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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Monday May 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

?????

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

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Minnie Fraser Quartet @ The Globe Jazz Bar - Feb. 24

Minnie Fraser (vocals); Mike Bowman (keys, arrangements); Paul Grainger (bass); Abbie Finn (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)

This was the first time I’d heard Minnie doing a full gig and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Mostly GASbook with fine singing and interesting arrangements, accompanied by stellar musicians well-known to the audience, and the Globe full downstairs, what better way to spend a Sunday evening?

The trio opened the show with two tunes seamlessly integrated; I Wish I Could Know How It Feels To be Free and Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, including an early drum solo from Abbie. Minnie stepped on to the stage with a friendly smile, band introductions, and Ain’t Misbehavin, which segued neatly into All Of Me, and a skilled bass solo backed by firm chords from the keys, and off we went. Misty, one of Minnie’s favourite songs; The Very Thought Of You; then, with great versatility, a change to a Latin number, which was Dindi.

I liked the fact that Minnie included the verse for many of the songs, had a welcoming smiling manner, and did some songs that you don’t hear often, such as Get Happy, which is all about death as she pointed out, to some amusement. Lullaby Of Birdland; a deeper-voiced Black Coffee; Song For My Father: then a difficult song tackled well, a pleasant surprise which was Twisted, a song about being a bit mad. The tune is based on a tenor sax solo, hence its difficulty, and readers will have heard the version sung by Annie Ross. A good way to round off the first half.

The second half continued with magic, That Old Black Magic, then Stardust and Fascinating Rhythm, again, both with verses I’m glad to say, and I’ve Got You Under My Skin. Next came another surprise, introduced as the song Keith Crombie wouldn’t let anyone sing, you’ve guessed, Summertime, just voice and piano – Lance left the room, coincidence ...maybe.

Night And Day (with verse, good); then a slow Midnight Sun, with its brilliant rhyming of ‘alabaster palace and aurora borealis’ (beat that, classical poets!)  Cheek To Cheek was the final song, so we thought, but an encore was demanded, and disarmingly encouraged by Minnie, so we went out to the sounds of the A Train, singing, ‘you must get the Metro’.
 
I haven’t mentioned the instrumentalists much because it goes without saying that they did their stuff really well, as we’ve come to expect. I have only one minor quibble,  that the piano was sometimes a bit overpowering, and the ‘effects’ were occasionally overdone whereas straight piano would have been enough. Although, as Lance pointed out, the addition of the vibraphone sound gave an effective Shearing feel to some of the numbers.

Well done, Minnie and the band!
Ann Alex

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