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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.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Trish Clowes My Iris Quartet @ Sage Gateshead - May 8


Trish Clowes (tenor sax), Ross Stanley (piano/Hammond organ), Chris Montague (guitar) and James Maddren (drums)    
(Review by Chris Kilsby)

I wasn’t sure what to expect, perhaps something carefully arranged, introverted, or even academic, but on my first live hearing, this quartet turned out to be quite a handful, lighting up Sage 2 on a miserable wet evening with a clever and intense tapestry of original soundscapes. 

Their music is richly varied in feel, tempo and texture, often within the same song!  This might lead to information overload, but the show was secured by the visual spectacle and sheer variety, veering between velvet and violence.  Clowes has complete mastery of the tenor, with skronking split notes interspersed by soothing balm. Her lightning ability to transfer complex thought to action was equalled by the other virtuoso players.

The band took to the stage eschewing preliminaries, simply letting the music, mostly from new release Ninety Degrees Gravity, speak for itself. By the time they had warmed up with Lightning Les and Arise, they were at full speed, and clearly enjoying themselves,  for the excellent Eric's Tune - dedicated to Eric Gravatt (Weather Report drummer, early 70s edition). 

Some of the sax lines recalled the Wayne Shorter of that era, but with blistering guitar thrown in, and piano/B3 rather than Zawinul’s’ synths.  Clowes had a relaxed and genuine rapport with announcements between numbers, explaining the next one, I.F., was dedicated to the baby boys of the pianist and guitarist, complete with sound effects - not often you hear baby voices in Sage 2!
They really got going on I can’t find my other brush, where James Maddren further ramped up his already propulsive and abrupt variation of beat and feel, with a concluding barrage to satisfy the heaviest listeners!  The set closed with three very strong songs, with tunes and structure: Abbott & Costello (named after aliens from the sci-fi film Arrival, not the comedians!), Amber (a brand new song dedicated to a refugee charity activist) and Free to Fall, complete with an emotional vocal intro.

While Clowes' sax and Maddren’s  ever-shifting drums provided the main continuity, there were outstanding guitar breaks of great subtlety, speed and emotion from Chris Montague (a local boy apparently!), recalling Bill Frisell and Charles Altura,  as well as a flexible and startling variety of piano and Hammond organ from Ross Stanley, sometimes even doubling as a bass line.

Altogether a revelatory and stimulating musical romp, awash with intelligence and energy, with enough groove and smooth lines not to startle the horses!  My previous visit to Sage 2 was for the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars: while the technical mastery was similar, Clowes’ band had an altogether different, more ambitious take on jazz, drawing from the past for an exciting future.
Chris

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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