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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.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Hexham Jazz Festival: Rachel Sutton + The Ushaw Ensemble @ Hexham Abbey - May 12

The 2023 Hexham Jazz Festival got underway in the splendid setting of Hexham Abbey with performances by Rachel Sutton and The Ushaw Ensemble. Taking a pew alongside a sizeable audience, the installation of several screens relaying the on-stage action proved to be a welcome innovation given that the sight lines aren't the best. Some came prepared with cushion in hand designed to give some relief from the unforgiving hard-as-teak (quite possibly teak) pews.

Rachel Sutton (vocals); Roland Perrin (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Steve Hanley (drums) 

Vocalist Rachel Sutton is a favourite on the London jazz scene and here in Hexham Abbey she was introduced to the congregation by Jazz FM's Nigel Williams. Up from the 'Smoke' with her regular accompanist Roland Perrin, Sutton's impassioned, theatrical performance embraced a selection of standards and original compositions. All of MeComes LoveBut Not for Me, Ms Sutton's expressive vocals were backed up by the impressive Perrin at the grand, alongside two of the north's finest, the 'Champster', that's bassist Andy Champion, and from Yorkshire, the ever-reliable Steve Hanley, drums. The cavernous venue's acoustics aren't particularly conducive to intimate, cabaret-style performance, credit to the musicians for somehow making it work.

The Ushaw Ensemble: Paul Edis (MD, piano); Emma Fisk (violin); Andy May (Northumbrian pipes); Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn); Graeme Wilson (tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute); Paul Susans (double bass); Rob Walker (drums)

Earlier, Paul Edis returned to his native north east to revisit his Arts and Words Festival commission The Lindisfarne Gospels. Given the subject matter, there could hardly be a more suitable venue than Hexham Abbey. The Ushaw Ensemble is an occasional project, joining Edis to perform a continuous suite of music were out-and-out jazz musicians and a Northumbrian piper. Comprising nine parts, Edis no doubt wrote the music with specific musicians in mind. 

At either end of the 'frontline', violinist Emma Fisk and piper Andy May created other worldly sounds, sounds which would have been heard in ancient times. In the sonically challenging space of Hexham Abbey it was, perhaps, Graham Hardy's brass instruments which fared best (trumpet and flugelhorn) alongside Graeme Wilson's flawless contributions, principally on tenor sax with some bass clarinet and flute adding colours to his palette. Local lad, bassist Paul Susans, and first call drummer Rob Walker anchored and enhanced Edis' musical vision. 

The Hexham Jazz Festival is well and truly underway. Further concert performances are scheduled across the weekend in Hexham Abbey, Queen's Hall Arts Centre and the Forum Cinema. Full details at: www.queenshall.co.uk. Russell 

1 comment :

Patrick said...

I agree fully with your observations regarding the acoustics - the Abbey was not an ideal venue.

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