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Bebop Spoken There

Barry Harris (in 1981): "There is not one place in the world that you can find more jazz musicians from than Detroit." - (DownBeat, September 2019).

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Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Monday August 19

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see centre column).

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Evening

?????

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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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