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Bebop Spoken There

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

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

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Tiptoe @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - October 11

Alice Higgins (vocals); Will Blackstone (trumpet/snare drum); Conall Mulvenna (guitar/backing vocals); Roz MacDonald (double bass). 
(Review by Lance).
It was one of those nights that you wanted to share with the world. But unfortunately, tonight was a rare night when our immediate world i.e. Newcastle/Gateshead was spoilt for choice when it came to quality singers.
Caro Emerald at Sage Gateshead, Paul Skerritt at the Jazz Café and of course the Indigo Jazz Voices down in Globeland.
Oh yes, and then there was Alice Higgins at Gosforth Jazz Club - was there not!
Remember that name and remember the name of the band - Tiptoe.
An appropriate name, for the four musicians do indeed tread softly which, given that the quartet includes trumpet and Fender Strat, two instruments rarely given to delicacy, is an achievement in itself.
The band got together at Leeds and have since received support via the Jazz Northern Line touring scheme and deservedly so (not always the case!)
Alice handles the vocals stylishly and with much musical acumen. Pitching and phrasing are impeccable.

Blackstone is nearer to Chet Baker than Kenny Baker opting for the terrestrial as opposed to the celestial register blowing lyrical, mostly open horn and, when not doing that, applying brushes to a snare drum.
Mulvenna is Irish and appears to be the nominal leader, doing the announcing, telling the jokes and playing a tasteful mix of single string and chordal solos.
Oh yes, and then there was Roz MacDonald - was there not!
One of the most melodic bassists I've heard. A clean sound and a clear conception of the changes (if she had an iPad I shudder to think where it was hidden) with solos that made sense.
The material was sound.
A Sleepin' Bee; Tea For Two (not done à la Anita thank goodness!); I Didn't Know What Time it Was; Tuesday Heartbreak (Stevie Wonder); I'm Beginning to See the Light (bass solo!!!); Mr Magic (music by Grover Washington Jr. lyric by Amy Winehouse); Sleepwalker (Emily King); September in the Rain.
Thus endeth the first set. A good mix of the old and the new. There weren't many of us present but no one made signs of leaving - how could they?
Eat your heart out Caro!
The second set began with the Basie classic Shiny Stockings with more than a hint of Ella.
You'd be so Nice to Come Home To; If I Were a Bell; How Do I Know? (band original); April in Paris; Rocket Love (Stevie Wonder); Mean to Me and My Lonely Days Are Gone.
Some may class it as Dinner Jazz but I prefer Banquet Jazz such was the musical feast set before the chosen few.
This was one of those rare occasions when I was disappointed that the band wasn't hawking CDs.
Photos.
Lance.

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