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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.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Paul Skerritt & James Harrison @ The Jazz Café - October 11

Paul Skerritt (vocals) & James Harrison (piano, keyboards, accordion)
(Review by Russell)
Jazz Café favourites Paul Skerritt and James Harrison made a return visit to Newcastle's Pink Lane venue following their successful appearance during the long hot days of summer. The duo has established a simple, winning formula - Skerritt chooses a favourite tune, then Harrison makes a selection - and they stick to it. 

Witty repartee is part of the act with the duo having a laugh, poking fun at one another, laughing at themselves and, importantly, interacting with the audience. The latter quality isn't a universal trait and perhaps some other gigging musicians could take a leaf out of their book. 

The Gasbook - It's Only a Paper MoonIt Don't Mean a ThingPuttin' on the Ritz -   took its chance alongside an assortment of popular songs ranging from All About the Bass (it's the PMJ phenomenon!) and Ain't No Sunshine to the evening's closing number, the get-up-and-dance (some did) Let the Good Times Roll

Dig beneath the surface and you'll find Skerritt and Harrison are more than merely good time entertainers. Skerritt's deep tenor to baritone rendition of Gregory Porter's emotive Take Me to the Alley tells you he can sing the heavyweight stuff when the mood takes him and his partner-in-frivolity, Harrison can play a mean jazz piano - for example effortlessly incorporating stride patterns into his solo flights, notably I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter.  

Harrison briefly disappeared - had he gone to the gents? No, of course not, he'd gone to pick up his accordion! And he can play it, that's for sure. What's more, some of the buttons no longer work due to our pianist/accordionist falling off a uni-cycle whilst playing it on Northumberland Street. The good musician that he is, Harrison more than got a tune out of it, at one point standing on a stool without thinking of the possible consequences...more broken buttons/a broken arm/a bruised shin* 

At the end of the evening, the Jazz Café's proprietor announced that he had booked the duo to make a quick return - the date for your diary is Thursday, November 15. 
Russell.
* It can be confirmed that no harm came to the performers during the making of the evening's entertainment.              

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