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Bebop Spoken There

Bruce Adams: "Being a jazz musician prepares you for a lot. Kicks in the teeth are usually top of the list." - (Jazz Rag, Summer 2020).

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

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SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

THURSDAY 17

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

SUNDAY 20

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. Tel: 0191 691 7090. 12 noon. Free.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Archipelago plus Paul Taylor @ the Lit and Phil - April 18


Archipelago: Faye MacCalman (clarinet/tenor sax/vocals); John Pope (electric bass/vocals); Christian Alderson (drums) + Paul Taylor (piano).
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

Archipelago seem to be going from strength to strength gaining national recognition along the way. A packed Lit and Phil on Thursday night confirmed the local heroes’ popularity. They are now a really solid tight outfit although I fondly remember their early performances which were less controlled and quite raw yet had an infectious anarchic feel to them.  

The music varies from free-improv jazz and funky grooves to driving rock. It is the high tempo numbers that really gets the feet tapping and I would love to see them in a more club-like environment where the audience could get up and move about a bit.

All members of the band are highly accomplished musicians displaying great versatility as the music moved from one genre to another. Faye and John even provided a backing vocal to one number. MacCalman has a genuinely great sound on tenor - deep and warm - an absolute pleasure to listen to. Pope, outside of this band is normally heard on double bass, really seems to enjoy himself on the electric version. Alderson is a superb driving force on drums. A great band who should go far in the nicest possible way.

Earlier in the evening, Paul Taylor performed a fine set of improvised solo piano. Paul took us on a journey full of musical nooks and crannies. Captivating at times and able to induce a dream-like state at others. The music seemed to me to have a far more classical feel to it rather than a jazz one but that didn’t detract from the overall quality and enjoyment of the performance.

To conclude the evening, Paul Taylor joined Archipelago to perform as an ensemble (something they had already done before at the Narc festival last July).  A complex and fascinating piece of music evolved with the lead toing and froing amongst the various band members. Personally, I would have preferred for the proceedings  to finish on a more lively note but that is  a minor quibble in what had proved to be a very fine and enjoyable night of music indeed.
Steve T.

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