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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.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Faye MacCalman & John Pope @ LIVE Concert at Home (Newcastle University) - June 11

Faye MacCalman (tenor sax, clarinet, vocals); John Pope (double bass)

The ongoing pandemic has scuppered live performance in the presence of an audience. Newcastle University's LIVE in the King's Hall concert series has fallen victim but, in recent weeks, it has been premiering Covid-secure online performances and today's installment featured the duo of Faye MacCalman and John Pope.

Newcastle University's YouTube link was anything but hot and after several minutes effing and blinding your reviewer accessed the live stream recording via Faye's Facebook page. Compositions by Don Cherry and Dorothy Ashby were on the set list, perhaps the numbers had already been played, who knows? Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise (Abbey Lincoln's version of the Romberg and Hammerstein II composition the inspiration) featured Faye on tenor sax and voice. Yes, Faye singing! Now then, as and when the Black Swan jam sessions resume...


Observing the guidance - standing two metres apart - Faye and John were in what looked like one of the many practice rooms within the music department. Keeping them company, spiritually, that is, were George Adams and Don Pullen and it was Pullen's Khaji from Melodic Excursions with Faye on clarinet( and briefly tenor sax) which caught the ear of Brian Ebbatson (prompting an online comment). John Pope's sound was, as usual, right on the money, and for the duration of this duo set JP kept the pyrotechnics under wraps.

Billy Bang's Nothing But Love (Faye on tenor, John, bass and minimal electronic interventions) then, to close, an African-American traditional spiritual prayer as recorded by Hank Jones and Charlie Haden, Standing in the Need of a Prayer. Today's performance will be available on YouTube for one week.     

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