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Bebop Spoken There

Ethan Iverson: "I asked Bertha [Hope] if she ever used the word "contrafact" to describe the process of writing new tunes over old changes, and she replied, "Of course not. The only people who used that word went to a university to learn about jazz."" - (Jazz Times March 2020).

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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".

COFID- 19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Great North Big Band Jazz Festival 2020: Musicians Unlimited & Festival Big Band (Day 1) - Feb 28

(Review by Russell)

Festival director Bill Watson introduced the opening evening of the seventeenth edition of the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival. The seventeenth?! Where has the time gone? The years have flown by! For most of that time the GNBBJF took place in Sunderland due to its links with the University of Sunderland although in recent times Park View Community Centre in Chester le Street has been home to one of the great events in the jazz calendar. 

Friday evening featured a concert performance with the competition element taking place across Saturday and Sunday. Mick Donnelly's renowned Musicians Unlimited launched into Doc Severinson's punchy arrangment of In the Mood. Forget saccharine Miller - with Sue Ferris (tenor sax), Mark Toomey (alto sax) and trumpeters Kevin Eland and GNBBJF director Bill Watson blowing hard things were well and truly under way.

Vocalists Paul Skerritt (Georgia on my Mind) and Jan Spencelayh (What a Diff'rence a day Makes) took centre stage, standing in the wings waiting for to be called from time to time. Veteran trombonist Neville Hartley deservedly won applause for a marvellous solo on Rollins' Doxy, the band (with Marcus Brown guest pianist!) won applause for its rollercoaster take on Gordon Goodwin's High Maintenance (Mick Shoulder nailing the bass part) and Ferris the flautist blew the roof off on the band's closing number - Tito Puente's Oye Como Va.

Earlier the Festival Big Band, directed by the multi-tasking Bill Watson, played a short set principally comprising NYJO charts BW had acquired down the years from Bill Ashton. Stellar names were responsible for writing, arranging or performing the numbers dusted off by Watson..Ronnie Pipe, Alan Downey, Phil Todd to name but three.

The band breezed through a set list which included Louis Bellson and Sammy Nestico charts and feature spots for key soloists, a particular highlight being a flugelhorn duel between Watson and young gun Tom Hill. To close an enjoyable set the Festival Band was joined by three guest soloists, first Mick Donnelly blowing killer tenor sax, Sue Ferris fearlessly following on flute (if any one could do it, Ferris could, and did!) and on alto sax, Mark Toomey. It had been a grand start to GNBBJF 2020. 
Russell      

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