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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.)

Archive

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.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Hand to Mouth @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall: Jan. 18

Bradley Johnston (guitar); Lindsay Hannon ( vocals).
(Review by Jerry)

The headline sums up my reaction to two musicians who can so ably perform great standards with their amazing tunes and even better words! It also links in to my only gripe about this otherwise excellent lunchtime gig which I’ll get out of the way up front. Lindsay Hannon, while introducing Gee, Baby Ain’t I Good to You, recalled her anxiety at a past gig when performing Aretha’s trademark song: would she get the spelling right when it came to the R-E-S-P-E-C-T bit? It was a good intro but it was almost the only one – leaving the less clued-up audience members (mainly me!) to work out titles etc. for themselves. Lindsay has an engaging personality and clearly a good sense of humour: I’m sure even clued-up audiences would appreciate seeing more of both. Gripe over!

Ray Noble’s, The Very Thought of You, was first up – a poppy tune with fairly conventional lyrics e.g. “I see your face in every flower, your eyes in stars above”. This contrasted with several other tunes on the set-list which were categorised as “anti-Valentine’s songs”. Rodgers and Hart’s I Wish I Were in Love Again states that “When love congeals, it soon reveals,/the faint aroma of performing seals”; Billy Strayhorn’s Lush Life with its girls with “sad and sullen grey faces” and Arlen’s brilliant rejection of  “moon and June and rainbows’ ends” in Down With Love!
That I was able to appreciate genius lyrics throughout the gig was down to Lindsay’s perfect enunciation and sensitive phrasing. I had not heard her sing before and look forward to doing so again. Soon! Her voice ranges from quirky high notes on I Can’t Give You Anything but Love (a delight from its a cappella opening to its snap ending) to dark, deep and husky (sometimes with quite a bluesy rasp) on Gee Baby… on Ain’t Got Nothin’ but the Blues and on All Too Soon.
The names, Ellington, Fitzgerald and Pass featured often throughout (understandable given the duo’s shared love of such music) but there were others: Hamilton and Hale, for example, gave us You’re Blasé which, believe it or not, I’d never heard before. Nice rhymes here, too: chasm/enthusiasm for example! And there was Jobim – bossa to go with the blues –with Dindi and with One Note Samba. On the latter, Hand to Mouth became just that as Lindsay popped and Bradley blew some improvised rhythm in the intro – and also ended the tune with a pop! Good fun!
In October, I commented on how far Bradley Johnston has come in a few short years: I would echo that comment after this gig. Where Lindsay helped us all with the genius lyrics, Bradley did the business with the “amazing tunes” which I mentioned earlier – not only with gently accompanying the lyrics but also with seductive intros and intricate solos exploring the tunes themselves. He was equally comfortable with ballads, blues, bossa and samba and played almost a “walking bass” riff which particularly caught the ear on the up-tempo rendering of Down With Love.
And finally an unsolicited plug for Bishop Auckland: Mick Shoulder is bringing some great acts there for those who like the lunchtime format, and
also a plug for the town itself – it really is a town on the up. It can be reached on a single bus (X21) from Newcastle – a bit of an odyssey, I know, but there’s enough there to make a day out with the Mining Art Museum, Auckland Park (and Wetherspoon’s for lunch) not to mention the Spanish Gallery which is due to open this year. Pick a jazz Friday and you have the perfect bus-pass adventure!
Jerry

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