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Bebop Spoken There

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Postage

16382 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 262 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (April 20).

From This Moment On ...

April

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 26: Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: East Coast Swing Band @ Morpeth Rugby Club. 7:30pm. £9.00. (£8.00 concs).
Fri 26: Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 26: Abbie Finn’s Finntet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 27: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: More Jam Festival Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Swing Dance workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free (registration required). A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox: The '10' Tour @ Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £41.30 t0 £76.50.
Sun 28: Alligator Gumbo @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Jerron Paxton @ The Cluny, Newcastle. Blues, jazz etc.

Mon 29: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 29: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:30-8:30pm. Free. ‘Opus de Funk’ (a tribute to Horace Silver).

Tue 30: Celebrate with Newcastle Jazz Co-op. 5:30-7:00pm. Free.
Tue 30: Swing Manouche @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm. A Coquetdale Jazz event.
Tue 30: Clark Tracey Quintet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Emma Fisk’s Hot Club du Nord @ the Gala Theatre - April 5

Emma Fisk (Violin); James Birkett, Dave Harris (guitars); Bruce Rollo (double bass).
(Review by Brian Ebbatson/PHOTOS courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair)

Another full house for the Spring Gala Lunchtime Jazz Series, this one sold out back in January, such is the reputation that goes before Emma Fisk’s Hot Club du Nord. There were many first timers today, to the disappointment of regulars unable to get tickets. Across the river from the Studio the model trains slipped in, out and onwards from Durham station, while the colours of the trees down the Wear valley – the first greens of spring, the mauves, maroons and browns of winter – were resplendent in the spring sunshine. A clear blue sky with barely a cloud – that is until the encore.

The Reinhardt/Grappelli repertoire through from the 30s to the 50s (and then on with Grappelli’s various collaborations and groups) is a rich seam from which seasoned musicians such as these can fashion inspired new interpretations, so Hot Club du Nord’s sets, while featuring some of their recorded work, always feature something new for regular followers and much to enthuse newcomers to their music.
HCdN see themselves as paying homage to Reinhardt and Grappelli, so the set consists of Hot Club de France favourites rather than introducing their own compositions in the Hot Club style. Nothing wrong with that, especially as Emma takes pride in detailed introductions to each number, explaining its origin, when recorded and often some idiosyncratic story behind it.


The set opened upbeat with Fats Waller’s 1929 Honeysuckle Rose, a track featured on the CD Hot Club du Nord. James shared the lead with Emma on this first number, the audience seeming keen to show appreciation in anticipation, enthusiastically applauding every solo.  Johnny Green’s 1930 Body and Soul “written for Gertrude Lawrence, the first British star to appear on Broadway” (Emma) slowed things down for the second number, featuring all band members – an exquisite rendition.
Next came the first Django number, Swing 42, taking us forward to Django in wartime Occupied Paris, recorded (again Emma told us) with Hubert Rostaing on clarinet, Stéphane having stayed in London at outbreak of hostilities. Chugging Hot Club guitars, a lengthy solo from David, capturing Django’s percussive guitar tones, Emma soaring from deep notes to the highest octaves on her violin, this was getting very close to classic Hot Club de France.
Back to the 20’s for I Found a New Baby, first recorded by Clarence Williams in 1926, Bruce’s ‘slapping’ bass both in a featured solo and behind his fellow band members, capturing the feel of the earlier decade. Then the divine mid-‘30s Reinhardt – Grappelli composition Sweet Chorus, with Dave again taking two extended solos. Back to Fats Waller (and the ‘20s) for the ever popular Ain’t Misbehavin’, in James’ arrangement; then two ‘classic’ 1937 compositions from the two masters, Minor Swing and Daphne.
Over 100 people in the Gala Studio and music like this, so Emma cooled down the atmosphere with a magical rendering of  A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, a favourite of Stéphane’s enforced sojourn in wartime London (also on the HCdN CD). Then - as is their wont - the quartet closed the set with the 1925 jazz-age favourite Sweet Georgia Brown, another feature for Bruce’s bass, the band capturing the twenties feel once more.
The lengthy applause called for an encore, and although time was up, the audience called for Nuages, written by Django after being captured on the Swiss border and forcibly returned to Paris after his second attempt to escape the Occupation. “This graceful and eloquent melody”, as Django’s biographer wrote, “evoked the woes of the war that weighed on people's souls—and then transcended it all”. Transcendence, at least for a short time, for the audience, then back outside to the (much lesser) woes of our current reality, and a clear blue spring sky.
Brian E
PHOTOS

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