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Bebop Spoken There

Ethan Iverson: "Oscar Peterson famously said that Bud [Powell] played just too many wrong notes. He was really critical of Bud as a player, which I think is not right." - (DownBeat March 2021)

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

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'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

Postage

12,557 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 276 of them this year alone and, so far, 127 this month (Feb. 28).

Wednesday March 3

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MILES WATSON

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Newcastle University Jazz @ Culture Lab, Newcastle - Feb 21

(Review by Russell)

On a rainy, windblown Friday evening just off Barras Bridge, Culture Lab's discreet door stood ajar ready to welcome those who were interested in hearing a newly formed band's debut performance. Jason Holcomb has been busy assembling a big band to take its place alongside the region's many fine jazz orchestras. Newcastle University Jazz is the name, a name which could easily cause confusion given that the long-established, on-campus student band is known as Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra! 


It isn't unusual to find a new outfit short on numbers in one section and perhaps oversubscribed in another. This was the case with Newcastle University Jazz - four reeds, just the three 'bones, six trumpets and a regulation compliment in the engine room of guitar, piano, bass and drums. MD Holcomb explained the remit; a professionally-led, educational ensemble offering performance opportunities to young musicians.   

Oliver Nelson's Emancipation Blues introduced Newcastle University jazz to the world. A white-jacketed Holcomb conducted his charges with no little enthusiasm, clearly delighted with the sound emanating from the stage in Culture Lab's Ballroom. Trumpeter Joe Fleet will remember the occasion as he was the first to step up to the plate. Collective nerves settled, NU Jazz romped through Sweet Georgia Brown (comp. Ben Bernie) with Chris Fox (tenor sax) in the spotlight.  

MD Holcomb's set list drew on the many decades of material utilised by big bands the world over. Harlem Nocturne composed by Hagen and Rogers for Ray Noble and a Sammy Nestico arrangement of Fly Me to the Moon enabled the band's section work to be heard by an attentive Friday evening audience. Gershwin's Fascinating Rhythm and Quincy Jones' For Lena and Lenny (arr. S. Nestico) maintained the familiarity which was a good idea. Familiar material, well-executed solos (NU Jazz's soloists included equally familiar faces - recent graduate Sam Fox playing tenor sax and undergradute trumpeter Tom Alcorn who doesn't shy away from the top C stuff, to name but two), all in all things were shaping up well.

MD Holcomb took time to name-check the ensemble before going out on Venon Duke's April in Paris and Juan Tizol's rabble-rousing Caravan. Newcastle University Jazz can be heard at Newcastle Jazz Co-op's Railway St HQ on March 15. 
Russell

Newcastle University Jazz: Jason Holcomb MD; Tom Alcorn, Oli Heath, Jasmine Smith, Lisa Davison, Abigail Brierley, Joe Fleet (trumpets); Laura Davison, Kate Garnett, Alex Utting (trombones); Sam Fox, David Johnson, Chris Fox, Ted Mitchell (saxophones); Lukas Carey (guitar); Alys John (keyboards); George Comber (bass guitar); Alex Reid (drums) 

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