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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 2024.

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Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

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Postage

16434 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 314 of them this year alone and, so far, 26 this month (May 9).

From This Moment On ...

May

Sat 18: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. Celebrating ‘10 years of the Jazz Jam!’. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston. A Late Shows event.
Sat 18: SH#RP Collective @ Holy Name Parish Church Hall, Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:00-9:00pm. Tickets: £15.00. Bar available, BYO snacks. A Jesmond Community Festival event. All proceeds to Kabuyanda Charity (Ugandan health care).
Sat 18: Red Kites Jazz @ Staithes Café, Autumn Drive, Gateshead. 7:30pm.
Sat 18: Alligator Gumbo @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 18: Rockin’ Turner Brothers @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 18: Papa G’s Amigos special summer Latin set @ The Schooner, Gateshead NE8 3AF. 9:00pm. Free.
Sat 18: Late Night Special with Ruth Lambert & special guests @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 10:00pm-midnight. £5.00. (booking essential). Lambert & surprise jam session guests from down the years.

Sun 19: BTS Trombone Day @ Mark Hillery Arts Centre, Collingwood College, Durham University DH1 3LT. 11:00am-5:00pm. Free to British Trombone Society members (£10.00. & £5.00. to non-members). Recitals, workshops and mass blows.
Sun 19: Women Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. £25.00. Tutor: Andrea Vicari. Enquiries: learning@jazz.coop.
Sun 19: Ransom Van @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 19: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 19: Andrea Vicari Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 20: Harmony Brass @ the Crescent Club, Cullercoats. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 20: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:00-8:00pm. Free. Opus de Funk: Horace Silver.
Mon 20: Joe Steels-Ben Lawrence Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.

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: The Doris Day Story @ Phoenix Theatre, Blyth. 7:30pm.
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.

Saturday, July 09, 2022

The Simon Spillett Big Band @ Wigan Jazz Festival - July 8

The Village on the Green in Aspull welcomed a capacity audience to the opening concert at this year's Wigan Jazz Festival. To describe the Simon Spillett Big Band as 'all-star' doesn't do justice to the calibre of musician on stage. Spillett, an A-list attraction in his own right, has assembled an amazing band, chock full of fellow A-listers, all sections comprising band leaders and featured soloists. 

Opening with Dear Johnny B, the concert, from beginning to end, would feature the music of Tubby Hayes (Hayes the composer, Hayes the arranger, Hayes the soloist). The first of many blistering solos during the evening fell to Sam Mayne (alto sax) and Steve Fishwick (trumpet). Many in the audience had come from far and wide to hear Spillett's band and this first number confirmed/reaffirmed their faith in Tubby Hayes and Simon Spillett.

Much of the set list was drawn from Tubbs' Tours and 100% Proof. Spillett's scholarly work on Hayes shone through, both in his playing (blistering tenor solos on Hayes' arrangement of Milestones and Seven Steps to Heaven, but two instances) and in his erudite commentary on Hayes, the man and his music. As MD, Spillett lead the band with boundless energy and vigour, the love for his subject - Tubby Hayes - shining through. 

And what of the band? In a word: Wow! The trumpets, the aforementioned Steve Fishwick, alongside Mark Armstrong, last minute dep Simon Finch, and top C maestro Bruce Adams. The 'bones...all top guys - Mark Nightingale, Andy Flaxman, Ian Bateman (featured on Blues for Bloody Morag) and Pete North. The not-too-shabby reeds...go along the line - Alan Barnes on baritone, the altos of Pete Long and Sam Mayne, and the tenor saxophonists Robert Fowler and Karen Sharp. The latter two trading on Sonnymoon for Two making for a show-stopping finale. 

Rhythm sections don't come better than this - Robin Aspland at the Steinway depping for Rob Barron, the imperious Alec Dankworth, bass, and big band drummer par excellence, Pete Cater. The Simon Spillett Big Band at Wigan will live long in the memory. More immediately, catch the band tomorrow (Sunday) at the Swanage Jazz Festival. 

Simon Spillett Big Band: Simon Spillett (MD, tenor sax); Mark Armstrong, Simon Finch, Steve Fishwick, Bruce Adams (trumpets); Mark Nightingale, Andy Flaxman, Ian Bateman, Pete North (trombones); Sam Mayne, Pete Long, Robert Fowler, Karen Sharp, Alan Barnes (reeds); Robin Aspland (piano); Alec Dankworth (double bass); Pete Cater (drums)

Set list: Dear Johnny BAs Close as You ArePedro's WalkBluesology; SourayaMilestonesShe Insulted Me in MarrakeshSong for a Sad LadyTake Your Partners for the BluesRussian RouletteThe ScandinavianBlues for Bloody MoragPeaceSeven Steps to HeavenSolweig ; Sonnymoon for Two.

1 comment :

"Jazz Lives" @ WordPress.com said...

Hooray for the noble Simon and his bandmates! Well-deserved on all fronts. And backs.

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