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Bebop Spoken There

Giovanni Guidi: "So many jazz albums today are all original compositions, and five minutes after the record is finished, you can't remember a single song. I think it's a problem." - (JazzTimes Oct. 2019).

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 Friday October 18

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Classic Swing - Jesmond Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond Avenue, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 3EX. Tel: 0191 281 0736. 1:00pm. Free.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening.

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things - Forum Cinema, Market Place, Hexham NE46 1XF. Tel: 01434 601144. 7:00pm. £8.30. - £5.80. Film (2019, 89 mins) directed by Leslie Woodhead. Swing Bridge Trio in Café Bar following screening.

Dave O’Higgins & Colin Oxley - Great Broughton Village Hall, Ingleby Road, Great Broughton TS9 7ER. 7:30pm. £20.00. ‘O’Higgins & Oxley Play Monk & ‘Trane’. Oxley replaces Rob Luft.

Paul Taylor - Ushaw College, Durham DH7 7DW. Tel: 0191 334 5119. 7:30pm. Free (donations). An Ushaw Piano Festival event.

Jazz Lads - Saltburn Cricket Club, Marske Mill Lane, Saltburn TS12 1HJ. Tel: 01287 622761. 8:00pm. £5.00.

Guisborough Big Band - Saltburn Golf Club, Guisborough Road, Saltburn TS12 1NJ. Tel: 01287 622812. Time TBC.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. Time 8:30pm. Screening of Stanley Nelson's documentary film (2019, cert. 15, 1hr 55mins).

Blues/Soul etc.

Ray Stubbs R & B All Stars - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

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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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.

Submissions for review

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