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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.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Montreux Jazz Festival 2012. Triple Bill July 11.

Fourplay:Bob James - Piano, Nathan East - Bass, Chuck Loeb - Guitar, Harvey Mason - Drums.
(Review by Ron Ainsborough).
I recently checked out Fourplay on Spotify and most of it was classed as 'smooth jazz'! But, when you see them live in a festival situation, forget 'smooth jazz', they played the most exciting 'straight-ahead jazz' as good as you're likely to hear. Tight arrangements, musicianship and improvising were out of this world, and the exchanges between all four 'players' were exceptional. Wonderful improvising constantly going on. In other words, I think they are a 'fantastic band' to see live, playing everything you would want to hear at a Jazz Concert.
I didn't catch the titles of the pieces played, although some of them were quite familiar. A great start, and Herbie Hancock on next!

Prior to Hancock's set, he had had the honour of presenting Tony Bennett with a 'peace award' certificate from an 'Arts organisation' of which Hancock, along with Wayne Shorter, he is joint President. Overlooking proceedings from the side of the stage was non other than the great Quincy Jones who also said a few words.
Herbie Hancock and his band: Herbie Hancock (Piano + Kong Kromos sythesizer + Roland AX synth (strap on keyboard in the shape of a guitar)+ Vocoder (which sounds like Stephen Hawkins (to my ear) when Herbie sings into it, and it can also be set to give multi vocal harmonisations) - Lionel Loueke  (Guitar), James Genus (Electric Bass), Trevor Lawrence Jr (Drums).
It's a long time since I've heard any of Herbie Hancock's music so I didn't know what to expect although I was aware he was into electronics. The musicianship was outstanding but I was mistakenly expecting a fair amout of jazz piano, but most of the set was electronic. Even the guitar sounded like a sythesizer at times and I couldn't differenciate between that and Herbie Hancocks synthesizer. Don't get me wrong! I did enjoy quite a lot of his set, and realise that if I had done some research I'd have been more prepared for the electronic onslaught. He did play one extended piano solo, which was great, but spent most of the set playing his strap on keyboard. Hands up, I know I'm the one out of step with his many ardent fans -their was certainly a lot of them in the audience enthusing over, which I did but to a lesser extent.
On a personal note!. When you take your wife, daughter and son-in-law to jazz concerts (who are on the jazz periphery but at the same time like and enjoy the lighter accessible jazz music, eg Sonny Rollins, Chucho Valdes) on your recommendations and this kind of music is played it can, I might add, make the likelihood of them joining me at the next jazz concert somewhat unlikely. As it turned out, they liked being in the Hall savouring the atmosphere of The Festival.
'Sergio Mendes & Brasil 2012' (yes the same man of Brasil 66 fame).
We only saw the first 30 minutes of this set and left at 1.00am because some of us had work in the morning, but the band and singers were really good, the arrangements were excellent ,with lots of anecdotal stories from Sergio Mendes about Jobim and other composers back home in Brasil. It was an extremely enjoyable concert by people at the top of their game giving impeccable renditions of every song they sang/played. 
The following is meant as a compliment, as it would be fare to say that, 'Sergio Mendes & Brasil 2012'  -''it does what it says on the tin'', they were so professional,and obviously The Girl From Ipanema was sung together with lots of other delightful music. First class band! well worth seeing any time.
I also had the good fortune to go on a 'Brazil Music Jazz Boat' (Sat. 7th July,afternoon) sailing around the lake for 3 hours, it had two 6 or 7 piece bands actually from Brazil, playing two one and a half hour sets, but unfortunately I was unable to find out what they were called, but the standard of musicianship and singing was brilliant although it is difficult to understand the lyrics when it is all sung in Portuguese, but a fantasticly enjoyable experience  for us all just the same.
The Montreux Jazz Festival is in its 46th year (Herbie Hancock was making his 26th concert this year), and if possible I will certainly try to go again next year. It's  a fantastic experience!
Ron Ainborough 

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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.