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Bebop Spoken There

Frank Zappa: “Those kids [US students] wouldn't know music if it came up and bit 'em on the ass.” – (DownBeat October 3, 1969).

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Today Tuesday February 18

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

Acoustic Infusion w Ray Dales - Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm (doors 7:00pm). £5.00.

Abbie Finn Trio - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB. Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations). Hexham Jazz Club.

Blues/Soul/Folk etc.

?????

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

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Zoe Rahman & Laura MacDonald @ The Lit and Phil - July 16

Zoe Rahman (piano);  Laura MacDonald (alto sax)
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

I have seen Zoe Rahman on several occasions and always enjoyed her performances immensely. I had not previously seen Laura MacDonald  but her CV was very impressive. So I was really looking forward to this sell out joint promotion by JNE & GemArts Masala Festival  at the Lit and Phil. 

Although the evening was pleasant enough I felt that the sum of the parts seemed greater than that of the whole. Apart from one occasion where Rahman played second fiddle to Courtney Pine’s ego at Sage Gateshead a couple of years ago I  had not previously seen her in duo format.

Rahman's solo gigs are always amazing affairs as she constantly improvises and moves seamlessly between genres (classical, Bengali, free, swing etc. etc.) On these occasions you can’t help but get swept along with the ebb and flow of the music. MacDonald on alto sax has a lovely swinging crisp sound. It was probably no surprise then that the songs I enjoyed the most were both solo pieces - one from each artist.  

The pair played mainly their own compositions apart from an Abdullah Ibrahim tune, a Thelonious Monk tune and two pieces from the late Indian polymath Rabindranath Tagore the last of which was the encore which had such a Scottish feel to it that it reminded me of Auld Lang Syne!
Steve H

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