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Bebop Spoken There

Billy Cobham: "Miles said to us, 'Don't play in between takes,' so of course John [McLaughlin] played in between takes." - (JazzTimes, Nov. 2019).

Archive

Today Friday November 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Sue Ferris Trio - The Merry Monk, 30 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1:00pm. £5.00. Pub adjacent to Bishop Auckland Town Hall.

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

Evening.

Mick Shoulder Quintet - Traveller's Rest, West Auckland Road, Darlington DL3 9ER. 8:00pm. (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Tenement Jazz Band - Theatre Hullabaloo, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 405405. 8:00pm. £14.00. Darlington NOJB.

Blues/Soul/Funk etc.

Ishmael Ensemble - Cobalt Studios, Boyd Street, Newcastle NE2 1AP. 8:00pm. £7.47.

Catfish Keith - Old Cinema Launderette, Marshall Terrace, Durham DH1 2HX. 8:30pm. £18.00. + £1.80. bf.

The Odels - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Friday, September 27, 2019

Scarborough Jazz Festival 2019. Sunday Sept. 22. Evening Session. Partisans and Jim Mullen and the Volunteers.

Partisans: Julian Siegel (reeds), Phil Robson (guitar), Thaddeus Kelly (bass guitar), Gene Calderazzo (drums).
(Review/photos by Steve T).

Mr Birkett, his trio and guests on keyboard and clarinet had them dancing in the aisles so Partisans were already onstage by the time I returned to the main hall. I'd seen them before and enjoyed it but this was better; much better. 

The second piece was That's Not His Bag but we were assured it referred to Easyjet and not James Brown. Robson - having whet our appetite with Dankworth - was playing pedalled up guitar and crazy chords, weaving solos in and out of Siegel's sax and I'll be amazed if the guitarist isn't familiar with prog guitar maestro Steve Howe.

Overthink rocked things up nicely, bass guitar pumping and squelching like a heavy metal band, guitar set at eleven and even the arrival of sax somehow managed not to tone things down. It was clearly a bit much for some, covering their ears a bit of a giveaway, but Scarborough is a fiercely across the board festival and they're used to the esoteric. 

Right on cue, they demonstrated their quieter side with 3:15 on the Dot, named for a groundhog in New York called Barry and featuring bass clarinet, then guitar over cymbals and barely perceptible bass.

Drums set up a groove and guitar chords and a heavy bass sound found them firmly in Weather Report territory, guitar and some effects pedals playing it close to Zawinul's 70s/ 80s arsenal of keyboards.

Last Chance had Siegel back on bass clarinet, Robson bending notes, running through his pedals 'til he found the one marked jazz-rock, from the heady days of Lifetime and Mahavishnu Mk 1. In the best traditions of those times, it was then taken down to a trickle with gentle rhythm behind a remarkably fluid solo from bass clarinet, a notoriously tempestuous instrument.

Jim Mullen's Volunteers: Jim Mullen (guitar), Gareth Lockrane (flute, arranger), Steve Fishwick (trumpet, flugelhorn), Mark Nightingale (trombone), Alan Barnes, Julien Siegel (reeds), Gareth Williams (piano), Nick Hatton (bass), Tristram Mayo (drums).

Following a period of serious illness, Jim Mullen has found himself an elder statesman of British Jazz, a veritable national treasure.

I first saw him with jazz-funk outfit Morrissey-Mullen at the start of the eighties, next backing soul singer Terry Callier, then giving a masterclass followed by an organ trio performance at Sage Gateshead, and most recently with vintage British funk band Kokomo supporting the Average White Band at the London Jazz Festival. The local guitar teacher in Crook refers to him as Big Thumbs, reflecting his unique style of emulating his hero Wes Montgomery.

The all-star assembly more or less took turns taking solos, the guitarist taking one during each piece. Lockrane was visibly active keeping everything together from the stage and Mullen was keen to heap praise on him.

The entire set was taken from his current album The Volunteers, a mixture of Mullen originals: Medications, Spare Change, Overactive and Smart Money, plus a sprinkling of standards: When I Fall in Love, Spring is Here and Back in the Day.

Smart Money was the final piece and illustrated the tightrope jazz musicians operate from every night. Mullen finished his solo and turned to Williams and, when he didn't respond, turned quickly to Lockrane and back to the pianist who opened his solo. Great stuff.

Though I relish being amongst the youngest, I can't believe this festival doesn't attract a younger audience. There really is something on offer for everybody and the oldies for the most part, lap up the multitude of sounds the festival presents them with. Perhaps the seaside setting makes the cool young people think it's a bastion for the elderly. 

I was  also encouraged to see the CD store attracting so much interest, and I read somewhere that sales of CDs in jazz and the other genres are holding up well, despite the decline in pop music old and new.     
Steve T       

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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