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Bebop Spoken There

Jeremy Pelt: "It [Birth of the Cool sessions] was bebop in sheep's clothing." - (DownBeat, December 2019).

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Today Tuesday November 12

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 1:15pm. Stanley Nelson's 2019 documentary film.

Evening

Jazz

Not Now Charlie - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

Blues

Sugaray Rayford - Cluny, Lime St., Newcastle NE1 2PQ. Tel 0191 230 4474. 8:00pm. £15.00.

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

Monday, September 09, 2019

Northern Monkey Brass Band @ Gala Studio, Durham City – Sept. 6

Graham Hardy, Alastair Lord (trumpets); Sue Ferris (tenor sax); David Gray, Kieran Parnaby (trombones); Graham Wilson (tuba); Adam Sinclair (snare drum); Brendan Murphy (bass drum).
(Review/photos by Brian Ebbatson)

Graham Hardy’s NMBB’s return to Durham’s Gala kicked off this autumn’s Lunchtime Jazz series with their customary energy and pzazz.  The band entered the Studio from all corners with the familiar trumpet calls, punchy trombone blasts, sax and tuba echoes, before the snare and bass drums signalled the switch into their signature opener Loose in the Banana Patch, itself rolling straight into The A-Team theme.

For some in the audience this was perhaps, at first thought, not their usual music, but the infectious energy, the driving rhythms, and the pure musicianship of all the players soon had the audience responding with enthusiasm not just to each number but to every solo.

Although Northern Monkey are inspired by – and pay due tribute to – the traditional as well as contemporary New Orleans and New York street bands, they equally acknowledge their North East and contemporary musical roots, all mixed up with many of Graham’s own compositions and arrangements. And altogether they fulfil the programme promise to play their music “in a way you’ve never heard”.

The opener was followed by Graham’s The Sly Capuchin, one of four tracks from the Northern Monkey Business CD, featuring a lengthy trombone solo from “Growling” David Gray. We never heard the story behind this. There are records of Greyfriars in Durham and Hartlepool, but I don’t know if they were Capuchins. Or had Graham been captivated by a Capuchin monkey at a zoo somewhere?

Next came Water of Tyne, for me the star number, Alastair leading on the theme with Graham playing counter-melody behind, then bass and snare drums launch into a syncopated marching beat, leading with upbeat solos by Sue, David and Hardy. Truly of both worlds, although I missed the actual words, evocatively sung by George Welch on their CD.

Philip Oakley and Giorgio Moroder’s 1980’s Electric Dreams, took us back to that era, whilst Monkey Blood and High on Life  are more Hardy compositions from their 2019 Northern Monkey Business CD and their early EP-CD respectively. Other Hardy numbers were Ninja Princess (for Kuku, a New York trumpeter friend of Graham), and Always Forward, featuring a brilliant percussion duet by Adam and Brendan.  
 
In between came Sports Direct Infirmary Blues, with Graham’s languid muted intro, Sue’s mournful sax and David’s wailing trombone, as much a tribute to the New Orleans tradition as a blues for familiar tribulations on the Tyne.

Graham had delayed introducing the band members – there were three deps in Sue Ferris on sax, Kieran Parnaby on second trombone and Graham Wilson on tuba – “until they had done something” (a solo), but all players performed as if they were regulars and were enthusiastically applauded by the capacity audience before and after the encore of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition.

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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.

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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