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Bebop Spoken There

David Binney: "In this age, we musicians need to do anything we can to make a living, and ninety-nine percent of us will have to do a wide variety of things." - (Jazz Times May 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 Monday July 15

Afternoon

Jazz

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

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

Evening

Mnozil Brass: Cirque - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 0300 266 600. 7:30pm. £23.00. (£19.00. concs.). A Durham Brass Festival event.

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

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Recitals @ Newcastle University: Alex Utting (trombone); Ben Fitzgerald (drums) - May 15,16

(Reviewed by Russell)

It's the time of year when some music students are obliged to get out of bed before Emmerdale starts...yes, those long-awaited recitals are taking place throughout the month of May and here at Newcastle University students are preparing for the ordeal of their lives. BSH attended two recitals - one yesterday (Wednesday) and one this morning. 

At 5:20pm yesterday with the sun streaming through the windows of King's Hall trombonist Alex Utting walked the long walk from an adjacent corridor to the floor of King's Hall. The audience greeted the examinee with encouraging applause as the examiners took their seats in front of fired-up laptops. Utting is known to BSH as the bass trombone man in the dynamic student Bold Big Band. Utting's recital - Minor Specialist Study in Performance Final Recital - didn't include any jazz, this was to be a heavyweight classical examination.


Utting performed three pieces, the first of which - Concertino in E-flat for Trombone (Ferdinand David) - included accompaniment at a Steinway grand by renowned pianist Eileen Bown. Utting's programme notes observed: In 1835 he [David] became concertmaster at the Gewandhaus concert hall in Leipzig, working alongside Mendelssohn. He kept this position for the rest of his life. So, a nice, easy start! 

To conclude his recital Utting played two solo pieces - Sonata for Solo Trombone  (Barney Childs) and Malcolm Arnold's Fantasy for Trombone Op. 101 - without the support of an experienced accompanist alongside. First, Childs with Utting noting [the avant-garde composer's] performance notes give the performer complete control of how to play the piece and essentially leaves the performance entirely up to chance. Ah, a bit like having a blow at a jam session! 

Utting wrote of Malcolm Arnold's composition: The piece makes use of the full range of the trombone...So, Alex, those Dun Cow big band gigs came in handy after all! 
----- 
At 11:25 this morning the Band Room in the Music Studios on Assembly Lane was so crowded some sat on the floor. They were there to show support for Ben Fitzgerald. Family, friends, fellow students and a few faces from the local jazz scene readied themselves for a loud, groove-laden funk 'n' soul performance which, in retrospect, could well have gone down a storm up the road at Hoochie Coochie. 

Benjamin D. Fitzgerald: Minor Specialist Study: Performance Final Recital sounds rather grand, undoubtedly important, but the presence on the stand of four other familiar faces - familiar to BSH's Tyneside readers - would surely put the drummer at his ease. Entering the room Ben took a bow then, without a word, let his performance do the talking for him. 

Love is the Message (comp. Alfa Mist & Yussef Dayes) re-arranged by the examinee set the pattern; full-on, relentless groove. Aiding and abetting Ben were, to his left, Jamie 'Jingles' Mackay (guitar, Linnstrument) and Tom Dixon (alto sax), to his right, Inês Gonçalves (keyboards, vocals) and bassist Adam Cornell. Ben fully concentrated the others equally so, really into it. It was clear to all that they had been in the practice room. 

Three further pieces (all original compositions) acknowledged a stylistic debt to neo-jazz, Latin and Afro-Cuban sources. Portraits - You're gonna wishPortraits - Faded and Portraits - Like I Saw You demonstrated Ben's understanding of drum patterns, drum 'n' bass feel and the influence of major names including Thundercat's Justin Brown and Erykah Badu's Cleon Edwards. 

The Band Room audience loved it, whooping and hollering its approval. If the examiners were of a similar mind Benjamin D Fitzgerald will graduate with honours. 
Russell     

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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