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Bebop Spoken There

Jeremy Pelt: "It [Birth of the Cool sessions] was bebop in sheep's clothing." - (DownBeat, December 2019).

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Today Wednesday November 13

Afternoon

Jazz

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 12:15pm. Stanley Nelson's 2019 documentary film.

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Evening

Jazz

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Swing Street - Pier Red, Castlegate, Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1LF. Tel: 01289 309168. 8:00pm. Free.

Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.00.

Blues/Folk

George Shovlin & the Radars, Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DE. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 8:00pm. Free.

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Saturday, August 03, 2019

CD Review: Northern Monkey Brass Band - Northern Monkey Business


Northern Monkey Brass Band: Graham Hardy (trumpet); Alastair Lord (trumpet); Jamie Toms (tenor sax); Mark Ferris (trombone); David Gray (trombone); Phil Rosier (tuba); Adam Sinclair (snare drum); Brendan Murphy (bass drum) + George Welch (vocal)
(Review by Russell)

Graham Hardy's Northern Monkey Brass Band is one of Tyneside's most accomplished outfits coming up with the goods time and again on the local gig circuit. Northern Monkey Business is the eight piece band's second CD release. If there is such a thing as the 'difficult' second album then it definitely doesn't apply to this one. It's every bit as good as the first one (High on Life) and the tunes are, as some might say, 'bangers', in a street brass band sort of way!


Ten tracks, seven composed and arranged by Hardy, three 'traditional' numbers arranged by the trumpet playing bandleader, Northern Monkey Business comes in at around fifty two minutes and there is never a dull moment. The band members' jazz credentials have been well documented but it is their collective cv encompassing rock, pop, orchestral, experimental and more which gives the Northern Monkey Brass Band a distinctive edge.

Attitude, the opening track, has just that, 'attitude'. Not in tiresome 'big I am' style, far from it, rather eight excellent musicians deciding they'll have a good time and this recording suggests they did just that. Hardy's sleeve notes identify the soloists track by track although those who've heard the band live - that's quite a few of us! - will have little difficulty identifying who's who. In short, trumpeter Alastair Lord invariably hits the high Cs and the big, boistrous trombone blasts come courtesy of David 'Showtime' Gray. That said, Mark Ferris has been known to plunger with the best of the 'bone battalion. 

The percussion boys - Adam Sinclair and Brendan Murphy - feature on Monkey Blood and, it should be said, these two radiate enjoyment. Go hear the band at a gig and see for yourself! Simian Ska is a skanking vehicle for first, bandleader Hardy, then Gray, it's right up his street is this one! Come to think of it, Showtime is from the same school of musical thought as our percussionists - good time playing with chops to back it up. 

A Northumbrian folk song features a guest appearance by George Welch. Water of Tyne is afforded a stately treatment (solos from Hardy, Jamie Toms, tenor sax and Gray) to accommodate the legendary folk singer's vocals.    

Northern Monkey's Second Line is on a par with material from the likes of the Dirty Dozen and the Youngbloods and Hardy's arrangement of the closing track, What a Friend (opening with marvellous analogue recording-like crackles!), would go down well on the streets of N'Awlins. Perhaps one day the Northern Monkey Brass Band will make it to the Crescent City. Now then, wouldn't that be something?! 
Russell
Northern Monkey Business (NMBB 002) is available from: 

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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