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Bebop Spoken There

Sting: "It was great. They [the River City Jazzmen] all wore blue suits. The band had been together for about twenty years, which was the same age as the suits." - (Melody Maker Sept. 22, 1979).

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 Monday October 21

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 3:00pm/5:30pm. Screening of Stanley Nelson's documentary film (2019, cert. 15, 1hr 55mins).

Evening

?????

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

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Giles Strong Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall - May 24.


Giles Strong, Roly Veitch (guitars); Ian Paterson (bass).
(Review by Jerry/ Photos courtesy of Chris Whittle)

As a nod to the Laurel and Hardy connection (we were in the Laurel café), I had wanted to use the headline, “Another Fine Gig”, but for fear that it might be misconstrued as anything other than a compliment, I decided against it. But it was a fine gig, anyway – a mixture of (mostly) standards and a couple of originals, beautifully performed.

The standards were mostly arranged by Giles Strong, for which he received well-deserved applause at the first name-check and the originals held their own amidst familiar names like Kern and Porter as well as less familiar names (to me) such as Dietz and Schwartz, whose gentle, soothing, Alone Together, closed the gig. I had been looking forward to the performance as, although I have seen all three musicians before, I have never seen Ian Paterson on double bass and had never seen the two guitarists other than with vocalists or playing “gypsy-jazz”, Suffice to say, I was not disappointed!



First up was I’ll Remember April (Gene de Paul) which set the pattern for things to come, with a bass intro and then the two guitarists alternating lead. Nature Boy was written by eden ahbez who insisted on lower case letters for his name as “only God and Infinity deserve capitals”! I’ve heard the song countless times before, but never knew that! I mention that in passing – the knowledge does not change the song or my appreciation of its gentle, Latin-ish rhythms. Cole Porter’s Love for Sale had me noticing the absence of sheet-music today – who needs it when you are this comfortable with the material?

Giles Strong’s Everything Was Beautiful, was the first original – a lovely song, with or without lyrics. Ian Paterson’s solo here caught the attention – closely following the main harmony, all played towards the top end of the double-bass range. Very difficult, I imagine, and very effective here. It was a couple of tunes later before he got any applause for a solo, on Roly’s original, WT Blues (what’s the WT for, Roly?) which is a new tune to me – a nice, funky(?) foot-tapper. He deserved applause at various earlier points in the gig, providing many of the intros and endings to numbers, as well as soloing pleasantly. I suppose applause for every solo would be intrusive in a gig described as “chamber-jazz” where the mood is quite intimate and the volume level almost acoustic?

It wasn’t all about the bass, though, the two guitarists were on top form whether on blues or ballads with clean harmonies and gentle rhythms. On Jerome Kern’s Yesterdays, the bass went silent for a spell and we were treated to a guitar duo exchange which sounded more classical than either of the aforementioned genres. Great!

Unmentioned so far were the gentle Johnny Green ballad, Body and Soul and (another new name to me) George Fragos’ I Hear a Rhapsody which reminded me, obscurely, of the Beatles track, And I Love Her. Not sure why! The penultimate number was introduced as “a simple blues” – Billie’s Blues – on which Giles Strong and Roly Veitch both got a nice groove going and the bass gave us intro, solo, and final notes, again.

Promoter, Mick Shoulder, had introduced the trio as “the smartest band we’ve had here”- all three were suited and Roly even had a tie! Regardless of sartorial elegance he is to be congratulated for bringing such excellent music to Bishop Auckland on a regular basis. There may be a change of venue later this year when the Town Hall undergoes refurbishment, but the gigs will hopefully continue elsewhere. Watch this space…..
Jerry.

2 comments :

JERRY said...

Apologies to the musicians, I seem to have missed a few numbers in my review - ALL OF ME being one (there may have been more).

Roly said...

Thanks Jerry. No you didn't miss any of the set list. WT stands for Whole Tone as the tune is based on a music scale of that name. The town hall is a really lovely venue and well worth a visit to hear the jazz concerts there. Ample cheap parking very close by too.
Roly

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About this blog - contact details.

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