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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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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".

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.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Customs House Big Band @ Dormans Jazz Club Middlesbrough - March 12

(Review/photo by Ron H)

The first big band gig of this year played to a large and enthusiastic audience and, ably directed by MD Peter Morgan, made for a great night of jazz.

Gerry Mulligan's Young Blood  showed why the band has such a fine reputation, with solos from Ian Robinson  trumpet, Jim McBriarty tenor sax, Alan Marshall  alto sax and, with the band playing so well together, gave the evening an excellent start.

Sonny Rollins' Doxy gave Neville Hartley the opportunity to display his talents with a fine trombone solo. The band then moved on to a tune that I think should be heard more often - Canadian Sunset - with nice solos from Dave Brocklesby trombone and Gary Hadfield  keys. Stolen Moments followed with the soloists having excellent backing from Paul Smith on drums and Alan Smith on bass.

A nice big band arrangement of All Of Me gave Chris Kaberry the chance to play a baritone sax solo before the band moved into double time with an excellent guitar solo from Bradley Johnston.

The funky Mohave Breakdown began with a great drum intro from Paul Smith and then driven throughout  by drums and Allan Smith on bass.

After faultlessly playing Traces, The Count Steps Out, A New Kind Of Soup the first set was brought to a close with the nice relaxing Bluff Point.

A dramatic start to the second set was made with the Buddy Rich number Dancing Men  with a driving rhythm on drums (Paul) and bass (Alan) throughout, including fine solos from Josh Bentham and Neville Hartley on tenor sax and trombone respectively.

Further numbers of this second set included The Sammy Nestico arrangement of The Witching Hour, an interesting version of Yankee Doodle, the lovely ballad  Yearning, with nice octave work from Bradley Johnston on  guitar, before an exciting On Green Dolphin Street with  solos from Bob Temple trumpet, Jim McBriarty tenor and Neville Hartley trombone doing great justice to this number.

A powerful version of Feeling Good performed by, among others,  Cy Grant and Nina Simone featured  great alto sax playing from Alan Marshall.

Charlie Parker's Yardbird Suite was followed by the final number, a swinging version of Dizzy Gillespie's Groovin' High.

After rapturous applause an encore of Gerry Mulligan's Catch As Catch Can brought the night finally to a close.

I find it difficult to do justice to this band. All the musicians are capable of fine solo work and show true professionalism playing these great arrangements inspired, no doubt by Peter, both as a leader and, in between numbers, an entertaining raconteur. I must apologise for missing some of the musicians names but, nevertheless, thanks go to all the band members for travelling to Middlesbrough for this excellent concert.

Unfortunately vocalist Ruth Lambert, due to illness, could not be with the band and it is hoped that she will soon make a full recovery.

The usual thanks go to the management and staff of Dorman's Club for their help and support in running this weekly Jazz Night.
Ron H.
PS: Hopefully, see you all again soon...

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