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Bebop Spoken There

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Postage

16462 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 342 of them this year alone and, so far, 54 this month (May 18).

From This Moment On ...

May

Tue 21: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Alice Grace Vocal Masterclass @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 6:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 22: Daniel Erdmann’s Thérapie de Couple @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 23: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Thu 23: Immortal Onion + Rivkala @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Jeremy McMurray (keys); Dan Johnson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 24: Hot Club du Nord @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Swannek + support @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. Time TBC.

Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Paul Edis Trio w. Bruce Adams & Alan Barnes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:30pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sat 25: Nubiyan Twist @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 25: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

And the next event is a tenor saxophone contest between ...

Bring back the jam sessions - I mean the real, no-holds-barred battle royals of yore. They're a part of jazz folklore. Hawkins blowing all night and early morning trying to cut the cats in Kansas City. Flip, Illinois and others making a name for themselves and some dough for Norman Granz on the JATP tours. Dexter and Wardell smashing the place up blowing The Chase

I remember the disappointment when I first heard JATP  at Newcastle City Hall back in May 1958. This was going to be something, I thought, and it was. How could it not be with Stan Getz, Sonny Stitt, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy and Roy Eldridge on the bill?

It was good, it was great, but it wasn't fantastic. They played their individual sets with the rhythm section but, in reality, they were there as the warm up acts for Ella and Oscar who, by then, were Granz's pet poodles.

I've often thought that the true jam session began its decline that night. I know the jam in name has never ceased but the cutting edge competitiveness is no longer there. Even at the Black Swan/Jazz Café jams it isn't until the final thrash that all the musicians who've played a couple of safe numbers with the house trio and have hung  around until the end are given the opportunity to put their hat in the ring in the hope of emerging as the undisputed numero uno - at least for that night.

I know a lot of musicians will argue that jazz is about working together and making something lasting and worthwhile rather than the ephemeral, sadistic, pleasure of seeing the vanquished, close to tears, packing his/her horn away and leaving by the fire exit. But, think about the legend of Charlie Parker and the episode with Jo Jones' cymbal - Bird never left by the fire exit again! Lance

1 comment :

Mike Farmer said...

Liked your piece about Jam Sessions. Years ago, before the play-along books and before the music establishments took an interest in Jazz, the only way to learn to play was by ear. I used to a pub in Manchester called the Lower Turks Head alto sax in hand and hope the resident trio would allow me to sit in. In those days the tempos were sometimes ultra-fast and you would never see music on the band stand unlike nowadays. I'm hoping as normality returns that Jam Sessions occur again.

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