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COVID-19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Julija Jacenaite & Steve Glendinning @ Jazz Cafe Mezzanine - March 13

Julija Jacenaite (vocals) & Steve Glendinning (guitar)
(Review/photo by Russell)

Natural light flooded through the first-floor windows at Jazz Cafe Mezzanine as Newcastle Arts Centre's recently opened performance space presented the first in a new - fortnightly Wednesdays - afternoon gig series at Jazz Cafe Mezzanine. An all-seats-taken crowd materialised to listen to two sets by Julija Jacenaite and Steve Glendinning.

Wave found Julija Jacenaite in good spirits as our adopted Lithuanian Geordie sat alongside guitarist Steve Glendinning. Now, this was an interesting departure from JJ's usual 'stand and shoot from the lip' jam session approach. Full-on, dynamic delivery is what we've come to expect from Julija yet this casual, let's-remain-seated, gig revealed a more considered, reflective side to our vocalist. 

Guitarist Steve Glendinning's proven abilities as accompanist were in evidence throughout the afternoon's performance. Love Me or Leave MeMood Indigo, a JJ original, Glendinning supplied the chords and rhythmic support taking an occasional solo along the way, winning applause for his tasteful work on The Girl from Ipanema.

A waltz-time Alice in Wonderland opened the second set with Julija making an oblique reference to the day's current affairs saying: I'm happy to be here...still! Our welcome Tyneside resident sang the verse to All of Me before a snap of the fingers took the Jaceniate-Glendinning partnership down a swingtime to scat route. Summertime would soon be upon us, so said Julija. JJ asked the audience to provide rhythmic support. At this point WC Fields' maxim came to mind: Never work with children or animals. Perhaps Julija should add to it with or an audience, especially an audience devoid of a sense of rhythm! 

Julija recalled arriving in Newcastle for the first time. Walking out of Central Station she crossed the road, walked up Pink Lane and found herself in the old Jazz Cafe. The first song she sang there was Misty. All these years later here she was singing it again. A nice moment. 

The four o'clock finish was fast approaching. Sergio Mendes' Más Que Nada required further audience participation. JJ sang the tricky part, her audience just about managed opa, opa, opa. As WC Fields advised...

Time to go...There Will Never Be Another You - JJ's vocals, Glendinning's solo (more applause), scat and out. It had been a good start to life in the Jazz Cafe Mezzanine. Beverages (including alcohol) and a food menu were available courtesy of Natalie and her team. The sun shone, it had been a good start to life in the new place. Here's to the next one! Oh, yes, two weeks today - Wednesday 27 - it's Hand to Mouth (Lindsay Hannon and Bradley Johnston), two o'clock start. And if you can't wait that long to see the new place then get along to the jam session on Tuesday evening (8:00pm) featuring the house trio of Jeremy McMurray, John Pope and Dave McKeague and a plethora of sitters-in.         
Russell

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