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Bebop Spoken There

Mark Walker: "A drummer in a big band is always happy. It's like driving a big bus." - (Downbeat, August 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 Tuesday July 23

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood; Paul Grainger; Matt MacKellar.

Archipelago & J Frisco + Mark Williams Trio - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 8:00pm. £9.90.

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

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Darlington Jazz Festival: Matt Roberts Sextet @ The Voodoo Cafe - May 3


Matt Roberts Sextet: Matt Roberts (trumpet); Josh Arcoleo (tenor sax); Alice Leggett (alto sax); Sam Watts (piano); Inga Eichler (double bass); Sam Gardner (drums)
(Review by Russell)

Our annual treat didn't disappoint, how could it with six of the best up from London? The opening night of the 2019 Darlington Jazz Festival once again found Matt Roberts in terrific form working alongside some seriously talented friends playing the music of the Darlington trumpeter's chosen subject: Blue Mitchell. 

Year after year, Roberts returns home to play the opening set of his home town's jazz festival with a trumpet hero the focus of attention - Miles, Freddie Hubbard, Nat Adderley, Fats Navarro, the list goes on. This year, from the Blue Note hard bop years through to seventies' funk, it was Blue Mitchell all the way.

Two new faces in the sextet line-up - alto saxophonist Alice Leggett (a favourite at Alex Garnett's Ronnie Scott's late night jam session...Alice, have you brought your horn? enquires Garnett when he sees the young alto player has walked in. Yeah replies Alice, Garnett delighted, he wants the best sitting-in). And on double bass this evening at the Voodoo Cafe not the marvellous Daisy George but the equally marvellous Inga Eichler. Our German bassist arrived in London ten years ago to study at the Royal Academy, stayed on and is as busy as anyone on the scene. 


The Thing to Do from '65 (featuring a young Chick Corea) opened Roberts' set. In previous years our trumpeter has been happy to train the spotlight on his brilliant bandmates and this year was no different except that this time around he really did step up to the plate, leading from the front. A first blistering solo, the room cheered as one. Many were there to hear Josh Arcoleo and they weren't to be disappointed as our tenor man followed Roberts blowing hard bop and beyond and yep, the place went bonkers!

Oh Mama Enit with its calypso rhythm Alice Leggett was tempted to show what she could do. Roberts assured us our altoist regularly blows away the opposition on the London scene and boy, here in Darlington she lived up to her star billing by playing killing alto. Roberts' presentational style is that of an enthusiast, effusive about his fellow musicians and about his subject - Blue Mitchell. Brother Ball from Mitchell’s first album way back in '58 closed a fine first set. Having arrived with not much time to spare before the scheduled nine o'clock start the sextet retired to the adjoining restaurant for a quick chilli.

At the start of the second set Roberts thanked the full house for sticking around...as if we were going anywhere! Good Humour Man resumed matters with our local hero saying: The nightlife in Darlington is poppin'. Well, not quite the Soho scene but there is something to say for the place! We were moving into modal territory with Perception said RobertsOur band leader went for it with a lung-busting solo (more cheering!) which was met with an 'out there' tenor blast that elicited more whooping and hollering and, to quote Roberts, 'an outer space ' bass solo by the fabulous Inga Eichler. 

The two Sams - pianist Sam Watts and drummer extraordinaire Sam Gardner - had a ball with the frontline fully appreciative of their engine room efforts. As eleven o'clock came and went the Matt Roberts Sextet kept on cookin'...PT Blues (bluesy alto to die for from Leggett), Day at the Mint from late period Mitchell then the final number of the evening - Fungi Mama - with all soloing as if there was no tomorrow. Yes, another memorable night at the Voodoo Cafe. Ink in Matt Roberts' 2020 Darlington Jazz Festival gig in the diary now - Friday, May 1st.         
Russell

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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