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Bebop Spoken There

Artie Shaw: “I'm not interested in giving people what they want--I'm interested in making music.” – (DownBeat October 15, 1939).

Jason Marsalis: “There's so many places that this music can go and there's a lot yet to be discovered.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Sunday March 18


Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 12 noon. Free.

Jason Isaacs & the Ambassadors of Swing - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 5:30pm (doors 4:00pm). £16.00.

Revolutionaires - Tyne Bar, Maling St, Newcastle NE6 1LP. 3pm. Free.

Somethin’ Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 5:00pm. Tel: 01325 788564. Matt Case (saxophone) & Mike Hepple (guitar).


POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER! Zoë Gilby Quartet - Black Bull, Bridge Street, Blaydon NE21 4JJ. 8:00pm. £5.00. Rescheduled August 19.

Alter Ego - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00.

Bradley Johnston - The Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241. 6:00pm. Free. New weekly residency.

Gypsy Dave Smith - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Very Long Splinter @ The Bridge Hotel. Sunday July 22

(Review by Russell).
Splinter at the Bridge’s season-ending all day festival enticed a good number of folk, some were in it for the long haul - from noon ‘til late - and one keen jazzer made the journey from the west coast (Cumbria not California). The Lindsay Hannon Plus got things under way with a set of tunes drawn from the standard repertoire and beyond including Anais Mitchell’s Old Fashioned Hat and Billy Joel’s Where’s the Orchestra? Hannon’s sensitive interpretation of a lyric and her self-penned lyrics to Joshua Redman’s Wish held the attention. The band - Alan Law (piano), Andy Champion (bass) and Mark Robertson (drums) - went for a lazy saloon bar take on So long, Big Time as Hannon closed a good opening set.
The Hapax Brewery - a new name to this imbiber/reviewer - newly installed on the bar, simply had to be sampled. The pint went down well listening to the top drawer Paul Edis Sextet. A set of all-original material featured a parade of star soloists. Graham Hardy (trumpet), Graeme Wilson (tenor), Chris Hibbard (trombone) and Edis himself turned in a series of immaculate solos on Dorian Gray, Echoes, Sharp 9/8 (drummer Adam Sinclair evoked Joe Morello!), the ballad Missing You and  the set closer Angular, driven by the Edis rhythm section of Sinclair and double bassist Mick Shoulder.
Ex Extreme perform only occasionally. This was one of those all too rare occasions. Versatile pianist Stu Collingwood contributed charts (This ‘n’ That, The Tank), as did other band members – guitarist Mark Williams (Booze Blues), bassist Stuart Davies (Double Bubble) and Northumberland resident American trumpet and flugelhorn star Pete Tanton (Barbados). Drummer Steve Wall adapted to the charts in front of him, ranging from fusion to funk (Double Bubble) to old school swing (The Tank). The musicians in Ex Extreme have paid their dues and they delivered a no nonsense professional set.
The new generation of musicians was represented by Wilbur’s Fate. The band decided to play the gig as a trio due to the unavailability of bassist John Pope. A brave move and it paid off. Front men Jordi Cooke (guitar) and Matt Forster (tenor) rattled off punchy solos during a fast paced set that included Lost at Sea and a new one - Ink What? Drummer Dave Mckeague had the material in the pocket and the future looks bright for these amiable young musicians.
Zoe Gilby and Andy Champion held the attention of the busy room with their voice and double bass set. Classic material – Comes Love, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat and Just Squeeze Me sat along side Money and Tom Waits’ Way Down in the Hole. A class act.
A pint of the familiar was called for - Deuchar’s IPA – as Mark Williams took to the stage to give a guitar master class in the company of bassist Paul Susans and drummer Richard Brown. Williams is a man of few words with a million notes at his finger tips. Somehow he always seems to get them in the right order! Much applause, well deserved.
Jazz North East’s contribution to the Splinter marathon reunited Corey Mwamba (vibes) and Andy Champion (double bass). The percussive pair were joined by alto saxophonist Ntshuks Bonga to play a set of freely improvised pieces. Mwamba immersed himself in the music yet connected with his fellow musicians and audience alike. Champion’s improvising instincts stood him in good stead as his D string broke. The redundant limp thread flapped against the body of the instrument. Undeterred, the bassist made best use of it. He twanged it and scraped it, incorporating the errant string into the performance. Bonga’s alto work commanded the stage. Possessing a big, direct sound the altoist judged the mood of the room and dedicated the performance to the late Lol Coxhill. I look forward to hearing Bonga again in a concert setting free of the inevitable festival distractions.
The very long day concluded with the power trio Legohead. Guitarist Lloyd Wright writes tunes that any budding axe-wielding student would love to play. Fun to play, full of twists and turns, bassist Jon Proud didn’t miss a beat. Traps man David Francis, equally at home in a big band context, kicked seven shades out of the kit. Wright called for a Getaway Driver and the band roared off into the night. A long day. A very good day.
Splinter at the Bridge reconvenes on Sunday 16 September (doors 7:30 pm) with the wonderful Zoe Gilby.

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: I look forward to hearing from you.