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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie Paris: "A singer's got to be able to tell a story. Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole are best at that; Mel Tormé too. I like to take a lyric that means something and sing it right to the person it was meant for." - (DownBeat October 11, 1962).

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 September 16

Afternoon

Jazz

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

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

Evening

?????

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

Monday, March 25, 2019

Maja Bugge 'Sounds of the Underground' @ Victoria Tunnel, Newcastle - March 16

(Review by Iain Kitt/photo courtesy of Ken Drew)

The Victoria Tunnel in Newcastle’s Ouseburn is fast establishing itself as one of the City’s most unusual and exciting music venues. The latest in its ‘Sounds from the Underground’ series featured two sell-out performances by the Norwegian cellist Maja Bugge.

Maja is no stranger to playing in unusual venues. Previous ones have included a disused oil tank and a canal tunnel under the Pennines. She is particularly interested in the interplay between her chosen instrument and the space in which she performs.

The cello is often described as possessing a uniquely soulful sound and certainly it was ideally suited both to the rather constricted space inside the tunnel and the unusual acoustic that it produces. With the audience sat in rows of just two people and, for the first set at least, in virtually total darkness, the music became completely absorbing.
Maja’s music is a mix of her own compositions and improvisation. But all the pieces tell a story as she produces a wide range of sounds from her cello. SOS and Shelter vividly evoke life on the Lofoten Islands in the far north of Norway where she grew up with the perils of a harsh environment and unforgiving seas. In Leggings she drums on the body of the instrument to conjure up images of canal boatmen propelling their boats through the Standedge Tunnel by using their legs pushing against the tunnel wall. Minuet for Victoria Tunnel was composed especially for these performances and portrayed the different phases of the life of the Victoria Tunnel itself: the celebration of its opening in 1842, its use as an air-raid shelter in the Second World War and now its reinvention as a tourist attraction.


For her improvisation, she asks the audience to name sounds that identify Newcastle to them. Perhaps predictably the sound of the river and the cheering crowds at St. James’ Park came up, the mention of the kittiwakes on the Tyne Bridge rather flummoxed her as she had not heard them but that of boiling potatoes didn’t seem to faze her at all. However, known or not, she then proceeded to incorporate them all into two stunning improvisations that, had there been headroom, would surely have brought the audience to its feet.

This was yet another fascinating performance in an adventurous series of concerts. The Ouseburn Trust, which promotes the gigs, is proving rather adept at choosing performers who can take advantage of the uniqueness of the space on offer. They have lined up a whole series of gigs throughout the rest of the year including a duo of Beatrix Ward-Fernandez (Theremin) and John Pope (double bass) on July 16, and, on October 5, Evan Parker on saxophone. If they’re half-as-good as this gig they will be well worth going to.
Iain

Information about the ‘Sounds of the Underground’ series can be found here https://www.ouseburntrust.org.uk/Event/sounds-underground and to find out more about Maja Bugge her website is at https://majabugge.com/

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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.

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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