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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.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Charkie Parlour + Alembic @ the Lit & Phil – Oct. 4


(Review by Dave Clarke).

In introducing the second concert of this year’s festival, producer Wes Stevenson explained that his goal was to help to raise the profile of Newcastle’s existing jazz venues and attract new audiences to them. He thanked Paul Edis and the Lit and Phil for helping to make today’s show a sell-out.

Charkie Parlour: John Garner (violin); Mark Williams (guitar); John Pope (double bass/bass guitar); Russ Morgan (drums).

Charkie Parlour, was formed in 2017 as a vessel for exploring new music but having only played one gig in the North East at The Globe (and one in Edinburgh) they might as well be regarded as brand new as far as public reputation is concerned. However, performance-wise one would think they’d been regularly gigging together for years. We are of course talking about three of the region’s finest jazz musicians in Mark Williams, Russ Morgan and John Pope. I say three because, until today, violinist and bandleader John Garner was an unknown quantity to me. After today, make that four.  In our region the violin in jazz has, up until now, been confined to the earlier styles of the music though that’s not the case elsewhere in the world.


Garner is also an impressive composer.

Although the band’s set began with a very brief passage of free improvisation followed by a tune written by John Pope all of the other music played was by the band’s leader.  For their gig at The Globe they told audiences to expect to hear influences from South Indian Carnatic music, from South Africa, from classical music and from British folk music. I’m not sure that I picked out all of those at the Lit and Phil but the band was certainly rooted in the jazz idiom at the relatively conventional end of contemporary jazz, and none the worse for that. There were also two definite examples of aleatoric composition.

Aleatoric  music is music  left to chance, composed partly or even wholly using the throw of a dice.  Garner had reservations about these two aleatoric pieces which were taken from a suite he wrote inspired by Kahlil Gibran’s  The Prophet, but  for me their Middle Eastern flavour and the arrangement - with the violin out front and the powerful unison rhythm from the band - made them close to being my favourite part of the set.

I’m afraid I can’t remember the names of all of the compositions. There was a definite sense of humour and optimism at play though in Even When It’s Raining the Sun Is Always Shining and in the closing blues, The Bump which was inspired by pregnancy.

All in all I really loved this band and its music and very much hope to see more of them. My one reservation - and it’s shared with a number of people I’ve spoken to - is I don’t much like the name Charkie Parlour. People have told me it makes them think of a tribute act and that clearly is far from the truth. Their music is very much their own and they’re all very much their own men.
-----  
Earlier, the afternoon had opened with a set by the newly formed duo Alembic.
Alembic: Melanie Fox (vocals); Paul Taylor (piano).

Paul Taylor has developed a considerable reputation as a solo pianist in the North East and has recently extended his reputation further afield with the help of a Northern Line subsidy. Melanie Fox has been working with Paul for some months now and thanks to being selected for participation in Sage Gateshead’s Summer Studios scheme the duo have been able to work intensively on the material revealed to us today at the Lit and Phil.

Running through their programme were the joint themes of the air and the sea taken from poems and prose by two writers from very different eras: Shakespeare and the twentieth century Scot George MacKay Brown.  They began with lines by Caliban (air) in The Tempest and by Ariel (sea) in the same play, first spoken by Mel then, with Paul’s accompaniment, sung.

The second half of Alembic’s set revolved around MacKay Brown’s The Sea, and Drops of Light, a poem and short story on a theme of the air. Melanie’s passion for the writer was very apparent and Paul’s music fitted well. Something totally new for Tyneside. Congratulations to them both.
Dave C

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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