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Bebop Spoken There

Jeremy Pelt: "It [Birth of the Cool sessions] was bebop in sheep's clothing." - (DownBeat, December 2019).


Today Wednesday November 13



Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 12:15pm. Stanley Nelson's 2019 documentary film.

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.



Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Swing Street - Pier Red, Castlegate, Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1LF. Tel: 01289 309168. 8:00pm. Free.

Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.00.


George Shovlin & the Radars, Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DE. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 8:00pm. Free.

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Saturday, February 02, 2019

CD Review: Nick Hempton - Night Owl

Nick Hempton (saxes); Peter Bernstein (guitar); Kyle Koehler (Hammond B3); Fukushi Tainaka (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Recorded direct to tape at GB's Juke Joint in NYC on May 2 last year this does what the title implies - an imaginary walk on the wild side via the bars and clubs, the all-nighters, the shuffles and the boogaloos that have been the soundtrack of the city since the heyday of Lou Donaldson, Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack, Stanley Turrentine and many other legendary groove merchants.

Nick Hempton can hold his own in that exalted company. Gutsy tenor, soaring alto, six original compositions as well as individual takes on three gassers - After You've Gone bears comparison with Art Pepper, Sonny Stitt and other great alto players - whilst I'm a Fool to Want You has just enough edge to it cut it in any juke joint as this Long Island studio recording proves.

Apart from the occasional bravura flourish, this is meaningful playing. Like Dexter Gordon, Hempton makes every note count, and there are plenty of them. Bernstein is with him every inch of the way with his own solos matching those of the bossman. Bernstein is a fave of our boy Francis Tulip and I can see why. Koehler doesn't attack the B3 like so many organ grinders instead he caresses it with fingers and feet making the most of the many combinations of sound available. No need for a bassman when this guy's pedalling. On drums, Tainaka is discreet when discretion is called for and upfront when the heat is on. He's like the blast of air that lifted Monroe's skirt when she stood over the grating on the corner of Lexington & 52nd in the film The Seven Year Itch.

I thought I'd heard all the great Ellington ballads and now, maybe I have! It Shouldn't Happen to a Dream was recorded by "The Divine One" on her album Sarah Vaughan in Hi-Fi and featured Cannonball Adderley. This version may not have Sassy or Cannon but the four guys it does have more than make up for it - one of the all-time classic ballad performances.

Listen Hard, Speak Easy puts the boot in. Down home, greasy spoon, JD on the rocks, eggs over easy all visions that came to me as I lay in bed with the lights off imagining I was in a dive somewhere downtown. I may never get to New York again but, with this album, I'm halfway there.
Night Owl; I Remember Milady's; After You've Gone; I'm a Fool to Want You; 10th St. Turnaround; Corner Bistro; It Shouldn't Happen to a Dream; Listen Hard, Speak Easy; Macao Mood.

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.

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