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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, November 26, 2018

Sue Ferris Quintet @ Gala Theatre, Durham - Nov. 23

Sue Ferris (tenor sax/flute); Graham Hardy (trumpet/flugelhorn); Paul Edis (piano); Paul Susans (bass); Rob Walker (drums).
(Review by Brian Ebbatson - PHOTOS courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair.)


There’s something about Lunchtime Jazz that’s really taken off since Paul Edis started the lunchtime concerts at the Lit and Phil some five and a half years ago, followed later in the year by the Durham Gala series. Now you can virtually find one on almost every week, with Bishop Auckland Town Hall Jazz, organised by Mick Shoulder and Jazz at the Lubetkin in Peterlee started this year by Emma Fisk. Whilst the Lit & Phil is often packed out – even to the extent of some discomfort – the Gala concerts win out for audience numbers, with punters now having to book 2 – 3 months in advance. 

The Gala Studio has recently been partially refurbished with new lighting that gives all of the audience a good view of the musicians and makes for a much clubbier atmosphere. From the beginning the musicians have always commented on the good acoustics, as well as the good response their music elicits from the appreciative audiences. It’s just a shame that the Gala management won’t buy another 20 seats, so the Studio fills to its 120 capacity, and people who turn up on the day aren’t left waiting for returns or worse turned away.

Last Friday the Sue Ferris Quintet gave another performance to remember, ranging from the Ellington opener, Just Squeeze Me, through to the soul-inflected jazz of Stanley Turrentine, the Blue Note hard-bop of Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver, and saxist Benny Golson, and the post-bop of Roy Hargrove and McCoy Tyner.

Just Squeeze Me got the audience in the mood and established the band’s credentials and the format (with a few variations) for the set-list that followed. Sue and Graham exchanged choruses on the melody before each taking a solo, Sue on tenor and Graham with the plunger mute much featured in many Ellington arrangements. Paul Edis took a solo, first gently improvising on lines of the melody, then building tension with striding chords, bringing back Sue and Graham to restate the catchy melody and close off with gentle harmonies.

Next up was Stanley Turrentine’s Sugar. Paul Susan’s crisply resonant bass took the first solo, Sue’s deep expressive tenor tones and intensely developed lines followed, Graham’s matching her in inventiveness and range, then Paul Edis, first unaccompanied, carefully picking his way through the changes, then in full swing as bass and drums drove him forward. Rob Walker’s cymbal clash brought back the horns for the band to restate the theme and close.

Freddie Hubbard played trumpet on the original Sugar, and the journey through the Blue Note canon next took us to Hubbard’s quirky song, Up Jumped Spring (a favourite of mine, revived by Abbey Lincoln and Stan Getz in the nineties). In contrast to the cold late autumn sun and bare trees across the Wear behind the band, Sue’s soaring lyricism on flute soon invoked the warmth and sense of renewal of the number’s title. Graham responded in style, almost pastoral in mood, and Paul Edis did what Paul Edis does best, Rob and Paul Susans prompting and pushing him on, until Rob signalled a change of tempo and the ensemble played the number out, Sue’s flute again leading with Graham in harmony behind.

Horace Silver’s The Natives are Restless Tonight, from the classic Song For My Father album, next, another opportunity for all five band member to show hard bop credentials. Solos again from Sue (back on tenor), Graham and Paul E, Rob Walker and Paul S working up a storm behind them.

Then moving on three decades to Roy Hargrove’s Soppin’ the Biscuits (Dunking the Parkin in Anglo-Saxon English), from Hargrove’s 1994 album Tenors of our Time, a new number for the quintet introduced by Graham, a catchy post-bop piece yet harking back to the Blue Note heyday. (Another link with the theme of the programme is Stanley Turrentine playing tenor with Roy on the recording.)

Back to the late 50s for Benny Golson’s Are You Real? from the Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers’ Moanin’ LP. Golson is no doubt another key influence for Sue, and although I’ve never heard Paul quote Bobby Timmons as such, in this mood Paul’s piano always reminds me of his playing.
Paul featured too on the finale, his C21 Tyneside tribute to McCoy Tyner, McCoin a Phrase, a great ensemble piece to conclude the programme, leaving the audience in high spirits, and wishing the band would just keep on going.

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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