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Bebop Spoken There

Miles Kington: "If the intake of alcohol fails to improve a jazz player's performance, why do jazz listeners think it improves their appreciation?" - (Jazz Express October 1982).

Barbara Jay: "My first gig was at the Astoria, Charing Cross Rd. It seemed like a den of iniquity to me. All the Soho girls were there and the gigolos with their old women paying them to dance..." - (Jazz UK May 2008.)

Archives.

Today Sunday February 26.

Afternoon.
Mark Williams (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
More Jam - Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm. Free.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. Blues jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
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Evening
Maine St. Jazzmen - Seaton Sluice Social Club, Collywell Bay Rd., Seaton Sluice NE26 4QZ. 8pm. £4.
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Shaun Henderson Band - Quakerhouse, Mechanics Yard, Darlington. 6pm. £5.
Jazz Jam - Empty Shop, 35c Framwellgate Bridge, Durham DH1 4SY. 7:30pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Southport Jazz Festival : Birmingham Conservatoire Ellington Orchestra - February 5.

MD, Jeremy Price. Featured pianist (Far East Suite), John Turville.
(Review Steve T/Photos courtesy of Neil Hughes © Robert Burns.)
Brexit! Trump! Who cares? Let's have some Ellington. So spoke Jeremy Price and I think we all agreed.
It all began with the rhythm section: piano, guitar, bass, drums, with Price on trombone as the rest of the horns marched in to take their seats, playing as they came: four trumpets, three trombones and five saxes. The festival was gagging for a stage full of musicians, reflected in our appreciation. 
Trumpets are out, one trombone left, down to tenor, cut.
Years ago, when the time came to face the beast, my strategy was to sprawl through multiple box sets and key albums from the mid-fifties onwards, when such things began to appear.
I had decided to not even try to identify pieces, but Price kept it simple, doing them in threes: A Flat Minor, Half the Fun and Harlem Air Shaft; Flirty Bird, Idiom 59 and Koko; Across the Track Blues, Happy Go Lucky and Rockin’ in Rhythm.
A Train to finish and the Ella Fitzgerald arrangement which keeps us waiting for the main melody, and I think I've heard the Durham Gala Big Band do it this way.
They left the way they came in, down to big Jimmy Blanton.
The second set was the Far East Suite, a genius choice, a seriousambitious and difficult late work. Across the two sets we were given a wonderful contrast between early Ellington, which established him as the maestro for many of the greats (Miles, Mingus, Gil Evans, Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp) across countless short pieces, in keeping with the technology of the times, and Ellington the elder statesman, highly respected as one of Americas greatest ever composers, in the era of the fortyish minute album.
The musicianship, from fourth years to first years, was of an astonishing level, with not an ounce of slack anywhere. Special mention of Sam Wright, swiftly switching between tenor and clarinet, and the only lady on the stage, which was something of a theme for the day. And my journey towards total acceptance of the clarinet continues.
I came out in search of a pee and a pint but everywhere was deserted: the loos, the lounge, the corridors, the bars, the only occasion this happened over the two days.
Back in the hall, the applause was raucous, encouraged by Price doing a brilliant job with the announcements, encouraging us to ease up on the reverence, smiling faces and thumbs going up across the room.
Appropriately it was Sam Wright’s clarinet that finally brought things to a close.
I've no doubt many there would have had this as the gig of the festival. 
Photos.
Steve T.

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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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