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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 2024.

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The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16462 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 342 of them this year alone and, so far, 54 this month (May 18).

From This Moment On ...

May

Tue 21: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Alice Grace Vocal Masterclass @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 6:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 22: Daniel Erdmann’s Thérapie de Couple @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 23: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Thu 23: Immortal Onion + Rivkala @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Jeremy McMurray (keys); Dan Johnson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 24: Hot Club du Nord @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Swannek + support @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. Time TBC.

Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Paul Edis Trio w. Bruce Adams & Alan Barnes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:30pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sat 25: Nubiyan Twist @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 25: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Miriam Ast and Victor Gutiérrez, Secret Songs European Tour @ Lit and Phil – March 15.

Miriam Ast (voice); Victor Gutiérrez (piano).
(Review/photos 
by Brian E)


German songstress Miriam Ast and Madrileño piano virtuoso Victor Gutiérrez certainly didn’t take the ‘A’ train for this leg of their Secret Songs European tour. Having previously taken in Prague, Mainz, Cologne and Leeds, the next stops are to be Hampstead in London, Freinsheim in the Rhineland, then Madrid and Palencia in Spain.  

After their train broke down between Retford and Doncaster, they eventually reached York just in time to catch an (also delayed) TransPennine Express to get to Central Station 10 minutes after their concert was due to start. Fortunately, Paul Edis was not just host but a first-rate stand-in and entertained the patient audience with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Surrey with a Fringe on Top and (yes) Billy Strayhorn’s famous Harlem number.

Enthusiastic applause greeted the duo’s hurried entry to the Loftus Room and, quickly composing themselves, Victor played a chord on the piano and Miriam took us straight into Cole Porter’s Night And Day. Very quickly the audience were treated not only to Miriam’s perfect pitch and pure voice, Victor’s piano enhancing the melody and pushing her on, but also to their first experience of Miriam’s flowing improvised vocalese.

This set the pattern for the rest of the shortened programme. Miriam’s self-composed Love Song followed. A sumptuous piano introduction, Miriam’s voice soft and melodious, singing first the yearning lyrics then extemporising dreamily into Victor’s long reflective solo. Next Spanish Song by Victor, opening with Miriam scatting the fast melody, quickly joined by Victor’s rolling piano. Victor’s compositions are full of melody and are a vehicle for voice and keyboard to improvise together and take the music where their collective inspiration leads them. Miriam seems to have unlimited imagination and range of both notes and sounds, using all the possibilities of voice-box, tongue, teeth, lips and mouth.

Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz’s Alone Together followed, both performers taking solos after the lyric, Miriam’s voice first floating mellifluously, then supporting Victor’s piano with percussive, implosive, clicking, cicada sounds. Monk’s ‘Round Midnight was the next vehicle for the duo’s exploration. Miriam’s articulation of the lyrics is perfect. I’ve heard them by so many singers, and they seemed just like lyrics to a fantastic tune, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever really felt the atmosphere, the regret and the hope behind them. Then again there’s Victor’s changing pace and rhythmic pulse enhancing and bring the best from Miriam’s flowing and mazy vocal runs.

Ast and Gutiérrez finished with Victor’s Don’t Get Too Cocky, another lyric-less composition for voice and piano. Victor explained the puzzle of the title as his response to the current self-harming UK political situation – dare I mention the B word! It starts with Miriam’s percussive improvisation over Victor strumming the piano strings with one hand and playing the bass chords with the other, but soon develops into another beautiful composition, giving both the chance to demonstrate the true symbiosis of their improvisational skills.

Time was up – the room had to be cleared for Music Exams – so we have to await another opportunity to hear more from this remarkable duo – next year’s Gateshead International Jazz Festival?? Or perhaps we can tempt them back to the Gala Lunchtime Concerts in Durham before then.
Brian


PS: Secret Songs is due for a new pressing, the first pressing having sold out on the tour. It was reviewed last year on BSHLink.  

A lengthy interview with Miriam and Victor along with a CD review can be found on LondonJazzNews. 

Various songs can also be heard on YouTube.

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