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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie Paris: "A singer's got to be able to tell a story. Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole are best at that; Mel Tormé too. I like to take a lyric that means something and sing it right to the person it was meant for." - (DownBeat October 11, 1962).

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 September 17

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 - 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Acoustic Infusion with the Mighty Horns - Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm (doors 7:00pm). £5.00. Rick Laughlin & co.

Strictly Smokin’ Sessions - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £8.00. & £6.00.

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 819845. 8:00pm. £4.00. Guest: Don Armstrong (reeds). Note earlier start.

Blues

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

Saturday, June 15, 2019

House of the Black Gardenia @ Cumberland Arms, Ouseburn, Newcastle - June 14

(Review by Lance)

It wasn't everyone's idea of a summer's evening but at least it wasn't raining! And even if it had been it wouldn't have put a damper on things - I'm told there was a Plan B to cover all contingencies. Fortunately, it wasn't needed. The fans and their families relaxed with some choice ales as well as occasionally tripping the light fantastic. Their dogs were less energetic (see photo by Russell), This is par for the course at a Gardenia gig. The band has fun even if some of the songs are less than cheerful such as Graveyard Shift and Dead Man Calypso. This latter tune is about a woman who strangles her estranged man so they will eventually be together again!

Ellington's The Mooche got the show on the road with plenty of growling brass. Back in the 1930s, they called it jungle music and some of the vegetation surrounding the pub added to the effect. 

Charleston sang Baby Don't Tear My Clothes and the dancers did what dancers do. The familiar repertoire was rolled out but familiarity certainly didn't breed contempt - quite the opposite! Viper Mad; I Can't Take it No Longer; Don't Tell Liza 'bout me; Russian Caravan; One in a Million; Graveyard Shift; Ain't it Hard; Deadman Calypso; Blue Drag; Skirts and Big Big Man (The Donald Trump Song).

Bobbi has a great voice and is thimblepickin' good on washboard. As well as playing guitar and banjo, Littlefield sings the blues like he'd served his time on a chain gang in Memphis. Drummer Haigh also takes vocals and gives himself some guitar backing. A mighty talented bunch.

However, although vocals predominate, and I wouldn't have it any other way, the instrumentalists are also top dollar. Showtime never ceases to amaze me, Richard Burns seems to be number one dep on trumpet when Michael Lamb's away - or is it vice versa?
Marcus is the real deal on keys varying his style to suit the idiom. Robinson is another one who adapts well and Hopper excels on sousaphone and double bass - he must have a big car. Which just leaves Katja. The violin adds that extra texture when extra texture is needed and, in Katja's  hands, does the job.

It was a most enjoyable 60 plus minutes, however, for those hearing the band for the first time, if you think this was good wait till you hear them indoors at a venue where the sound is contained and doesn't waft away on the breeze!
Lance

Bobbi Charleston (vocals/washboard); Richard Burns (trumpet); David 'Showtime' Gray (trombone); Keith Robinson (soprano/alto/tenor saxes/ clarinet/flute); Katja Roberts (violin); Marcus Tham (keys); Michael Littlefield (guitar/banjo/vocals); Neil Hopper (bass/sousaphone); Kit Haigh (drums/vocals/guitar)

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About this blog - contact details.

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