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11,740 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 880 of them this year alone and, so far, 17 this month (August 4).

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August

Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Velvet Revolution + Charlie Collins and Friends @ The Cumberland Arms - Nov. 16

The Velvet Revolution: Daniel Erdmann (saxes); Théo Ceccaldi (violin); Jim Hart (vibes).

Charlie Collins and Friends: Charlie Collins (percussion); Eun-Jung Kim (komungo); Derek Saw (trumpet); Faye MacCalman (clarinet).
(Review by Steve H/photos to follow)

At about 11 o’clock on Friday night, a bearded figure carrying a grey suitcase entered the upstairs room of the Cumberland Arms to a round of applause. French violinist Theo Ceccaldi had just arrived straight from Newcastle Airport after a tortuous journey from Toulouse. Like a real trooper and with no time to lose Theo joined the other 2 members of The Velvet Revolution to complete a stunning evening of music.

Due to his late arrival, we were treated to a duo set from Erdmann and Hart. Some of the tunes were even world premieres as the very dry-witted Erdman explained. Their set was an unscheduled bonus which also included updates of Ceccalidi’s arrival time (the plane actually landed at 22.05 and luckily in these pre-Brexit times there were no immigration hold-ups).

When the trio eventually played together the music was even livelier, Ceccaldi seeming to be suffering no after-effects from his arduous travels. Interestingly, he played without a bow for much of the time strumming the violin to great effect.

Hart on vibes was extremely watchable incorporating all sorts of effects including employing what appeared to be 2 wooden coat hangers as bows. Erdmann is a wonderfully creative lyrical player. Both duo and trio sets were different enough to have a unique feel to them but what they did have in common was the sheer quality of the performance.

The evening had begun with regular Tyneside visitor Charlie Collins performing a duet with Eun-Jung Kim on komungo (a  horizontal wooden stringed instrument). Collins is a percussive magician continually pulling objects from up his sleeve or out of a top hat to create weird and wonderful beats and sounds.  Kim plucked with a stick, strummed and picked on the komungo in total harmony with Collins producing a very subtle meditative set.  

After a short break, the pair were joined by Derek Saw on trumpet and our own Faye MacCalman on clarinet. Picking up where Kim and Collins had left off, a dreamy floaty soundscape evolved allowing this listener at times to drift off into very pleasant cerebral spaces.
A great evening at an infrequently used venue for jazz - four sets of fascinating and enjoyable music accompanied by some very fine real ale – it doesn’t get much better than that.
Steve H.

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