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Bebop Spoken There

Barry Harris (in 1981): "There is not one place in the world that you can find more jazz musicians from than Detroit." - (DownBeat, September 2019).

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 Saturday August 17

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Newcastle Jazz Festival - Tyne Bank Brewery, Walker Road, Newcastle NE6 2AB. Tel: 0191 265 2828. £15.00. All day event, line-up:

Zoë Gilby & Andy Champion (1:30pm)

Alan Law Trio (2:40pm)

Mark Williams Trio (3:50pm)

Emma Fisk & James Birkett (5:00pm)

(Evening)

Alexander Bone (6:15pm)

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band (7:45pm).

Blues/Funk/Soul

King Snake - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Great North Big Band Jazz Festival 2019: Schools Section (Day 3) - Mar 3

(Review by Russell)

Sunday, the last lap, day three of three. The previous day's events culminating in the Managers Big Band retaining its senior open title were still fresh in the mind. Now it was over to the coming generation to show what it was capable of.

Two competition sections - schools and youth - offered a full day's entertainment at Park View Community Centre. Durham County Cricket Club aside, there can be few occasions in the calendar when hundreds of people descend on Chester le Street to participate in a truly social gathering.  

The overcast conditions threatened rain, the kind of conditions a seam bowler would relish down the road at the Riverside. At this time of year, it's either indoor nets or a warm weather training camp. That's for the cricketers, here at Park View conditions were ideal for big band jazz - a large, well-lit stage, a cabaret-style seating arrangement, a real ale bar, food, stalls - in short, a festival which ticked all the boxes.


SCHOOLS SECTION

The Johnston Stompers (MD Lucy Wiggers) arrived in school uniform, perhaps the only band to do so this year. The Stompers were representing Durham Johnston School. First-time participants, their programme comprised three numbers - MalaguenaSummertime and, refreshingly, Tiger Rag. One or two short in some sections, the local representatives gave a good account of themselves. 

The Tyne Valley Jazz Ensemble (MD Dave Hignett) tends not to have a problem recruiting musicians, indeed it would come as no surprise to learn there is a waiting list! Sophie Speed is a talented member of the saxophone section and Dave Hignett ensured she was given every opportunity to shine and shine she did! TVBB gave value for money fitting in five numbers; Buffalo HeadGospel, the welcome inclusion of Basin Street BluesGimme Some Lovin' (minus the Hammond B-3) and Lady Madonna

Greenhead College Big Band (MD Nick Dolling) from Huddersfield featured an instantly popular vocalist - Ms Daisy Cameron. Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend sang Daisy, Lullaby of Broadway and Mambo from West Side Story were staple fayre either side of a world premiere piece - Last Dance - composed by band pianist Louis Enright. 

The reigning champions Burton Borough School Big Band (MD Alison Ruston) made the long journey from Shropshire no doubt determined to mount a stout defence of their title. Sam Jones' Unit 7 opened the programme. This was impressive! A big band fan said: “Frightening, isn't it?” He was referring to the exceptionally high standard and it continued with Life Long Friend (a trombone feature for Ed Simons), Joe Zawinul's Mercy, Mercy, Mercy and Soul Sacrifice from an early incarnation of the Santana band. Our big band fan confided: That's it. 

Well, not quite it. Yarm School Big Band (MD Chris Hibbard - pictured) wanted to have a say and so they did. The hirsute Hibbard, of Crooners' fame, put his young charges through their paces with solid contributions from Femi Afolabi, tenor sax, on I Concentrate on You and James Muir, alto sax, on the band's final number Swingin' Shepherd Blues

Adjudicators Mick Donnelly and Marcus Brown compared notes and in due course made their way on to the stage. The results, announced by Bill Watson (director GNBBJF) were as follows:

SCHOOLS SECTION

Best Band: Burton Borough School Big Band

Best Soloist: Ed Simons (Burton Borough School Big Band) 

Best Section: Trombones, The Johnston Stompers (Durham Johnston School)*
* The section consisted of one trombonist - Harry Coe! 

Adjudicators' Awards

Kyle Walker, drums (Yarm School Big Band)

Ed Simons, trombone (Burton Borough School Big Band)

Sol Plumb, piano (Tyne Valley Jazz Ensemble)

Daisy Cameron, vocals (Greenhead College Big Band)

Russell

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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: 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