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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).

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Beverley Knight sings Stevie Wonder @ Sage Gateshead - October 9

A jazz gig? No, but the music of Stevie Wonder all but guarantees some interest, not least in the arrangements for the horn section. A successful BBC Radio 2 Friday Night is Music Night Live broadcast concert performance encouraged all concerned to do it again. And so it came about that Sage Gateshead found itself on a ten date British tour itinerary.

The star of the show, Beverley Knight, clad in a figure-hugging jumpsuit a la Diana Ross, bounded onto Sage One's stage to tumultuous acclaim and from there on in it was an exhausting, non-stop revue of all things Stevie Wonder plus a choice selection from Knight's 25 year back catalogue of hits.

Knight's 'backing band' was none other than the Leo Green Orchestra and, as anticipated, one or two familiar jazz faces were in the line-up. From the famous opening riff of Superstition to the closing number from the days of Little Stevie Wonder - Uptight - everything certainly was alright. The band - a four-strong horn section, three keyboards, two guitarists, a bass player holding down the James Jamerson role, drums, percussion, the BK Strings (two violins, viola, cello) and a quartet of backing singers - gave a committed performance under the direction of Leo Green.

Hard bop tenor star Leo Richardson enjoyed the occasion to the extent that he willingly joined in the dance routines! One of drummer Ed Richardson's regular gigs is working in Leo's blistering quartet yet here he was at Sage Gateshead nailing the Motown charts. In truth there wasn't a great deal of space for the horns to have a blow although Leo did feature briefly on For Once in My Life.

Ms Knight welcomed a surprise guest to join her on a couple of numbers, Wearside-born Dave Stewart of Eurythmics' fame. From start to finish the audience repeatedly got to its feet to boogie on down. The packed hall loved it, the odds are that Beverley Knight's forthcoming new album - BK: Beverley Knight with the Leo Green Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall will be something of a chart success! 
Russell

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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.
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Lance