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Bebop Spoken There

Mark Walker: "A drummer in a big band is always happy. It's like driving a big bus." - (Downbeat, August 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 Tuesday July 23

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood; Paul Grainger; Matt MacKellar.

Archipelago & J Frisco + Mark Williams Trio - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 8:00pm. £9.90.

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

Friday, June 14, 2019

Durham University Big Band's Big Summer Gig @ Durham Students' Union - June 13


(Review by Russell)

Advertised as an eight o'clock start it seemed reasonable to arrive sometime around half past seven to go to the bar, take a seat and listen to a last minute soundcheck. Walking into Ove Arup's 1960s Durham city landmark building the Riverside Bar was just about full to capacity, the place rammed with students...no surprise given that tonight's venue for the end of year gig by the Durham University Big Band was Durham Students' Union. What was a surprise was the gig started at 7:30...bloody students! 

Hawaiian shirts and on stage drinks aplenty gave the game away - the Durham University Big Band guys were demob happy. Led by Zach Fox, who a week earlier received a standing ovation at his Final Recital, DUBB presented two sets of typically mixed fayre; classic swing numbers sitting alongside contemporary charts from the likes of Jacob Mann and Gerard Presencer. 


The sound balance wasn't very good to say the least. Alex Flanders, trumpet and flugelhorn, blew some good stuff yet, despite being on a mic, was difficult to hear. Similarly the excellent Tommy Wise (heard at last weekend's DJazz Festival) on trombone, Matt Bartlett, alto sax, and the main man himself, Fox, on tenor, starring on Mann's Baby Carrots. Band vocalists Evie Hill and Rob Singleton were on hand to sing a few numbers and it was Hill who closed the first set with student favourite Diddy Bop

On a night like this the bar did good business particularly with a 'big band cocktail' (comprising a long list of killer ingredients) on offer at £4.50. Would DUBB attend to the sound issues or would more important matters such as downing another cocktail take priority?

Tommy Wise opened the second set with more first-rate 'bone work on September in the Rain...the poor sound quality had yet to be remedied. Trumpeter Honor Hornsby's hurried announcements added to the less than ideal presentation...Footprints...Gerard Presencer said the diminutive Hornsby. It was, of course, Wayne Shorter's Footprints with, perhaps, an arrangement by Presencer. 

Evie Hill returned to sing Alfa Mist's Breathe featuring Fox's tenor solo with impressive work from drummer Will Elias in a rhythm section which included the equally impressive guitarist Tom Burgess. BSH first came across Elias accompanying pianist Juliane Deil at DJazz 2018, let's hear him sitting-in at one of Newcastle's spectacular jam sessions! Hill's vocal partner Rob Singleton joined her on Zach Fox's arrangement of Robert Glasper's Ah, Yeah which highlighted the arranger's command of his instrument, this evening on tenor sax although the likeable bandleader is equally adept on alto. 

Durham University Jazz Society is at the heart of student jazz activity across the city including organising jam sessions, spawning splinter groups (Jazz Soctet played DJazz 2019) and participating in prestigious masterclass events with Mark Armstrong, Jasper Høiby, Nikki Iles, Callum Au and others. The latter, trombonist Callum Au, supplied the arrangement for DUBB's splendid take on Bernstein's Something's Coming from West Side Story. Excellent ensemble work, Wise and Fox the soloists, the evening kept on getting better and better.  

Well, all good things come to an end. Rob Singleton joined the band for one last number - D'Angelo's Spanish Joint - with, belatedly, the PA finally enabling our vocalist to be heard loud and clear. Poor sound balance aside this DUBB gig was as a good a way as any to say goodbye to the 2018-19 academic year. There is a final opportunity to hear the band before the guys head off on their holidays, that's next Thursday (June 20) in a Jazz North East promotion at the Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre.  
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