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Bebop Spoken There

Cécile McLorin Salvant: "She [Melissa Aldana] makes us realise how terrible it is to be complacent." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Thursday June 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Arc, Dovecot St., Stockton on Tees TS18 1LL. Tel: 01642 525199. 7:00pm. £12.00. + £0.10. bf. ‘Jazz & Tapas’ - booking essential.

Ruth Lambert Quartet - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00.

Heller-Glendinning: Billie Meets Kurt - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm (doors). £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Acoustic Infusion - The Forum, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £5.00. Line-up: Alan Thompson (tenor sax); Rick Laughlin (piano); Bruce Rollo (double bass); Ian Halford (drums). Now Abbie Finn on drums.

Durham University Concert Band + Grollingwood Big Band - Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ. 7:30pm. £10.00., £9.00., £8.00.

Durham University Big Band - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00 concs.). JNE.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax), Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

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

Saturday, April 13, 2019

CD Review: Steve Garrett - Discover and Endure

Steve Garrett (guitar)
(Review by Hugh C)

Steve Garrett was born in London and after a working lifetime as an Earth Scientist travelling across the UK, Antarctica and North America, now calls Scotland home.  His new album of solo electric guitar music, Discover and Endure is “inspired by stories and experience of landscape, exploration and human endurance”.

The first and title track, Discover and Endure, is inspired by the RRS Discovery expedition of 1901-04.  A slow steady beat mirrors the footsteps of the participants trudging on, hauling their sledges; different characters from the expedition feature over the footsteps.  As Charles Turley (1914) wrote of the voyages of Captain Scott “for ninety-three days they had plodded over a vast snow-field and ...striven and endured to the limit of their powers”.  

Summer River is more melodic, with a subtle rhythmicity inspired by the sunlight shimmering over the waters of the River Dee on the edge of Cairngorms National Park.  Lament for the Children is a piping tune from the piobaireachd* tradition, written by Padruig Mor MacCrimmon and dedicated to those who have endured the loss of a child.  There is a distinct drone element throughout, with a slow lament over the top.  Midwinter Gathering reflects the Southern Polar tradition of a celebration mirroring Christmas and Hogmanay in the northern hemisphere.  The tune is a reel with a background loop representing the “lively and slightly chaotic footfall of ceilidh dancers” - no doubt getting progressively more chaotic as the time progresses!

Gustav Holst’s Egdon Heath (at over nine minutes the longest track on the CD) caught Garrett’s attention at an early age in primary school.  In this piece, Garret employs a variety of styles and evokes the Dorset heathland, where he has previously lived and worked.  Lassie Lie Near Me (words by Robert Burns) is a folk song set over a minimalist pattern.  Cliff Top Storm reflects Garrett’s (and no doubt others’) experience of getting caught out when camping in extreme conditions (in this case in Goosenecks State Park in Utah).  The piece is a series of variations on a theme over a desert drum beat.  The explorers end up in Black Sail Hut – perhaps familiar to some as a rather isolated Youth Hostel in Ennerdale in the Lake District. 

The CD reflects the previous musical influences and experience of the performer with elements of jazz, folk, rock, and choral music – all of which feature one way or another in Garrett’s portfolio.  The “jazz” element is perhaps limited (but definitely there) and eclipsed by the “folk” element.  Ultimately though, what is delivered is all music reflecting the flexibility and capability of the guitar as an instrument.  This is a good product and professionally delivered by the artist.  The CD was launched on April 5 at RSS Discovery, Dundee, and is available from Birnam and Amazon; downloads are available from the usual sources and the album can be streamed from Spotify or Apple Music. 

Steve Garrett will be giving lunchtime performances at artSpace@StMarks (Fringe Venue 215) as part of the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

More information on the artist here

Hugh C

*What is Piobaireachd?

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