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Bebop Spoken There

John McDonough (reviewing Bright Red Dog’s In Vivo): “When you improvise on nothing, that’s what you get”. - DownBeat August 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.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

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

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Postage

13,508 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 926 of them this year alone and, so far, 90 this month (July 27).

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Jazz Jamaica @ Sage Gateshead - June 18

Once upon a time Gateshead Quays was a round-the-clock hive of artistic activity. Baltic's doors were open to one and all showing the best in contemporary visual art and its near neighbour, Sage Gateshead, presented world class performances by folk, jazz, rock, pop and classical musicians. Then, some fifteen months ago, the lights went out. The pandemic struck and, in common with many other sectors, the performing arts came to a shuddering halt. That was then, this is now - Jazz Jamaica are back in town!

Sage One's audience divided into colour-coded zones. Your correspondent found himself in the red zone, all seats socially distanced. All present were obliged to wear a face covering during the one hour fifteen minutes or so Gary Crosby's Jazz Jamaica occupied the stage. It was an odd, if not eerie, experience. MC Crosby recalled the band's first appearance at Sage Gateshead all of fifteen, perhaps sixteen years ago, our man suggesting this was one of his favourite venues. 

Trojan Records played a vital role in popularising Jamaican reggae. Crosby's formative years found him listening to the music thanks in part to south London MC sound systems. Decades later Jazz Jamaica are on the road celebrating one of the Caribbean's finest cultural exports. The current line-up includes several names familiar to a Tyneside jazz audience (Denys Baptiste, Camilla George, Eddie Hick, Cherise Adams-Burnett), some not so familiar. From the off the band played killer rhythms, anchored by bass man Lance Rose and drummer Eddie Hick. Periodically the nine piece band would be joined by vocalists Cara Crosby-Irons and Cherise Adams-Burnett.   

Three instrumentals, one after another, promised/threatened to get the audience on its feet. Promise not to tell? One or two did just that! Green IslandLiquidator, Double Barrel (the latter giving trumpeter Mark Kavuma a first opportunity to have a blow), band and audience nicely warmed up. Cara Crosby-Irons impressed big time singing Waiting in Vein (Denys Baptiste blowing excellent tenor). For some time Mark Kavuma has been a name on BSH's radar (album reviews, an online performance from Ronnie's). Eastern Standard Time found Kavuma in blistering form - clean, articulate bop lines, be sure to catch him next time he's in town. 

As Cara Crosby-Irons returned to sing an epic Police and Thieves, the horns cleared off, leaving the stage to our vocalist with Ben Burrell playing organ, supported by an ace rhythm section - Rose, Hick, Satin Singh and the impressive Sonia Kounate on guitar . A set highlight, that's for sure. My Boy Lollipop had 'em up dancing (don't tell anyone!), An encore was assured, cue Herbie H's Cantaloupe Island 
                    
Gary Crosby (MC); Mark Kavuma (trumpet); Harry Brown (trombone); Denys Baptiste (tenor sax); Camilla George (alto sax); Sonia Kounate (guitar); Ben Burrell (piano, organ); Lance Rose (double bass); Eddie Hick (drums); Satin Singh (percussion); Cara Crosby-Irons (vocals); Cherise Adams-Burnett (vocals)


Earlier, Ladies of Midnight Blue entertained an all-seated audience on Sage Gateshead's expansive concourse. Hannabiell Sanders and Yilis del Carmen Suriel played a variety of African and Latin percussion instruments, Hannabiell also playing her now familiar bass trombone and a conch shell. Hannabiell did her best to engage with the audience but some how or other their set took a while to spark. Fifteen months into the pandemic it could take some time for audiences to remember how it used to be...applause, whoopin' and a hollerin'. Give it time, we'll get the hang of it!       

Hannabiell Sanders (bass trombone, percussion, conch), Yilis del Carmen Suriel ((percussion)

Jazz Jamaica's set list: Green IslandLiquidator; Double BarrelDon't Stay AwayWaiting in VeinWhat About Me?Eastern Standard TimePolice and ThievesHow Could I LeaveMy Boy Lollipop; Cantaloupe Island.

1 comment :

NeilC said...

Watched it on stream brilliant . Sadly the streaming patrons didn't see Cantaloupe Island encore . The Sage said the band decided not to include it when I enquired but it did not detract from a really great gig.

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