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Bebop Spoken There

Michel Camilo: "That first year, believe it or not, to practice I drew a keyboard on a piece of cardboard, because I could hear in my head all the notes" - (JazzTimes, Feb. 2020).
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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 29

Afternoon

Jazz

Great North Big Band Jazz Festival - Park View Community Centre, Church Chare, Chester le Street DH3 3PZ.. Tel: 07958 302745. 12:00 noon. Open Section (senior) competition. (Winners’ concert - 7:00pm). £15.00. weekend ticket, £12.00. day ticket, £5.00. under 16. Day 2/3.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - Hammer & Pincers, Preston Lane, Preston-le-Skerne, Newton Aycliffe DL5 6JH. Tel: 01325 314873. 1:00pm. £2.00.

Evening

Keith Nichols w New Century Ragtime Orchestra - Caedmon Hall, Gateshead Library, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead NE8 4LN. 7:30pm. Tickets £15.00 from 0191 281 4011. Line-up includes guests Keith Nichols (piano, vocals) & Nick Ward (drums).

Mike Lovatt w Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4461. 8:00pm. £14.70. Trumpet virtuoso w SSBB.

Mansion of Snakes - Cobalt Studios, Boyd St., Newcastle. 9:00pm. Donations. Cobalt’s Late Night Jazz Club. Band + DJ.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Red Hot Riot - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Monday, December 23, 2019

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Hoochie Coochie - Dec. 22

(Review/Photos by Lance)

The SSBB at Hoochie Coochie are as much a part of Christmas as roasting your chestnuts on an open fire and much less painful. Just as Paul Edis'  A Jazzy Christmas has become part of Sage Gateshead's seasonal celebrations so has the Strictly Smokin' outfit's Hoochie party become an integral part of their festive season.

Both manage to convey the spirit of Christmas without overdoing the sentimentality. 

Edis has Jo Harrop - a singer almost beyond compare. SSBB have Alice Grace - a singer of equal stature and maybe, one year, both singers will swap bands and no one will lose out!

Tonight, Alice hit a personal high with her take on Jeepers Creepers. This breathed new life into the old Johnny Mercer warhorse - it was like hearing it for the first time. What could I say but "Jeepers Creepers"! However, in case I'm accused of being starry eyed I have to say that, for me, People Will Say We're in Love didn't work. It may have got by at a different venue on a different day but it wasn't for the Hoochies and the Coochies a couple of days before Christmas.

A minor blip, Alice was on form! Mean to Me was another gem, likewise I've Got my Love to Keep me Warm and all the other numbers that she stamped her individuality upon. In between, on the instrumentals, the guys blew like they were on the verge of Armageddon.

Jamie Toms always reminds me of a young Stan Getz but, when he blows, its the more mature Getz who takes over.

In a band like this you can't really rate individuals - it's like is a peach an apple or an orange better than a pear or a Californian grape? Well, it has to be said that, down in the Press Box, the pundits rated Keith Robinson's blast on Strasbourg - St. Denis as the solo of the session.

However, what do they know? Just about everyone gave it their best shot and none were off target.

Apart from the music, the dance floor wasn't deserted. I managed to risk a cardiac arrest shaking it with the delightful Dee and even the normally stoic Russell was observed to wiggle an ear or two.

Roll on next year.
Lance.
Photos
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas; Jeepers Creepers; You Turned the Tables on me; Norwegian Wood; Mean to Me; People Will Say  We're in Love; I've Got my Love to Keep me Warm; Winter Games; Chuck E's in Love; Willow Weep For Me; Late Late Show; Strasbourg - St. Denis; Spanish Joint; A Very Good Year; We Three Kings; The Christmas Song; Oh Holy Night; Jingle Bells; Joy to the World; Last Christmas; Sir Duke.

Alice Grace (vocals); Steve Summers, Keith Robinson, Jamie Toms, Dave Kerridge, Laurie Rangecroft (reeds); Gordon Marshall, Dick Stacey, Michael Lamb MD, Pete Tanton (trumpets); Kieran Parnaby, Mark Ferris, Chris Kurgi-Smith, John Flood (trombones); Graham Don (piano); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums) 

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