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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)


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



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).


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.


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.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Martin Guy Band w. Sara Dowling @ Spice of Life, Soho - May 1.

Sara Dowling (vocals); Paul Higgs (trumpet); Al Nicholls (tenor); Tim Huskisson (piano); Pete Morgan (bass); Martin Guy (drums).
(Review by Lance)

The last time I was in the basement bar of the Spice of Life they had an upright piano. In the intervening years, they have acquired a grand. When I enquired as to how they got it down there I was told - "In bits!".
Well, by the time of my visit this afternoon, the bits had been very well put together.

Five great musicians and a singer, of whom more shortly, made me wonder why any one - if not all six - hadn't been among the nominations at last night's Jazz FM Awards?

The clientèle was noticeably older than at last night's shindig and hats were at a minimum but the enthusiasm was no less, and why shouldn't it be? This was the real deal.
A Slow Boat to China had an unaccompanied Higgs stating the theme before they were off. Killer solos all round. Higgs reminds me of what Chet Baker might have sounded like if his teacher had been Red Allen. Nicholls brought to mind those tenor titans such as Al Gay, Danny Moss and Tommy Whittle. This was most apparent on Just Friends. Huskisson blew everyone away on piano with leader Guy booting it all along but the most intriguing member of the band was Pete Morgan on what looked like a bass ukulele but sounded like a Fender Jazz - the miracles of this digital age!

I've said it before, the number of first-rate female jazz singers rolling off the conveyor belts is reaching astronomical numbers but, surely, on this afternoon's performance (and her current CD) Sara Dowling must be ranked very close to the top. A performance that was never less than terrific grabbed everyone in the room.

Can't We Be Friends?; Soon; I'm Old Fashioned; Embraceable You (the fleeting moment of silence as she went from the out of tempo verse to the chorus was electric - goosebumps!); You'd be So Nice to Come Home to (muted trumpet blast by Higgs!!!) and it was interval time and the opportunity to chat with Paul Higgs, and to pass on regards from old colleague, Russ Morgan. Paul couldn't believe it when I told him Russ now had a 'short back and sides'! More chat with organiser David Burr who informed me how he'd successfully transferred the old 100 Club Friday lunchtime sessions to The Spice and, finally, a hug from Sara in acknowledgment of my review of her CD - yhis reviewing business does have its perks!

A shorter second set (marginally) but maybe even better! Day in, Day Out; You're Not the Kind; My Foolish Heart - Sara can change maybe just one note and turn the whole tune upside down - just as all the great jazz singers can - Tangerine; Who Cares? and, finally, a crazy version of Honeysuckle Rose - Anita O'Day meets Fats Waller at Minton's!

Quite an afternoon!

1 comment :

Liz said...

Sounded just my kinda gig Lance, excellent review, thanks!

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.

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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.