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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.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Hexham Jazz Festival: Day 2 (Saturday 14, evening)

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
For some this was the pick of the 2022 Hexham Jazz Festival - Jo Harrop with her ace band plus strings, followed by a solo piano set by Dean Stockdale. The same set-up as on the opening evening, Harrop and co occupying centre ground (the 'crossing') looking down the nave past the cordoned-off crypt with the audience occupying the nave's pews and seated around tables in the north and south transepts. Forty eight hours earlier Harrop and her quartet were at Newcastle's temple to all things funk, soul and jazz, namely Hoochie Coochie, this evening it was the rather splendid setting of Hexham Abbey. 

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
Jo Harrop (vocals); Paul Edis (MD, piano); James Kitchman (guitar); Jihad Darwish (double bass); Steve Hanley (drums) & Northumbria String Quartet

The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants, Harrop's British tour signature tune (co-written with Hannah Vasanth), opened the first of two sets. Sitting front and centre in the pews the sound was better than expected (the previous evening seated in the north transept the sound wasn't so good), all instruments finely balanced, MD Edis conducting matters form the Abbey's Yamaha grand piano. At the aforementioned Hoochie Coochie performance an acquaintance said Harrop is incapable of singing a bum note. And as if to prove the point, here in Hexham our London-exiled northerner did it again, being absolutely note-perfect.

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
Everything's Changing introduced the strings - the Northumbria String Quartet (John Garner was in the section) - and if there was one minor quibble, it would be they were, at times, somewhat inaudible against the amplified strings of local hero, guitarist James Kitchman and the brilliant bassist Jihad Darwish. At short notice drummer Steve Hanley was recruited to play the first three dates of the tour (Newcastle, Hexham and the Jazz Bar, Edinburgh this evening, Sunday) and what a great job he's making of it, quickly learning the charts and making an invaluable contribution to the set. What a pro!

James Kitchman has come a long way since sitting-in at Dave Weisser's Take it to the Bridge sessions: the shy teenager, then known, by Dave, only as 'Felix', has matured into a marvellous, gigging musician on the London scene and beyond. Here in Hexham Abbey he cut a relaxed figure, seated, a bluesy edge to his playing, his duet with Harrop on I Think You'd Better Go (hints of Sam Cooke, perhaps Smokey Robinson) simply marvellous! 

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
Edis' Whiskers recalled his days as MD of Jambone (Sage Gateshead's youth jazz ensemble, later in the set we would hear Edis' Wise Words), this evening revealing a striking (intentional?) tip-of-the-hat similarity to Oscar Peterson. Here in Hexham Jo Harrop produced many memorable moments, none finer than her duet with Jihad Darwish on All Too Soon. Simply magnificent ...

If I Knew showcased piano and strings - composition, arrangement and performance all top drawer. Harrop and Edis revisited You Taught My Heart to Sing (from Songs for the Late Hours). And then there were the swingers...Red Mary Janes & a Brand New Hat and What a Little Moonlight Can Do. Wow! What a band!
            
It was almost time to go, but not before Jo Harrop confided, considering the venue, she thought twice about singing Randy Newman's Guilty. Our superstar went for it: Whisky...wine...cocaine...and, as the band swung out, Harrop, without missing a beat, told us: I told you it was bad! To top it off, Harrop, trying to dig herself out of a hole, added: Sorry, God!      

Set list: The Heart Wants What the Heart WantsEverything's ChangingCharadeWhat IfDangerous LoveHold OnI Think You'd Better GoRome Wasn't Built in a DayWhiskersAll To SoonRed Mary Janes and a Brand New HatIf I KnewWise WordsRainbow SleevesWhat a Little Moonlight Can DoYou Taught My Heart to SingWeather the StormGuilty

Dean Stockdale (piano) 

An hour or so of Dean Stockdale playing piano seemed like an enticing prospect. A fine pianist with a fine piano at his disposal, what more could one ask? Following on from Jo Harrop's superb concert, a late evening start (ten o'clock) was asking a lot of the audience, after all, it had been a long day. In the event, perhaps the scheduling wasn't quite right.

The affable Stockdale is as good as anyone in interpreting GASbook standards, however, late evening buses and trains wait for no one, the result being your correspondent (and others) caught but three numbers of Stockdale's set: Have You Met Miss Jones?My Romance and They Can't Take That Away from Me. And that was it, off into the moonlit night. 

There is a further forthcoming opportunity to hear Dean Stockdale in concert. Our County Durham based pianist will be appearing at Newcastle's Lit & Phil on Friday July 15, one o'clock start. Russell                          

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