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Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Bebop Spoken There

Alan Luff: “The general view is that Ella’s songbook recordings are the supreme exemplars of sophistication, fine diction and creative voice in the wide field of popular music.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Steve Voce: “Most of us have been crashed into by cretins who walk along the road absorbed in the screens of their mobile phones.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Today Tuesday May 23

Evening
Davina & the Vagabonds - Sage Gateshead. 8pm. £18.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
Zoe Gilby: Pannonica - The Fox Inn, West End Tce., Hexham NE46 3DB. Free. 9pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Darlington Jazz Festival: Matt Roberts Sextet @ Voodoo Café - Friday April 28

Matt Roberts (trumpet), Leo Richardson (tenor saxophone), George Grant (alto saxophone), Will Barry (piano), Loz Garrett (double bass) & Dave Ingamells (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Matt Roberts returned once again to his home town to play a major part in this year’s Darlington Jazz Festival. The London based trumpeter brought a bunch of friends with him who just happen to be superb musicians to play Jazz After Dark, the now traditional opening night above the Voodoo Café on Skinnergate. Roberts’ previous appearances attracted a standing room-only audience and this concert proved to be no different.
 Festival regulars warmly greeted Roberts – handshakes, hugs, a catch-up – then at nine o’clock, the Matt Roberts Sextet took to the stage, the air of informality that is a key element to the success of Darlington Jazz Festival dispensing with superfluous introductions, and for the next two hours or so, the audience was in bop paradise! Six young men – average age thirty or thereabouts – were at the top of their game, the frontline horns killing from note one, likewise the rhythm section. A couple from Tadd Dameron for starters – The Squirrel and Good Bait – the horns laying down bop solo statements right out of ‘50s New York. To Roberts’ left Leo Richardson, an audacious, powder keg tenor saxophonist, to his right, George Grant, the reborn George Grant (last year’s Matt Roberts Sextet gig effectively made up the altoist’s mind to come out of premature self-imposed retirement), and, of course, bandleader Roberts himself treating the capacity audience to a trumpet masterclass by way of Fats Navarro, Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard.
Roberts revisited Cannonball Adderley’s Blue Note classic Somethin’ Else; Miles on Autumn Leaves and a Latin vibe on Love for Sale. Some gigs work, they just do. This festival date ticked all the boxes. Applause rang out time and again, the on-side audience cheering each and every sublime solo. Lee Morgan’s Tom Cat (an album recorded in the 1960s but not released until 1981) further stoked an already incendiary atmosphere with Roberts, Leo Richardson and the sextet’s newest member, the Royal Academy of Music graduate, pianist Will Barry, nailing it. Barry, a new name to some, has an impressive CV not long out of music school…NYJO, Mark Lockheart, Stan Sulzmann and most recently working with Jasper Høiby’s Fellow Creatures. Roberts couldn’t resist another Tom Cat cut – Twice Around. Roberts is an enthusiast, conveying his love of the music, expressing his admiration for the jazz tradition and his band mates, the sentiment no doubt reciprocal.

The interval flew by, just enough time for a Firebrick Brewery (Blaydon) refill from the downstairs’ bar. A seemingly unanimous verdict on a first set being nothing short of sensational. Second set, more of the same! In the engine room drummer Dave Ingamells reprised his memorable 2016 performance. The British jazz scene has innumerable top class drummers and Ingamells is right up there. Bassist Loz Garrett, perhaps another new name to some, worked like a Trojan – a hand-ringing performance, Loz G will become a familiar figure, be sure to check him out, he’s a busy young man having already worked with a list of stellar names including pianist-vocalist Lianne Carroll and Jamie Cullum.

Altoist George Grant dug deep on Milestones here at the Black Hawk, SF, sorry, Darlington’s Voodoo Café. Eyes closed, you could have been there, way back when. More of the same brilliant playing on Jimmy Heath’s Big P (for big brother Percy), not least Ingamell’s stupendous gig-closing solo. At something like twenty minutes to midnight this first evening of 2017’s Darlington Jazz Festival ended with sustained applause, another hour of the same wouldn’t have gone amiss, but hey, in a little over twelve hours, day two would dawn on this friendliest of jazz festivals. 
Russell.

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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: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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