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Bebop Spoken There

Ethan Iverson: "Mickey Roker played drums in church, and his beat on [Mary Lou] Williams' "Ode to St. Cecile" might make even a diehard atheist a believer" - (JazzTimes Sept. 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.

Today Sunday October 13

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon.

Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 1:00pm. Free.

Hildy Harland’s Temperance Tea Party - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 1:00pm. £TBC.

Am Jam - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3:00pm. Free.

Jazz Social - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 4:00pm. Free.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Davie T & The Razzberries - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Lickety Split - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Jazz Jam - Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham DH1 3NP. 7:30pm. Free. Durham University Jazz Society. All welcome - sitters-in & listeners.

Wollo’s World - Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. Tel: 0191 232 6400. 8:00pm. £8.00. & £6.00. Wolter Wierbos, John Pope, Emile Karlsen.

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

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

DJazz: Sunday - June 9

(Review by Russell)

What a difference a day makes! Blue skies overhead, Saturday's rain long gone, the DJazz outdoor stage was about to come into its own. First, a noon date with Kinesis in the pop-up space.

Drummer Abbie Finn and saxophonist Harry Keeble are Kinesis. Here at Durham's Riverwalk development the duo enlisted friend Paul Grainger to play the bass anchor role in a one hour set of classic numbers. Abbie, a postgraduate now picking up choice gigs as a professional musician (working with Simon Spillett is on the cv), works in partnership with soon-to-graduate Harry (Leeds College of Music) presenting a series of extended workouts ranging from Caravan to Cheese Cake. Bassist Grainger knows the pad inside and as an occasional trio, there is an obvious chemistry between the three musicians. The many early birds enjoyed a swinging set, probably the swinging set of the weekend. 

A common issue at festivals is competing or overlapping performances. A case in point was Kinesis' set clashing with a Durham University big band set. Little more than twenty metres from the pop-up a nineteen-piece big band assembled on the DJazz outdoor stage. The Big Band Project wowed the (dancing - see photo) audience basking in glorious sunshine with Durham's Cathedral and Castle providing a spectacular backdrop. The couple of numbers BSH caught sounded great and these guys don't hold chairs in the fully auditioned Durham University Big Band - that's the standard in Durham! 

Leeds continues to be a hothouse and one of the latest 'products' is Jasmine. A six-piece band led by alto saxophonist Jasmine Whalley offered a summer sun-filled set. Whalley cites Soweto Kinch as an influence although her alto sound is lighter and less insistent than that of the man from Brum. Original compositions (King Cobra and Cold Sweat) and Shabaka Hutchings' Joyous were given a mellow vibe treatment by Whalley's band; Ben Haskins, guitar, George MacDonald, piano, Owen Burns, bass and drummer George Hall

The Holy GrAle bottled beer emporium on Crossgate is neighbour to Durham City Workmen's Club and Institute. The idea of a cheap pint and a game of doms appealed but a rare appearance by a Scottish improv icon won the day. Holy GrAle's clientele preferred talk of Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky and a recitation of works by Scottish poet Edward Morgan. Guitarist George Burt held court in a brick-lined, dimly lit cellar with hipsters and the like sitting at the feet (literally) of the brilliant Burt. 

In a world of fakery George Burt is a true original. Improv is what it is, no more, no less valid than any other 'art form' but it takes someone like Burt to separate the wheat from the chaff. One wonders what the hipsters made of the quietly spoken Scot incorporating GASbook guitar accompaniment à la Joe Pass, a blues riff and echoes of the Fab Four interspersed with volcanic eruptions of imperious improv (on occasion all of it in the space of a couple of bars!). A highlight of the weekend.

DJazz continued on the outdoor stage (Not Now Charlie) and in the pop-up (Archipelago's Between Waves project). BSH caught a few minutes of MacCalman/Pope/Alderson's collaboration with Fran Bundey including the oft-heard PuddlesGerms and an as yet untitled piece. Time was pressing, the big event on this final day of DJazz 2019 was looming...

Over Framwellgate Bridge, across Market Place, up Saddler Street to the big house on the hill. When it comes into view, no matter how many times, Durham Cathedral is one impressive piece of architecture. DJazz's 'Sunday Headliner' presented Paul Edis and Graeme Wilson in Durham's UNESCO World Heritage building. Reprising their performance at  last year's Ushaw Jazz Festival (in St Cuthbert's Chapel), pianist Edis and saxophonist Wilson presented an improvised set of some forty-five minutes. As the DJazz congregation took a pew (the joint was packed) Wilson, with tenor sax in hand, waited patiently in the nave as Dr Edis climbed the stairs to secrete himself in the organ loft. Could Edis see Wilson? Wilson couldn't see Edis. No matter, the duo, with Wilson's Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra colleague George Burt in the congregation, began to play. Cameras clicked and flashed (the humble mobile phone alongside the serious hardware). Photographing Wilson was straight forward, sighting Edis proved an impossibility, hidden as he was beneath the towering pipes. It could be said Edis (and Wilson) pulled out all the stops!

The Shakespeare beckoned, situated as it is half way down Saddler Street. A well-kept pint of London Pride served as a restorative. As the final event of DJazz 2019 was about to start the organisers-in-chief Carlo, Nick and Heather offered a few words of thanks. The crowded room erupted in applause for them - Carlo, Nick and Heather. And so to Slow Loris

A four-piece from Leeds, Slow Loris were selected by Jazz North to be beneficiaries of touring opportunities and professional mentoring with this Durham festival date part of the package. Sam Lowther, guitar, Sam Evans, guitar, Chris Sellers, bass and drummer Theo Goss combine a love of rock, metal and hip hop rooted in jazz. This festival appearance presented the rock and metal side of the band with the jazz element largely absent. Goss' hard-hitting, relentless drumming powered the band as, for one night only, jazz fans turned into head-banging metal freaks. 
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