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Bebop Spoken There

Binker Golding: "The purest jazz was often the most danceable. Somewhere along the way, we exchanged danceability for complexity, and I see a lot of what I do as a way of giving that back to people." - (Jazziz, Winter 2020).
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Archive

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

Today Saturday February 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Electric Guitar Masterclass – The Music of Robben Ford - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 10:00am. £15.00. Jamie Mackay conducts a masterclass looking at the work of former Miles Davis’ sideman Robben Ford.

Evening

Daniel John Martin w Swing Manouche - Core Music, 14a/b Gilesgate, Hexham NE46 3NJ. Tel: 01434 601993. 8:00pm. Donations (suggested donation £10.00.). DJM w Mick Shoulder (guitar); Giles Strong (guitar); Ian Paterson (double bass).

Blues/Funk/Soul

Half Hand Hoodoo Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Boys of Brass - Brandling Villa, Haddricks Mill Road, South Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 1QL. Tel: 0191 284 0490. 9:00pm. Free.

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/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

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’?

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