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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.

Monday, December 17, 2018

SSBB - Christmas @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - Saturday, Dec. 15

(Review by Russell)

Storm Deirdre did its best/worst to disrupt the second of the Strictly Smokin' Big Band's two sold-out Christmas shows.  A couple of centimetres of snow is often sufficient to see Tyneside in a state of gridlock but the SSBB's followers weren't to be deterred.

Gosforth Civic Theatre buzzed with excitement as the eight o'clock start approached. First impressions...the venue has a new, recently acquired Yamaha upright piano - good! The stage was festooned with microphones (the concert performance was to be recorded - good!) and, as band singer Alice Grace sang the first of several numbers - Fascinating Rhythm - it was obvious that a first-rate mic/PA system was at her (and F'reez's) disposal - good! A superb vocalist, as Alice is, deserves to be heard properly in front of a big band. 

Jingle Bells the opener - well, it is nearly Christmas - set the festive tone and musical standard (A*). Evenin' sang F'reez. Yes, a grand evening was in store. April in Paris Basie-style...One more time, one more. This the SSBB - what a band! 


This blog - BSH - has frequently sung the praises of Alice Grace and a knock out version of Time After Time confirmed our adopted Geordie as one of the great vocalists on today's scene. Polly Gibbons' Midnight Prayer offered further evidence of AG's credentials, this time with a hitherto unheard soulful dimension to her voice.

Last Christmas sang F'reez and Alice. It's futile trying to resist, go with the flow, GCT's audience was in unstoppable party mode. The Christmas Song (chestnuts etc) brought the evening to a close. Michael Lamb's big band is some outfit! Professional to the last, section work exemplary, those sections bulging with soloists, some of them taking their turn in the spotlight. The rhythm boys - Pav Jedrzejewski, guitar, Graham Don, piano, Michael Whent, bass guitar and drummer Guy Swinton - is as fine an engine room as you'll find. Top it all off with double whipped cream in the shape of Alice and F'reez and you've got yourself one of the best big bands around.

The sell-out success of the SSBB's Christmas shows is such that tickets for next year's concerts - Friday 13 and Saturday 14 December - are on sale now. Don't delay, visit the band's website and book your tickets now. That's one of 2019’s Christmas presents sorted!

Russell.

Michael Lamb (MD), Pete Tanton, Gordon Marshall, Dick Stacey (trumpets); John Flood Kieran Parnaby, Chris Gray, Mark Ferris (trombones); Steve Summers, Keith Robinson, Jamie Toms, Matt Forster, Laurie Rangecroft (reeds); Graham Don (piano); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton ((drums); Alice Grace, F'reez (vocals).

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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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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.
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