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Bebop Spoken There

Abdullah Ibrahim: "For me jazz is the highest form of music." - (DownBeat, September 2019).

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Sunday August 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see above).

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Free.

Alice Grace & Nick Pride @ Great North Feast, Bents Park, Sea Road, South Shields NE33 2LD. Time 12 noon-1:00pm. Free. A 'Proper Food & Drink Festivals' event - 10:00am-5:00pm.

Zoë Gilby Family All Stars - Ushaw College, Ushaw DH7 9RH. 1:00pm. £6.00. Ushaw Jazz Festival.

More Jam - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3:00pm. Free.

John Pope Quintet - Ushaw College, Ushaw DH7 9RH. 4:00pm. £8.00. Ushaw Jazz Festival.

Jazz Social - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 4:00pm. Free.

Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, Houndgate, Darlngton DL1 5RL. Tel: 01325 788564. 5:00-7:00pm. Free.

Blues/Funk/Soul

The Sour Mash Trio - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 2:00pm. Free.

The Palaminos - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 5:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Buck Clayton Legacy Band - Ushaw College, Ushaw DH7 9RH. 7:00pm. £14.00. & £12.00. Line-up: Menno Daams, Ian Smith (trumpets), Robert Fowler (alto sax), Matthias Seuffert (tenor sax), Adrian Fry (trombone), Martin Litton (piano), Alyn Shipton (double bass), Clark Tracey (drums). Ushaw Jazz Festival.

Joseph Carville Trio - Devonport Hotel, 16-18 The Front, Middleton One Row, Darlington DL2 AS. Tel: 01325 332255. 7:30pm.

Francis Tulip Quintet - Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. Tel: 0191 232 6400. 8:00pm. £8.00. & £6.00. Quintet feat Xhosa Cole (BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2018).

The Comet is Coming - Georgian Theatre, Green Dragon Yard, Stockton TS18 1AT. Tel: 01642 606525. 8:00pm. £14.00.

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.

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance