Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Sting: "It was great. They [the River City Jazzmen] all wore blue suits. The band had been together for about twenty years, which was the same age as the suits." - (Melody Maker Sept. 22, 1979).

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Monday October 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see centre column).

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

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 3:00pm/5:30pm. Screening of Stanley Nelson's documentary film (2019, cert. 15, 1hr 55mins).

Evening

?????

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

Friday, March 01, 2019

A Strictly Smokin' Farewell - Feb 28

(Review/photos by Russell)

Some six years on it was 'goodbye' to the Millstone. Yes, the Strictly Smokin' Big Band's monthly open rehearsal night has run its course down on Haddricks Mill Road and in future your regular date with one of the finest big bands around will be at one of Newcastle city centre's very best pubs.

This farewell South Gosforth appearance came hot on the heels of the SSBB's triumphant concert with guest star Mark Nightingale. It would soon become evident that the eighteen-piece big band was still on a collective high. One or two deps were drafted in - Jamie Toms' tenor chair being occupied by Sue Ferris and Dick Stacey's absence from the trumpet section covered by Elliott Todd - otherwise it was the now familiar faces sitting in the sections. 

Home Groan opened the show, the tune the first of several reprising the band's Sage Gateshead concert. Vocalist Alice Grace was on hand to sing Mean to Me and Fascinating Rhythm, the latter featuring Sue Ferris' tenor sax solo. Singer and band were on top form, and, as one seasoned big band fan noted, the SSBB's first rehearsal session following a big concert occasion always seems to find the band at the top of its game - a point well made!


Harold Arlen's Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Alice Grace singing Let's Do It, this final Millstone session was shaping up to be one of the very best. MD Michael Lamb told us - true or not it's a good story! - that during the band's concert with Mark Nightingale, Keiran Parnaby turned round and said he could do better than that as their virtuoso guest trombonist played Don't Mention the Blues. Well, Lamb said this Parnaby's big chance as they were about to play the number. Much laughter ensued. Did KP look a tad nervous? This was great fun! And it came to pass that KP's Herculean effort gave Nightingale a run for his money and, what's more, the reeds reproduced their fine in-concert performance. 

Film Noir Part 1 resumed hostilities after the break with Keith Robinson's alto feature riding on Guy Swinton's Blakey-like drive. More good work from Swinton, this time with brushes in hand, as Ms Grace produced another knockout version of Mad About the Boy. The band took One Note at a Time one note at a time and, unsurprisingly, got them all in the right order with solos from Pav Jedrzejewski on guitar, Dave Kerridge, tenor, 'bone man Chris Kurji-Smith and ace American trumpeter Pete Tanton. 

You're the Top insisted AG, informing the on-side audience that this would be the Anita O'Day take with the spotlight trained on the 'bones; Parnaby, Kurgi-Smith, Mark Ferris and bass 'bone John Flood. Hard Hearted Hannah sang AG - quite simply it doesn't get any better than this. 

Pav and the rhythm section boys swung it like crazy on Not Just a Date with Laurie Rangecroft the baritone anchor. The Heat of the Moment took flight, nothing could keep the SSBB in check on this one as the ensemble blazed a trail...a trail that was was about to see them leave the Millstone for the last time. How about some Ella/Alice Grace? That Old Black Magic. Perfect. 

Goodbye Millstone, hello Bridge Hotel...stay tuned to BSH for further details.         
Russell

Michael Lamb MD, Pete Tanton, Gordon Marshall, Elliott Todd (trumpets); Mark Ferris, Keiran Parnaby, Chris Kurgi-Smith, John Flood (trombones); Dave Kerridge, Sue Ferris, Steve Summers, Keith Robinson, Laurie Rangecroft (reeds); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar), Graham Don (piano); Michael Whent (bass); Guy Swinton (drums); Alice Grace (vocals).

1 comment :

Keith Robinson (on F/b) said...

Thanks Russell for your support, reviews, and enthusiasm over the years. Hopefully, see you down at The Bridge.

Blog Archive

About this blog - contact details.

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.

Submissions for review

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.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance