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Bebop Spoken There

Guy Barker: "You have to play it [the trumpet] every day or you just won't be match-fit." - (Jazz Rag, Winter 2019.)

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Today Friday December 13

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux CarréJazzmen - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. ‘Christmas Jazz Lunch’. Details from 0191 252 9429).

Dean Stockdale Trio - The Merry Monk, 30 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening.

Jazz

‘An Evening of Swing & Sparkle’ - National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0GL. Tel: 0191 515 5555. 7:30pm. £35.00. Rat Pack evening inc. 4-course meal.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. First night of two.

Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Orchestra - Yarm School, Stockton TS15 9EJ. Tel: 01642 786023. 7:30pm (6:30pm doors). £18.00. + £1.80. bf (£15.00. + £1.50. bf). 'Mistletoe & Miller'.

Blues, Funk/Soul etc.

Baghdaddies - Cobalt Studios, Boyd Street, NewcastleNE2 1AP. £10.68 (inc. bf). ‘Big Xmas Knees Up’.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

George Shovlin & the Acoustic Radars feat. Pat Rafferty + George Pallas & John Wilkins - Whitburn Cricket Club, East Street, Whitburn SR6 7BZ. Tel: 0191 529 3187. 7:30pm (7:00pm doors). £7.50. admission by ticket only (from www.wegottickets.com). 'The Bents Road Sessions'.

Dead Skunk Skiffle & Blues Orchestra + Stetson Five - Station East, Hills Street, Gateshead NE8 2AN. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Sunday, December 23, 2018

A Jazzy Christmas @ Ushaw - Dec. 20

(Review by Steve T/PHOTOS courtesy of Ken Drew) 


Thursday - the day after the Christmas party - found us in Co. Durham’s largest town during a rush-hour bomb scare which left half the town in lockdown and the other half in gridlock. Since the car was in the lockdown zone we took a bus through the gridlock zone for a crazy, hour-long, stop-start bus journey which left me talking into a bag by the time we hit the mean streets of Bishop Auckland.

Turned up at Ushaw just in the nick of time, after Mrs T had to stop (her crazy stop-start driving) at the bottom of the drive, with another stop - in Spennymoor - during the homeward journey.

It took a full two days to recover fully allowing the battery-powered, roadside recoverer, anonymous alcololic, the lovely Ann Alex (did anyone see what I did there?) to get her review in for the following night ahead of me, making my task somewhat easier: what she said.


Actually the two shows were almost identical but totally different. Sage Gateshead looked splendid but the theatre at Ushaw has an innate fairy-tale quality which makes it perfect for this type of thing. Ushaw was generally more relaxed, which makes no qualitative judgement, and we were fortunate to be incentivised to do both. The various horn players dotted around the theatre for Drummer Boy seemed to work better at Ushaw, or was it just that on Friday we were expecting it.

It's clear we all got our annual top-ten lists in too early this year, but the beauty of ten is that twelve is also a 'power' number. They say men never grow up and I've loved Christmas throughout my life, throughout its twists and turns, through all the instalments of it that life throws at you - captured wonderfully on Paul’s future Christmas number one - and I started thinking, (more on Friday, but maybe because by then I was pretty sure I wasn't going to need a quick exit) if I continue to become more sentimental and nostalgic as (if) I grow older, I may not be able to listen to music in public.

Unfair to single anybody out, but Matt Anderson was dominant throughout, with Graham Hardy reaffirming why he's a beast. The respective violinists across the two nights brought new moments of sublime jouissance to familiar classics and the girls in the corner were wonderful.
 
Paul Edis continues to enrich our region and I'm not going to denigrate him by comparing him to that bunch in the other place but, it's on nights like these, we dare to think we may be in the presence of greatness. Not forgetting that behind every great man there's a great woman, and credit to Kate Edis for co-writing the Christmas song and inspiring Matt Anderson’s uplifting rendition of Driving Home for Christmas; one of the few modern Christmas songs people genuinely seem to like. 

The big problem they face next year is that, if everybody who was there tells just one person (and I have a list), where do we all go? But that's the sort of problem we like. 

Steve T.
Paul Edis (piano, vocals); Jo Harrop (vocals); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums); Matt Anderson (tenor & soprano sax); Francis Tulip (guitar); John Paul Garner (violin); Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugel); Jason Holcomb (trombone); Faye Thompson (alto sax, clarinet); Megan Robinson (flute).

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