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Bebop Spoken There

YolanDa Brown: "Ron Dennis (former McLaren Formula 1 chairman) introduced me as 'the Lewis Hamilton of the jazz world'. I thought, 'I'll take that'." - (i newspaper July 17, 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.

Until July 21

Today Wednesday July 17

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Julija Jacenaite & Steve Glendinning - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

Whiplash - Middlesbrough Town Hall, Albert Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2QJ. Tel: 01642 729729. 7:30pm. £5.00. Screening of Damien Chazelle's award-winning film.

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Darlington Big Band - Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Longfield Road, Darlington DL3 0HX. Tel: 01325 380401. 8:00pm. Free.

Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.00.

Blues/Folk

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Friday, May 10, 2019

Debuts and Departures: The Gala Big Band @ Ushaw College – May 8.


(Review/PHOTOS courtesy of Jerry)

A soggy evening – even Ushaw’s splendid gardens looked forlorn – but the punters left with smiling faces after two hugely enjoyable sets from this, now five years old, big band. Enjoyable not least because there was great variety in the 15 numbers performed – some old and famous material (e.g. Gershwin) and some new and yet-to-be-famous Edis originals; some vocals, some instrumentals and one duo thrown into the mix. For one of the vocalists, Mia Campbell, it was a debut gig – who would have known, the way she owned those tunes? It was a final gig for trumpeter Lis Dreijer-Hammond (hope I got the name right) who returns to Denmark soon: our loss will be Denmark’s gain as her solos, spangly hats and dance moves have been a feature of every gig since the very first in 2014!

The duo was MD, Paul Edis on flute and Ben Lawrence on piano doing a “stripped-down” version of Stella by Starlight. There was a lot of flute tonight with the presence of a young flautist, Dominic Bramley, in the band and with the MD fronting a couple more tunes later. Even younger than Dominic was (presumably brother?), Jerome Bramley, on trumpet. Not sure if either were debutants as I could not get tickets for the band’s last gig so they were definitely new to me. Well done to both!

Also new to me were tonight’s two vocalists, Mia Campbell and Glenn Miller (!) who gave us three songs each. Third on the set-list (you have to get it in early, said Edis, otherwise people think you’re reviewing yourself!) was The Best Is Yet to Come, followed swiftly by Come Fly with Me. I always think it’s a risky strategy taking on Sinatra songs but Miller really pulled it off: the voice, the timing, the delivery were all such that you could just close your eyes and imagine… In the second half, he had me singing along to For Once in My Life (very quietly singing along, as I’m sub-karaoke standard at the best of times!). Not to be outdone, Mia quickly got over some initial butterflies and got up to full power (and hers is some voice!) on It Could Happen to You. In the second half we had power and soul on Alright, OK, You Win – more Aretha Franklin than Peggy Lee, and none the worse for that! Her final number for the evening was At Last, again with a soulful, gospelly feel – more Etta James than Beyonce! Behind the vocalists, the band sounded great on all six numbers.

The evening had opened with Take the A-Train which featured a trumpet solo from Callum Mellis and a rousing finish with trumpets ringing out against a fog-horn like bass trombone. How much extra depth of sound this instrument gives to a band was evidenced all night. An Edis “yet-to-be-famous” original If It Ain’t Broke… (new to me) was next up, featuring solos from trumpet, trombone, sax and both guitars (Owen Jones and Thomas Henery - both of whom I thought I recognised, along with James Metcalf on trumpet, from Jambone / EarlyBird. Sadly, but inevitably, there will be more departures here, in time).

There was another original, When All Is Said and Done, featuring Robert McBlane on sax and Thomas Henery, again, on guitar. A Narrow Escape, reminiscent of a TV adventure theme, according to its composer, featured an excellent drum solo from another young musician – Maeve Thorpe - and closed the set with an exclamation mark of a snap-ending.

The second half instrumentals included two arrangements by Pete Cook, one of the MD’s tutors in London: Gershwin’s It Ain’t Necessarily So and Bacharach/David’s heart-tugging Alfie. Then it was spangly hats on in the trumpet section and major input from the saxes on Miller’s A String of Pearls. And finally – featuring Robert McBlane again – a rousing version of Baker Street with its unmistakable saxophone riff. This, to me, is like a vocalist doing Sinatra but, as with Glenn earlier, our soloist carried it off with aplomb.

I look forward to the next gig which, I think, will be back at The Gala Theatre later this year. See Bebop Spoken Here for details.
Jerry

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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