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Bebop Spoken There

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11,740 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 880 of them this year alone and, so far, 17 this month (August 4).

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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord & Early Bird Big Band @ Ushaw Jazz Festival - August 23

Emma Fisk (violin); James Birkett, Dave Harris (guitars); Bruce Rollo (bass)
(Review by Lance)

With some musicians their instrument is the equivalent of the doctor's stethoscope or the plumber's wrench - the tools of their trade. However, there are other musicians - a select few - who are totally at one with their instrument. It isn't something they take out of a case and then put it back again a couple of hours later. It is part of them - an extension - just as much so as any of their vital organs.

Emma Fisk is such a person. Even when her violin is safely tucked up in its case you feel it is still a part of her. At least that's my impression having listened to her twice in the course of a week.
I didn't care that I'd heard it all before - when something is that good you never tire of it. Plus, with the guitar virtuosity of James Birkett and Dave Harris being goosed along by Bruce Rollo on slap bass it was no wonder that the youngest member of the audience (and her mother) had to release their inhibitions on the dance floor - I wanted to do the same!

Although I was never fortunate enough to hear Grappelli with Django, I did hear him at different times with John Etheridge, Diz Disley and Martin Taylor and, great as those concerts were, this one lost nothing by comparison.

Honeysuckle Rose; I Found a New Baby; I Can't Give you Anything But Love; Swing 42; Blue Drag; Ain't Misbehavin'; Nuages; Undecided; Daphne; I'm Confessin'; Coquette; HCQ Strut; Sweet Chorus; Minor Swing; A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square; Sweet Georgia Brown; J'attendrai.
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Earlier, the festival had opened with an inspired set by the Early Bird Big Band. The EBBB, is one of several groups organised by Paul Edis that, over the years, have served as a launching pad for many emerging and talented young jazz musicians and the Class of 2019, on the strength of this performance, are upholding and enhancing that solid base. Whilst credit must be given where credit's due, by which I refer to MD Edis, the seeds he sowed would have fallen upon stony ground without the receptive ears of his students.

That their ears were receptive was proven, not only in the well-constructed solos but also in the original pieces composed, arranged and introduced by each composer.

It would be unfair to single out individuals as they all contributed to the overall sound and, even without the imported heavies, they would still have sounded good.
The future is in their - and Dr Edis' - hands …
Lance
PS: Of course any Ushaw Jazz Festival would be incomplete without Tony Eales' now legendary 'Jazz Alley'. The walls of this passageway are, for the duration of the festival, lined with LP covers from his vast collection. "Got that one - wish I had that one - is that the original cover of Benny Goodman's Carnegie Hall concert?" It just wouldn't be as eye catching with CDs! Well done Tony.

Early Bird Big Band: Paul Edis (MD, tenor sax); Graham Hardy, Ailsa Critten (trumpet, flugelhorn); James Metcalf (trumpet) Haaruun Miller (sop sax, alto sax); Emma Talbot (alto sax);  Faye Thompson (tenor sax, clarinet); Ryan de Silva (baritone sax); Megan Robinson (flute); Jason Holcomb, Samuel Banks (trombone); Tom Henery (guitar); Ben Lawrence (piano, keyboards); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar); Dylan Thompson (drums)

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