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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Newton: "Having got my Grade 8 pretty early, it was only then that the piano was taking over. But this was happening outside of school really, as the music teacher at this particular school didn't like me or the kind of music I liked." (Jazzwise February 2019).

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Today Tuesday January 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jam session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Mark Williams, Paul Grainger, Russ Morgan.

Alter Ego - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB. Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

A Jazzy Christmas: Paul Edis and Friends @ Sage Gateshead – Dec. 21

Paul Edis (piano, vocals); Jo Harrop (vocals); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums);
Matt Anderson (tenor & soprano sax); Francis Tulip (guitar); Emma Fisk (violin) Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugel); Jason Holcomb (trombone); Faye Thompson (alto sax, clarinet); Megan Robinson (flute)
(Review by Ann Alex/PHOTOS courtesy of Jerry E)

Sage Two was all set for Christmas, fairy lights adorning the mic stand, double bass and elsewhere. Lighted stars onstage along with our star jazz musicians, and a full auditorium - even up on level 3. This was the second jazzy Christmas concert and, by the end of the concert, there were calls for more of the same next year. A concert suitable for both die-hard jazz fans and people not so familiar with the genre.

As Paul pointed out, the concert began with a tribute to Greggs/Fenwick’s window (the enterprising bakery chain which has a shop opposite Fenwicks has cunningly reversed their sign so that the Greggs’ logo is correctly reflected in the department store’s popular Christmas window!) with Walking in the Air from The Snowman, straight in with solos from tenor sax and guitar.
Paul told silly Christmas cracker jokes, as he did last year, before the arrival of the sultry-voiced Jo Harrop. Wearing a Christmassy black dress with silver glitters, Jo gave out with Let It Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow and, on the right-hand side of the stage, trombone, trumpet, alto sax and flute augmented the band. The song included a quick reference to a certain red-nosed reindeer whose driver was last seen asking directions to my house.

And so it continued, Jo sang The Christmas Waltz which was written especially for Frank Sinatra, and Paul came up with his first piano solo of the night if I remember rightly – or was it his second? Emma was featured on Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, and also on a very slow version of White Christmas, with the violin sounding rich-toned and quite luscious. Exit Jo. Interesting to watch the exits and entrances, I think Shakespeare said something about that.

Drivin’ Home For Christmas featured Matt on sax and (unusually) a Latin beat, then Jo returned with a real swinging version of What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?, and Graham trumpeted (or flugelled?) on Sleigh Ride. And I must mention that, all the while, bass and drums tirelessly kept the toboggan on course and didn’t go off-piste and, no, I haven’t spelled that wrong!

The second set opened with a pleasing medley of O Come All Ye Faithful and Silent Night, the latter swinging, and we had a duo number from soprano sax and violin. Paul sang, (yes!), a clever original song, Merry Christmas On Christmas Day, Jo did Santa Baby and the sad wartime song I’ll Be Home For Christmas (If Only In My Dreams). Then, for me, a high point of the evening, the horns entering from the back of the hall to join Russ drumming on Little Drummer Boy. Quite moving.  A duo of keys and Jo singing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. All on stage for Winter Wonderland, then a well-deserved encore, all except Jo in Santa hats, for The Christmas Song (‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ etc), and a promise to return next year. Bring it on!
Ann Alex    

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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.

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