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Bebop Spoken There

Frank Zappa: "There was so much acid during the '60s that it was very easy for large numbers of people to think they had seen God as soon as the Beatles went boom, boom, boom, you know?." - (DownBeat May 18, 1978). – (DownBeat May 18, 1978).

Ryan Keberle: “Don't be easy on yourself when it comes to playing with perfect intonation. All other instruments will be playing with close-to-perfect intonation; the same should be expected of trombonists.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Thursday March 22


Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Higher Education & Research Presents: Future Grooves - Sage Gateshead. 12 noon. £5.00. Showcase performances by BMus & BA degree course students featuring jazz and non-jazz sets.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - White Horse Hotel, Burtree Lane, Harrowgate Hill, Darlington DL1 3AD. Tel: 01325 463262. 1:30pm. Free.


MGB: Milne Glendinning Band - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. Milne, Glendinning, Katy Trigger (bass) & Nik Alevroyiannis (drums).

BABMUS @ Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. £3.00. (£2.00. students/MU).

Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra - St Cuthbert’s Centre, Church Hill, Crook DL15 9DN. Tel: 01388 765002. 7:30pm. £7.50., £5.00. child, £20.00. family.

Higher Education & Research Presents: Future Grooves - Sage Gateshead. 7:30pm. £5.00. Showcase performances by BMus & BA degree course students featuring jazz and non-jazz sets.

Ada Francis & the Italic Quartet - Las Iguanas, Grey Street, Newcastle NE1 6AF. Tel: 0191 232 9729. 7:30pm. Fortnightly restaurant residency. Line-up: Ada Francis (vocals); Jimmy Jefford (tenor saxophone); Ben Richardson (piano); Luke Gaul (bass) & Harry Still (drums).

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter’s Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE. Tel: 0191 488 8068. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocal); Richie Emmerson (tenor); Bruce Taylor (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free.

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Ushaw Durham Jazz Festival. August 26

 Zoë Gilby (vocals), Mark Williams (guitar), Andy Champion (double bass) & Richard Brown (drums)
(Review by Russell/photos by John Marlor)
Plush, deep Chesterfields. Plenty of them. Wood panelling, plush, deep carpets, this is the Francis Thompson Room. Impressive, the previous occupants at Ushaw College certainly lived well! Today, the room, with its full bar service, is an ideal, informal gig venue. The Friday evening concert presented one of Britain’s finest jazz singers – Zoë Gilby.
On a warm summer’s evening, Gilby began with a question: Is It Me? The first of several original compositions, it was an indication of the quality of writing and performance that it stood comparison with many tunes considered standards. Gilby has a stage presence of which some aspirants could learn much: a consummate performer, fully engaged with the music making of those sharing the stand with her. Gilby’s established band is top quality: Mark Williams, guitar, is a supreme accompanist and unrivalled in his solo excursions. A bass and drums partnership comprising Andy Champion and Richard Brown is as secure as any on the scene with Champion possessing amazing chops and Brown the epitome of taste and sensitivity.
Phil Lynott’s folksy Dublin came with a story – Gilby happened to meet, as one does, the mother of the late P. Lynott in the Irish capital. A chance meeting, of course, but one that led to the song being part of the set. Another original number, a waltz, In It Together then a reprise of our vocalist’s Pannonica set with a sparkling Straight No Chaser featuring M. Williams and A. Champion, not forgetting Gilby’s tongue-twisting lyrics!
The personal permeated the performance. The story of a Red Headed Girl from the North East of Nowhere opened with Champion’s resonant bass playing and the story unfolded – a time of carefree living, of living the life. The subject of Gilby’s tale just happened to be present on the evening. An interval conversation between Gilby and Ushaw Durham Jazz Festival’s artist in residence Dave Barden established a mutual appreciation of musician Tom Waits. Perhaps T. Waits overheard the conversation…a Barden portrait of the man in question took pride of place in the room as part of an exhibition of the artist’s work!

Second set. Guess what? T. Waits’ Way Down in the Hole! Vocal dexterity, instrumental facility, top class! Top class and tasteful apply to Mark Williams’ playing on Your Words and Gilby’s way-down-the-range vocal. Drummer Richard Brown’s mesmerising intro to Caravan  set up Messrs Williams and Champion to run riot. Thirties noir, all about object d’art, the base desires of the working class filtered through the prism of Patrick Hamilton on Midnight Bell.

And so to the finale, and what a finale. Red City – sand, souk and the sounds of the souk. A fixture in Zoë Gilby’s set, this Ushaw Durham performance was something else. By a County Durham country mile Gilby produced a magnificent, committed performance.           

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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.