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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie Paris: "A singer's got to be able to tell a story. Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole are best at that; Mel Tormé too. I like to take a lyric that means something and sing it right to the person it was meant for." - (DownBeat October 11, 1962).

Archive

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 Tuesday September 17

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Acoustic Infusion with the Mighty Horns - Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm (doors 7:00pm). £5.00. Rick Laughlin & co.

Strictly Smokin’ Sessions - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £8.00. & £6.00.

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 819845. 8:00pm. £4.00. Guest: Don Armstrong (reeds). Note earlier start.

Blues

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

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Frog and Henry @ the Black Swan - Sept. 4

Ewan Bleach (clarinet, vocals); Ryan Baer (guitar, banjo, vocals); John Kelly (trombone, guitar); Jack Butler (tuba)
(Review by Lance)

Frog and Henry may sound like the name of a Quayside bar but it is, in fact, an international band dedicated to the early blues, rags and stomps of New Orleans. In some ways they are a bit like Postmodern Jukebox inasmuch as, with the exception of Ewan Bleach, there's no certainty as to who, how many, and what instruments will be in the band. It all depends on the size of the car explained clarinetist Bleach.

So, assuming it was a Mini, the shipwreck/lifeboat syndrome applied and one person had to go which turned out be the violin player as well various other instruments including bass saxophone which was a shame as there aren't many bass saxists on the northeast circuit and, disappointingly, the tuba machine was also AWOL.

However, the most worrying event prior to the gig, apart from the machine, was another tuba which was broken. How does one locate a replacement tuba with the minutes before stomp off ticking away? Impossible - unless Patti Durham is to hand. She's got tubas wall to wall and the day was saved.

Amazingly, no time was lost and they charged into Weary Blues and they didn't sound weary at all.

Bleach gets quite a liquid sound on clarinet with shades of Bechet, Irving Fazola and the occasional growl bringing Pee Wee to mind. Like Baer, he also has that  twenties/thirties timbre to his vocals - think early Bing, Russ Columbo, Rudy Vallée or Al Bowlly. With this band, one minute you're in a Storyville bordello and the next you're dining at the Ritz.

Baer effectively comps and solos with some juicy chords on guitar, provides period vocals and plays banjo on the appropriately titled That's a Plenty - I suppose someone has to do it.

The borrowed tuba nestled comfortably in Butler's arms and he pumped away happily.

Apart from guitar, Kelly blew blistering 'bone and combined to make this a very tight outfit  where solos were succinct and the ensembles, even without a cornet, true to the tradition and it wasn't surprising that an encore was demanded.

Like the Tenement Jazz Band up in Edinburgh, or the Shake 'em up Jazz Band worldwide, this is a relatively young band honouring the traditions of the past.
Lance

Weary Blues; My Blue Heaven; Imagination (Benny Moten); San; In the Wee Midnight Hours; Shadrack; On the Banks of the River; Crying For the Carolines; Song of the Wanderer; In My Little Red Book; Panama; The Girls Go Crazy etc.; That Will Be the Thrill For me; Temptation Rag; I'm Blue and Lonesome; That's a Plenty; Love in Bloom; A Swallowtail Coat; St. Louis Rag; Bouncing Around; A thousand Goodbyes.

1 comment :

Ray R said...

Having seen the band at Darlington in February when a larger car was obviously available as all instruments & band members seemed present; it was a pleasure to hear them again; albeit in smaller number; but still providing fabulous sounds ….another memorable gig …

Ray R

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About this blog - contact details.

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