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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.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Blaydon Jazz Club Fundraiser - March 17

Noel Dennis Quartet: Noel Dennis (trumpet, flugelhorn); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell/PHOTOS courtesy of Jerry E)

Thirty-five years of countless memorable jazz nights at Blaydon Jazz Club and Sunday evening's triple bill has to be right up there with the best of them. A full house comprising hardcore regulars and many new faces suggested it was going to be something special, Three bands - the future stars of the Early Bird Band, Alice Grace wowing the Black Bull audience and the amazing Noel Dennis up from Teesside - gave full value for money performances.

Topping the bill was one of the underrated trumpet players of his generation. Noel Dennis chose to pursue a career in academe yet had he elected to make a go of it on the London scene he would have established himself as one of the great 'names' on the national stage. Working with Dennis on this fundraising evening were three fellow musicians who can only be described as 'first call' calibre - pianist Paul Edis, bassist Andy Champion and drummer Russ Morgan. Beautiful Love with Dennis on flugelhorn opened the set. The Teessider is a Geneva Instruments' artist and his sound and performance at the Black Bull were a wonderful endorsement of the company's fine brass instruments. Love for Sale illustrated our trumpeter's quicksilver lyricism with immaculate support from his bandmates. Miles Davis is a hero of our trumpeter and the transition from late fifties Blue in Green to Pharaoh's Dance from Bitches Brew a decade later confirmed Dennis as a master performer. It had been a wonderful hour or so of jazz and the quartet went out on a killer blues in F. 


Alice Grace Quartet: Alice Grace ((vocals); Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums) 

Earlier, vocalist Alice Grace knocked 'em for six with a brilliant performance alongside the depping guitarist Mark Williams (pianist James Harrison was unavailable) and regular sidekicks Paul Grainger, bass and Russ Morgan, drums. Phrasing, timing, recall of a lyric, swing to scat and back again, all within a few bars, Ms Grace is the consummate performer as evinced by her opening number - Secret Love. Fabulous, simply fabulous. And there was more, much more of the same as Grace sang (There Ought to be a) Moonlight Saving TimeBlame it on My Youth (Williams' sublime solo), an object lesson in fours (take note Ed, it was the business!) as Grace and Williams had some fun with There'll Never be Another You and saxophonist Sam Bullard's Travelling Light with lyrics penned by our vocalist. To top it off the Alice Grace Quartet produced an exquisite version of Weaver of Dreams. This set alone justified the admission charge.       

Early Bird Band: Paul Edis MD; Haaruun Miller (alto sax, soprano sax); Lucien Guest (trumpet); Tom Henery (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Dylan Thompson (drums)

Much earlier in the evening with the room nearing capacity the Early Bird Band demonstrated that the future of the music is in safe hands. Tutored by Paul Edis, four young musicians affirmed/reaffirmed the value of music education with a fine performance of familiar but by no means easy material. Ranging from On Green Dolphin Street to Our Love is Here to Stay to The Shadow of Your Smile the Early Birders made a big impression, with those hearing them for the first time being somewhat amazed at just how good they are! Diminutive trumpeter Lucien Guest played with authority, reading the dots like a pro. Haaruun Miller, playing soprano sax, had the no easy task of making something of John Coltrane's take on My Favorite Things. The young man emerged with great credit, surviving the ordeal, if that's what it was, with applause ringing in his ears. The Black Bull's full house rightfully showered similar applause on guitarist Tom Henery who has come on in leaps and bounds over the last six months or so and, the young man at the back, the drummer looking to make a name for himself just as Russ Morgan did some years ago, Dylan Thompson. For the record, the 'senior' members of the ensemble - Messrs Edis and bassist Paul Grainger - did their level best to hang on to the coattails of the young guns. 

Blaydon Jazz Club is soon to celebrate thirty-five years in the business...who'd have thought it?! This fundraising event generated a not to be sniffed at sum which will go a long way in securing the future of a truly grassroots jazz club. Here's to the next thirty-five years!     

Russell.

1 comment :

JERRY said...

Gig of the year so far, for me. It will need something truly exceptional to better it before 2019 ends!
Well done, Roly and all the musicians for a night to remember.

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