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Bebop Spoken There

Michelle Coltrane: "It was Geri Allen who told me, 'Why don't you work with a guitar player? It's a lot easier. They're mobile, all the pianos are out of tune'" - DownBeat March 2018.

Verneri Pohjola: “I've been trying to get away from being 'a young and promising trumpet player' for over twenty years” DownBeat March 2018.

Today Saturday February 24

Afternoon

Nikki Iles Masterclass - Music Department, Durham University, Palace Green, Durham DH13RL. 1:30pm. £.3.00. Open to the public as observers.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - Hardwick Arms Hotel, 1 North End, Sedgefield TS21 2AZ. Tel: 01740 622305. 1:30pm. Free.

Evening

Billy Bootleggers All-Star Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Customs House Big Band - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE33 1ES. Tel: 0191 454 1234. 7:30pm. £12.00.

Mighty Smokin’ Spitfires - Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. 8:00pm (doors). £10.00. Augmented line-up: David Blakey (trumpet), Lloyd Howell (perc.).

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

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Billie Meets Kurt @ The Globe Jazz Bar - February 9

Gabi Heller (vocals, percussion); Steve Glendinning (guitar)
(Review by Ann Alex/photos courtesy of Kaveh Enami).
A drink was spilt over my notes and then my birthday intervened to prevent this review being done as quickly as it should, but no matter, this Jazz Coop presentation may well qualify as my Gig of the Year, yes, it was just sooo good. Gabi had done loads of research for this. You’ve heard of illustrated lectures, well this was an illustrated gig. Gabi presented the thesis that Billie Holiday and Kurt Weill could possibly have met sometime during 1934-1950 in New York, maybe at the Cafe Society, which was the first integrated club. Just imagine, Weill, a middle class, Jewish immigrant, a socialist, twice married to his singer Lotte Lenya, and Billie, black, born to a teenage mother, raised in care, with addiction problems, and both of them immensely talented.

 Anyway, their various songs were presented to us with great understanding and feeling, and Gabi managed to make Billie’s songs her own, no mean feat. And Steve’s playing was so good that it defies description, heartfelt, skilled, always matching Gabi’s interpretations. Good Morning Heartache, a spirited version rather than being utterly depressed, which maybe portrayed Billie’s addiction issues; I’m A Stranger Here Myself  (immigration and stranger to love); a song called, I think, Crazy In Love; Weill’s song Here I Stay, with scatting as it should be, keeping close to the guitar chords. Lover Man followed, and Tell Me More and Then Some, with shaking percussion and a long effective solo from Steve. The first set was rounded off with a clever medley of songs about boats and boat travelling immigrants.
The second set opened with travel songs, I’m Travellin’ Light and Weill’s Show Me The Way To The Next Whisky Bar (great fun), then a heartfelt Don’t Explain; All Of Me; and a beautiful slow, sad, September Song. Strange Fruit, the song I liked best, had edgy chords on a small zither and on the guitar, ending with Steve playing a single chord with fingers up and down the guitar. (Sorry about the lack of technical explanation). Weill’s Speak Low was followed by a well-earned encore of God Bless the Child, which Gabi somehow made her own.
I’d looked forward to this gig and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
Ann Alex 

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About this blog - contact details.

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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