably draw from their stock of traits, riffs, motifs and catchphrases, and it must be the same for dancers.
All in all, we had a really nice evening; a nice change, even if we wouldn't choose to do it regularly.  
Steve T.

No comments :

Blog Archive