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Bebop Spoken There

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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Oscar Jerome @ Sage Gateshead – May 21


The stage was all shafts of purple and red lights and dry ice, with the instruments for the main act set up towards the back. Sage 1 was about two thirds full and Oscar Jerome (guitar) and the band (bass guitar, drums, keys doubling tenor sax) stood out front stage. I didn't catch the names of the rest of the band, nor most of the titles of the tunes, not sure if this was because of indistinct speech or cloth ears on my part.

The first song had Misty in the title*, with skilled guitar but I couldn't quite detect a direction to the music, maybe contemporary song, with solos from keys, a steady beat, and a feeling almost of outer space during the sax solo.

Then came an instrumental with a bit of wordless singing from our guitarist, ending with a drum solo. The next piece was from a forthcoming CD, called Gravitate I think, with song-like guitars. The final piece was rounded off by a jazz-like sax solo with a wild free-jazz feel on the final notes.

Any support act which precedes a band such as Kamasi Washington has a difficult task to do. I'd suggest a more distinct direction would have helped, simpler tunes with stronger variations.
Ann Alex

* Misty Head.

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