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Bebop Spoken There

Cécile McLorin Salvant: "She [Melissa Aldana] makes us realise how terrible it is to be complacent." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Thursday June 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Arc, Dovecot St., Stockton on Tees TS18 1LL. Tel: 01642 525199. 7:00pm. £12.00. + £0.10. bf. ‘Jazz & Tapas’ - booking essential.

Ruth Lambert Quartet - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00.

Heller-Glendinning: Billie Meets Kurt - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm (doors). £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Acoustic Infusion - The Forum, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £5.00. Line-up: Alan Thompson (tenor sax); Rick Laughlin (piano); Bruce Rollo (double bass); Ian Halford (drums). Now Abbie Finn on drums.

Durham University Concert Band + Grollingwood Big Band - Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ. 7:30pm. £10.00., £9.00., £8.00.

Durham University Big Band - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00 concs.). JNE.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax), Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

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

Thursday, February 07, 2019

The nth quartet @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle – February 3

Corey Mwamba (vibes); Laura Cole (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Johnny Hunter (drums).
(Review by Steve H/PHOTOS courtesy of Ken Drew)

Corey Mwamba has been a frequent visitor to Tyneside playing with a variety of bands. This nth quarter is a newly formed ensemble featuring some of my favourite players Laura Cole on piano, honorary Geordie Johnny Hunter on drums and full time 100% Geordie Andy Champion on double bass. Corey Mwamba is not just a fine technician on vibes but also a very entertaining performer who always seems to establish a great rapport with his audience.

However, he took a decision several years ago to hang up his mallets as far as live performances are concerned. So Sunday night’s gig with the nth quartet was the last time that we get to see him perform live (he will still be making music and sharing it digitally in his studio).


Corey explained at the start of the gig that as his retirement gets closer and closer he gets happier and happier so this gig was a celebration rather than a sad farewell. The first set was very structured and intense it was probably the tightest and least improvised of any Mwamba gig I had seen. Not to say it was all melody and saccharine a number based on Giant Steps emphasised the creativity of the quartet.


The second set was far livelier as opposed to the first which, if I dare to say, was a touch melancholic. By contrast, this set was full of life and exuberance with great empathy and commitment from all involved.  

A fitting finale to a great live career and the packed audience gave the band a rousing ovation at the gig's conclusion.  I for one will certainly miss Corey’s departure from the live jazz scene but I can only wish him every success and happiness in whatever direction his future career takes him.

Steve H.

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