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Bebop Spoken There

Guy Barker: "You have to play it [the trumpet] every day or you just won't be match-fit." - (Jazz Rag, Winter 2019.)

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Today Friday December 13

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux CarréJazzmen - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. ‘Christmas Jazz Lunch’. Details from 0191 252 9429).

Dean Stockdale Trio - The Merry Monk, 30 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening.

Jazz

‘An Evening of Swing & Sparkle’ - National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0GL. Tel: 0191 515 5555. 7:30pm. £35.00. Rat Pack evening inc. 4-course meal.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. First night of two.

Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Orchestra - Yarm School, Stockton TS15 9EJ. Tel: 01642 786023. 7:30pm (6:30pm doors). £18.00. + £1.80. bf (£15.00. + £1.50. bf). 'Mistletoe & Miller'.

Blues, Funk/Soul etc.

Baghdaddies - Cobalt Studios, Boyd Street, NewcastleNE2 1AP. £10.68 (inc. bf). ‘Big Xmas Knees Up’.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

George Shovlin & the Acoustic Radars feat. Pat Rafferty + George Pallas & John Wilkins - Whitburn Cricket Club, East Street, Whitburn SR6 7BZ. Tel: 0191 529 3187. 7:30pm (7:00pm doors). £7.50. admission by ticket only (from www.wegottickets.com). 'The Bents Road Sessions'.

Dead Skunk Skiffle & Blues Orchestra + Stetson Five - Station East, Hills Street, Gateshead NE8 2AN. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery - August 17

(Review by Lance/Photos of musicians courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair - LINK).

A Newcastle Jazz Festival - what's not to like? I'm fortunate, or maybe unfortunate, to be old enough to remember the fantastic festivals organised by my dear friend Andy Hudson where Art Pepper, George Melly, Barney Kessel and many others graced the then University Theatre. Those were indeed halcyon days but, to compare today's festival with those that took place  back then - as has been done elsewhere - defeats the object entirely.

Although without the clout of previous big name sponsors it could, nevertheless,  be argued that on a pound for pound basis this matched any festival - either side of the river.


Like all great festivals there was something for everyone and the only folk leaving were those who nipped out to the pizza pop-ups outside - they came back - our mouths were watering until we too succumbed! 

But, what am I doing rambling on about pizza? My friend is allergic to cheese! "No problem madam, we can serve without cheese."

A pizza without cheese may sound like Romeo without Juliet or Bonnie without Clyde but, take it from me - from now on cheese is off the menu when it comes to having a pizza.

The music. I don't know if it was the acoustics, but this barn like structure didn't do any harm at all and Zoë Gilby in her duo set with Andy Champion sounded fantastic. Our girl is nominated in the Jazz Vocal Cat. of this year's APPJAG awards - nip down to the bookies and put a couple of quid on but don't double it with Toon winning the Premier League.

The Alan Law Trio followed. Perhaps the most underrated jazz piano man on Tyneside, Alan has the edge on so many of his contemporaries - dynamics! He can take a piece from ppp to fff and return it once his point has been made, Crescendo and Diminuendo are his middle names!

Contrast is what makes any festival and the Mark Williams Trio certainly upped the ante in that respect. This wasn't Walker - it was Woodstock Forty Years After! Alvin Lee, Black Sabbath, Williams, Walker (Rob) and Pope.


Did I say contrast? With Emma Fisk and James Birkett you got it! Anyone who thought the 1920s' swing of Emma and James might pall after the heavy metal thrash of the previous set soon dismissed those thoughts - A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square - maybe the highlight of the afternoon - maybe - when you open a box of chocolates can you make such a decision? Suffice to say that Emma and James weren't the coffee creams but the ones you grab first - apologies to those who like coffee creams!

Could anyone follow this? Back in the old days it may have been Ronnie Scott or James Moody but, with those two sax aces being taken suddenly dead it was left to Alexander Bone to rise to the challenge and, as he was the inaugural winner of the BBC Jazz Musician of the Year award, I could think of none better. He didn't fail. With the audience in mind, he made no attempt to push the boundaries but played driving hard bop alto. A guy sitting at a nearby table wore a Blue Note tee shirt - he must have gone home a happy man! Dean Stockdale, Mick Shoulder and Matt MacKellar - what a back three! YouTube clip from James Nesbitt.

Special mention also to the heroes of the hour. Michael Lamb and Jamie Toms took to the stage with Strictly Smokin' Big Band and, even if they hadn't blown a note they would have received a standing ovation just for promoting this well-organised event. As it turned out, the whole band gave the audience a 'standing ovation' - the crowd had commandeered all the chairs so that with the exception of piano and drums the band stood. It didn't effect the playing or the vocals from Alice Grace. This was a fitting end to what had been a great day - roll on next year.

I've attached a couple of crowd shots taken in between sets just to give an idea of the occasion.
Lance.
PS: as I left after the penultimate set - having perhaps taken my bucket to the well once too often - the sad thought that crossed my mind was how much the late Margaret Barnes would have loved this memorable day...

Link to photos by Malcolm Sinclair.

Zoë Gilby (vocals); Andy Champion (double bass).

Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums).

Mark Williams (guitar); John Pope (bass guitar); Russ Morgan (drums).

Emma Fisk (violin); James Birkett (guitar).

Alexander Bone (alto sax); Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (double bass); Matt MacKellar (drums).

Michael Lamb (MD), Pete Tanton, Gordon Marshall, Dick Stacey (trumpets); John Flood Kieran Parnaby, Chris Kurgi-Smith, Mark Ferris (trombones); Steve Summers, Niall Armstrong, Jamie Toms,  Dave Kerridge, Laurie Rangecroft (reeds); Graham Don (piano); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums); Alice Grace (vocals).

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