Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Brian Carrick: "I contacted Max Jones of Melody Maker and offered to be his correspondent in the States, but I should have done what Ken Colyer had done, get a job on a ship and then jump ship in the States. So I didn't make it [to New Orleans] till 1973." - (Just Jazz May 1999)

Archive.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

COVID-19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

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.

No comments :

Blog Archive