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Bebop Spoken There

Giovanni Guidi: "So many jazz albums today are all original compositions, and five minutes after the record is finished, you can't remember a single song. I think it's a problem." - (JazzTimes Oct. 2019).

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 Thursday October 17

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Aurora - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00. (£4.00. student). Zoë Gilby, Noel Dennis & co play the music of Tom Harrell.

No Fox - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

Darlington Big Band - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Gerry Richardson Jazz Quartet - Hoochie Coochie, 54 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 8:30pm (doors 7:00pm). Free.

Blues/Soul/Funk

Holy Moly & the Crackers - Georgian Theatre, Green Dragon Yard, Stockton TS18 1AE. Tel: 01642 674115. 7:30pm. £12.00.

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

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Alexander Hawkins Solo + Parker, Hawkins Pope, Hession Quartet @ The Lit and Phil – Oct 6

Alexander Hawkins (piano)
Evan Parker (saxophone); Alexander Hawkins (piano); John Pope (bass); Paul Hession (drums)
(Review by Steve H)

The final session of what had so far been a spellbinding festival concluded, not as advertised with The Julie Kjaer Trio - who sadly had to cancel through illness - but with a newly formed quartet featuring national jazz treasure Evan Parker, Alexander Hawkins, Paul Hession and, making his third appearance of the festival, Newcastle’s very own John Pope. What a fitting finale this proved to be and this pick up band picked up immediately and produced a marvellous if not somewhat short set of improvised jazz.

The last time I saw Evan Parker was when he played solo at the GIJF a couple of years ago but I enjoyed his playing in this ensemble far more. Hession’s drumming was excellent and festival stalwart Pope seemed to fit in perfectly. Who would have thought this band had never played together before?

Hawkins on piano illuminated throughout, especially enjoyable since I’d already been wowed by him when he opened the evening’s proceeding with a virtuoso solo performance. For about an hour we were treated to a sublime exhibition of creativity and technical expertise on the Lit and Phil’s rather excellent grand piano. The ideas ebbed and flowed as wave after wave of intricate, yet always accessible, musical stardust emerged from the keyboard - brilliant stuff.

At the end of the night it seemed fitting that John Pope should say a few words (after all not only did he play in the very first gig of the festival and also the very last but also played in the middle of the festival and even when he wasn’t playing seemed to be present at every gig. In fact rumour has it that next year the event will be renamed The Newcastle Jazz, Improvised and Pope Festival). I’m sure everyone agreed with John when he thanked and congratulated festival organiser Wes Stephenson for his supreme efforts in promoting and organising such a fabulous event.

Eighteen different combinations from all over the world playing an awe inspiring range of improvised music in eight different city locations to virtually capacity audiences -   what an astonishing achievement! He may not be able to organise a ‘festival in a brewery’ but he certainly managed to stage an event that deserves to feature as a jewel in the national festival calendar.  The city of Newcastle should be very grateful to him and might I suggest that he be rewarded by being made a ‘Free Jazzman of the City’?
Steve H.

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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