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Bebop Spoken There

Anat Cohen: "With the tenor, it's so iconic with jazz. With the clarinet, I can improvise, but it doesn't have to be called jazz." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Monday June 17

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

Tenement Jazz Band - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:30pm (doors). Free (donations).

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Kamasi Washington @ Sage Gateshead - May 21

Kamasi Washington (tenor sax); Rickey Washington (soprano sax/flute); Ryan Porter (trombone); Brandon Coleman (keys/vocals); Miles Mosley (bass); Robert Miller, Tony Austin (drums); Patrice Quinn (vocals).
(Review by Lance).

Not many jazz-related bands go close to filling Sage One but, not many jazz-related bands are fronted by the current kingpin of the jazz/funk/soul scene, the man rapidly approaching legendary status - Kamasi Washington.

The hype was in, the fashion followers took heed and they weren't disappointed judging by the standing ov. at the end. Kamasi is a prodigious tenor player with an awesome technique who takes no prisoners. My initial reaction was of an F1 steamroller in a demolition derby but, as the evening progressed there were tender moments too. If jazz is to capture a younger audience without losing the older generation along the way then KW is the man to do it.

Equally impressive (and less flamboyant) was his dad Rickey on soprano sax and flute. Washington père delighted on both instruments. On trombone, Ryan Porter brought Jay Jay into the twenty-first century with some rapid-fire tromboning and a mellifluous sound. 

Brandon Coleman left no note unplayed attacking his assortment of keyboards with such ferocity that, had he been let loose on one of the venue's Steinways it would have been firewood by the end of the gig.

Miles Mosley did some amazing things on double bass - both arco and pizz - that left the listeners openmouthed by his dexterity whilst, also producing an almost celloic sonority.

Two drummers? I questioned the need for plural percussion - between them they had more drums than the average drum showroom - and yet they gelled without getting in each other's way to the extent that it wasn't always easy to say who was hitting what apart from Miller's big feature which, needless to say, brought the house down.

For most of the evening, Patrice remained a peripheral figure moving and grooving at stage (Sage?) left interpreting music by movement. As the evening rolled on she added her voice to the ensembles before emerging as a fully-fledged singer delivering words of protest such as Our time as victims is over / We will no longer ask for justice / Instead, we will take our retribution.”

Kamasi also offered some philosophic words on present-day issues such as equality that brought roars of approval from the crowd and will probably be forgotten tomorrow.

I didn't catch the titles of all the numbers but some of them were: The Psalmist; Harmony of Difference; Truth & Fists of Fury.
It was a memorable evening.
Lance.
PS: A review of the support act - Oscar Jerome - will be posted shortly.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Hi Lance, took your recommendation to try and go to the Kamasi Washington gig last Tuesday. Unfortunately, they only had a few tickets available and all at the same price.

Anyway, my Wife and I decided to go for S1LIQ9 and S1L1Q8 @ £60 and proceeded to checkout.
The Sage’s system decided that it was unable to sell me 2 tickets as there were 3 seats together. The automatic website referred me to the box office. I contacted the box office by email and they refused to deal with the query. Their only hapless suggestion was to go into the booking queue and wait for the phone to be answered. Anyway to cut a long tedious story short we did not get to see Kamasi Washington.

Who does the Sage think they are? I think that they believe they are some world class venue and hence able to dictate terms to people who want to see a particular artist. They treated me in such a cavalier fashion that I will think twice about booking in the future.

Sadly for an old duffer like me, the days of the Corner House, Caedmon Library and the Darlington Arts Centre are long gone?

Anyway, there are many other sax players who play in a similar fashion. Look out for Shabaka Hutchings who I saw last year at the Church of Sound in London with the Cookers.

Another great young sax player to watch is Nubya Garcia who I was able to see in Leeds and then the following evening at the Band on the Wall Manchester. Just a few weeks ago.
Sometimes she can sound like Joe Henderson which is a bit nostalgic.
Anyone who would like to see her can catch her in early June at the Cluny Newcastle.

Lance said...

Sorry that you didn't leave your name - it's always easier to reply to a person.

I know that booking either online, email or phone can often be a long and tedious process - it's frequently the same trying to get an appointment with your doctor! With venues such as Sage Gateshead - which IS a world-class venue, no doubt about it, - I agree it can be frustrating. But, to compare Sage Gateshead with Corner House etc. is logistically impossible, two totally different venues. A pub with 100 max seating and a multi-hall concert venue capable of hosting events with audiences, across the genres of several thousand.

However, this is really something you should take up with Sage Gateshead who, incidentally, presented Shabaka Hutchings' band, The Comet is Coming, in March this year.

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