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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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16382 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 262 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (April 20).

From This Moment On ...


Tue 23: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30-3:30pm. £12.00. ‘St George’s Day Afternoon Tea’. Gig with ‘Lashings of Victoria Sponge Cake, along with sandwiches & scones’.
Tue 23: Jalen Ngonda @ Newcastle University Students’ Union. POSTPONED!

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 26: Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 26: Abbie Finn’s Finntet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 27: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: More Jam Festival Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Swing Dance workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free (registration required). A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox: The '10' Tour @ Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £41.30 t0 £76.50.
Sun 28: Alligator Gumbo @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Jerron Paxton @ The Cluny, Newcastle. Blues, jazz etc.

Mon 29: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 29: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:30-8:30pm. Free.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: The Edith Adamson Carillon – Performance 2 of 3 @ Newcastle Civic Centre. Sept. 29

(© Ken Drew)
Paul Taylor (composer); Jon Bradley (carillonneur)

Following the opening performance of this year's Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music last week, in which the debut recital of a specially commissioned piece by Paul Taylor was played by Jon Bradley on the Civic Centre's  carillon, as noted last week for Part II I arrived in the quadrangle just before kick-off at 3:00pm. 

The weather was much brighter and drier - typical 'spring' weather (such is the British weather this year!) with just a few passing white clouds against an alluring blue sky. I found the five flying swans, an artwork frozen in time above the rectangular lake (pond?).  A moment after 3:00pm two things happened. The bells of the carillon struck up, and a cyclist quickly parked up, dismounted and lay in anticipation of another relaxing hour of unique and spellbinding music unfolding.  

Last week's circumnavigation around the outside of the Civic Centre had brought new sights to my attention, and the sounds of the carillon performance were mostly evident but occasionally lost against the hubbub of the city centre traffic and passers-by (yes, people still do their voice-calls 'on-the-fly' using hands-free apparently).   Hrumph. But it was a pleasant enough tour as the bells chimed away. This week in the quadrangle, those extraneous sounds were effectively eliminated, so the chimes rang out, lightly bouncing off the four walls of the quad space. The only interlopers were those pedestrians who knew where they were going, since the two entrances/exits to the quad are in opposite corners, but still just concealed enough to make this an occasional thoroughfare.

The music, being more distinct, rang out clearly as did the 'form' and the 'flow' of the piece, with occasional rests (well earned, given the manual effort required to play the instrument). Yes, it was quite serene, and nicely backed by the distant vision of the bell tower of the Civic Centre set against the blue sky. Looking around, there were both passers-by-ers and visitors-for-the-duration.  Several 'workers' (people with a lanyard proudly displaying their allegiance/identity) wandered through with things to do, but a group of three wandered through and sat for the rest of the performance. As did a couple who nabbed a seat close the the far-off trees, opposite the swans. I did briefly wonder whether their thoughts were lost in relaxation, or given the proximity of the sycamore to them, lost in sadness for one of its relatives.  Either way, the music floated over the space providing a quite relaxing atmosphere.    

At around half way through the hour, I spied a chap in a kilt carrying bagpipes on the 'public side' of the Civic Centre. Time for a brief wander, to check the acoustics once again, and to see who else was around. Within two minutes he also struck up with some music. I think none of us would be surprised as to how far the sounds of bagpipes can, and did, travel ........ and so the bells were briefly outnumbered (!). It then became apparent through the flash-mob of a  wedding party heading towards three awaiting white limousines that a wedding had just taken place under the very bells playing out. The competing sounds lasted all of two minutes as I was compelled to return to the quad and settle back down to the peace and tranquillity which I'd earlier become accustomed to.  Bliss! The cyclist was still there, the three workers, the two peeps behind the trees, and two more (familiar) faces had appeared - music followers keen to sample the unique performace of the carillon whilst it was on offer.

So, a very much worthwhile second visit, and the much longer uninterrupted segments I heard made more 'musical' sense I guess. Well worth it, so I hope the weather is as kind next week for the final performance of this Jazz Festival-commissioned tryptich. Ken Drew

LINKSNew Jazz and Improvised Music Link (links to the label's 18 album releases, including Interlude music created for the Festival). NFoJaIM info Link (advanced tickets highly recommended for indoor performances)

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