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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.

Friday, August 09, 2019

The Old Peculier jam session @ The Black Swan - August 6

(Review by Russell)

August, holidays, likely as not particpiants and and listeners would be thin on the ground. O ye, of little faith! Of course they turned out, sitters-in and the regular 'first name terms' crowd. The Black Swan jam session rarely, if ever, fails to deliver. As the evening's entertainment was about to begin a bottle of Old Peculier couldn't be resisted. Cheers!   

First up, BSH's Ann Alex. Bubbling with enthusiasm, AA engaged with the house trio to sing two numbers opening with the Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer classic Come Rain or Come Shine. And that was it, no more vocals, from here on in it would be a top flight instrumental showcase. 

The trio - master guitarist Mark Willams, jam session lynchpin bassist Paul Grainger and ace drummer Russ Morgan - could hold the attention of an audience anywhere, anytime but this evening was all about the sitters-in dotted around the room waiting patiently to be called by Mr PG. Harry Keeble got the nod, played a couple of tunes including a magical reading of 'Round Midnight. One sensed HK had been in the woodshed for this one, trying out a few things - whatever, it worked! Our tenor saxophonist is soon to head to London, if he pops up at another session before he departs, treasure his contribution because Harry is one helluva tenor player.  

Guitarist Adam Sams puts in an occasional Black Swan appearance and his welcome presence enabled fellow six stringer Williams to go to the bar. Someday My Prince Will Come waltzed along nicely. Good on Sams for following on from Mr MW. At this juncture, in typical jam session style, it was a case of 'all hands on deck' with an array of talent reporting for duty. Sams stayed exactly where he was, Russ Morgan went to the bar as the fabulous Abbie Finn took a spell, John Rowland meant business (taking off his jacket to blow some robust tenor!) with Teesside's finest, Mr Jeremy McMurray, occupying the piano stool. Monk's Bright Mississippi the tune, a definite highlight. Due to an absence of depping bass players MC Grainger, citing the EU Working Time Directive, declared the session would 'take five'...everybody out!

And they kept on coming...David Gray is affectionately known as 'Showtime' thanks to our trombonist never failing to provide 'good value' but that shouldn't obscure the fact he is a superb musician and to illustrate the point he played a sublime version of Corcovado. As if things couldn't get any better 'the boys' joined the party. Three supremely talented young men, currently 'on vacation' from their respective universities - Ben Lawrence (Durham), Francis Tulip (Birmingham), Matt MacKellar (Berklee) - took centre stage for a couple of numbers (including a TS Monk jam session staple) alongside the horns of Keeble and Rowland. The standard beggared belief. Millennials with bags of talent, pianist Ben has developed exponentially, guitarist Francis has the chops, the language, literally at his fingertips, and Matt is as fine a drummer you could wish to hear. How lucky is the Tyneside jazz scene to be able to boast three A-list drummers hanging at one session? We are going through a golden period, no question about it. 

Four (Rowland blowing tenor), the Millennials dazzling, FT taking a look at Bye Bye Blackbird, a lock-in wouldn't have gone amiss but, as the eleven o'clock curfew approached, it was all aboard the milk train (Ray Burns jumping on with no time to spare!). Yes, it had been a canny night, alright. The next session is on Tuesday 20th. Who knows who'll turn up. One way to find out...be there!
Russell
                           
Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums) + Ann Alex (vocals); Harry Keeble (tenor sax); Adam Sams (guitar); John Rowland (tenor sax); Jeremy McMurray (piano); Abbie Finn (drums); David Gray (trombone); Francis Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (piano); Matt MacKellar (drums); Ray Burns (harmonica)   

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