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Bebop Spoken There

James Francies: "Jazz needs more people who are being themselves and not being shaped into what came before." - (DownBeat November 2020)

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12,127 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1267 of them this year alone and, so far, 109 this month (Nov. 25).

Saturday November 28

HAPPY BIRTHDAY - PETER MORGAN & KATE O'NEILL

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party 2018 @ Village Hotel, Newcastle - Nov 2 (evening)

(Review by Russell)
The Professor 1 began Friday's evening session. The opening half hour piano set is an established part of the programme (other 'professors' - nos. 2 and 3 - would perform on Saturday and Sunday evenings) and on this occasion, the floor was Martin Litton's. The elegant Litton's masterclass included one of his favourites - Willie 'The Lion' Smith's Keep Your Temper - and Ellington's Lady of the Lavender Mist.

Post WWI Americans in Paris offered Crescent City pianist David Boeddinghaus the opportunity to look at the life and work of some of his fellow Americans who chose to stay on in Europe after the Great War. Assisted by France resident New Yorker Nicolle Rochelle, Frenchmen Malo Mazurié, trumpet and Henry Lemaire on guitar, Germany's Matthias Seuffert and Norway's Lars Frank playing the reeds and the British engine room boys Malcolm Sked, string bass (as opposed to double bass, this is a connoisseur's 'classic jazz' era festival, you know!) and the ramrod straight Richard Pite behind the traps, Boeddinghaus' set offered an insight as to how it must have been. Two piano playing Freddys - Johnson and Taylor - featured; the former recorded Harlem Bound (perhaps an unfulfilled wish) for Brunswick in Paris (1933), the latter Viper's Dream.  

Ewan Bleach & His Levee Loungers found the self-effacing Bleach perhaps a tad nervous. Super talented, nerves cast aside, Bleach blew some hot, hot, hot clarinet sharing the stand with good time piano man Jeff Barnhart, Brits Martin Wheatley (banjo, guitar) and on bass Graham Hughes (usually heard playing trombone, slide or valve) and the ever-smiling, immaculate Josh Duffee (drums). Cole Porter's You'd be so easy to love hit the spot and Jerome Kern's Old Man River couldn't have been hotter if they'd tried a million times over. 

Duke Heitger's short set (Dan Levinson, reeds) heard the American on trumpet and singing, on this occasion, The Very Thought of You. An excellent half hour.  

The closing set brought Keith Nichols to the stand. The CJP's senior guest knows a thing or two about the King of Swing and his Benny Goodman Orchestra 1935 programme held the full house spellbound. A starry line-up (including the trumpets of Jamie Brownfield, Malo Mazurié and Duke Heitger, Dan Levinson on tenor and Ms Joan Viskant battling laryngitis) revisited Goodman's successful 1935 Los Angeles period. A hot Get Happy, Viskant singing You Turned the Tables on Me (arr Fletcher Henderson), the rarely heard Ballad in Blue and, a phrase Nichols is fond of using, a couple of 'tear-arse' numbers, namely Sweet and Hot and, with Richard Pite as Gene Krupa, Hooray for Hollywood

Eleven o'clock, no time for the jazz fan to rest...into the bar for a late night jam session. Standing in the crowded bar with pint in hand made note-taking somewhat difficult. Suffice to say it was a tremendous session with the last knockings approaching silly o'clock. The photo shows (left to right), Michael McQuaid, Nicolle Rochelle, Jacob Ullbeger, Mike Davis and Graham Hughes.    
Russell

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