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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Gelly: “From 1 January 1920, when prohibition was imposed in the US, people didn’t stop drinking, they just stopped drinking legally.” – (Jazz Journal October 2017).

Regina Carter: “When I was a teenager, I would daydream about going out on a date and dancing to Ella’s music.” (Down Beat October 2017).

Today Wednesday November 22

Afternoon
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.

Evening
Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.

Billy's Acoustic Blues - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free (weekly).

The Village Hall New Orleans Band - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.

BBC Big Band - Middlesbrough Theatre, The Avenue, Middlesbrough TS5 6SA. 01642 815181. 7:30pm. £24.50.

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

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Mike Durham’s Classic Jazz Party - Saturday October 28

(Review by Russell)
A jam session into the early hours didn’t deter Classic Jazz Party attendees from making an early start. The CD stall was up and running by ten o’clock and the bar opened up for business an hour later….an orderly queue formed. The Village Hotel is all things jazz for three days in autumn. Let’s go!
Young Benny Goodman turned up in spirit if not in person to get things underway at noon. The set,  led by Michael McQuaid, clarinet, focused upon the teenage Goodman with Ben Pollack before he became known as the ‘King of Swing’. Martin Litton’s half-hour set of Harlem Stride put Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith in the spotlight. Helping Litton to sketch out the small band recordings of the mid ’30’s were genial American trumpeter Duke Heitger, Matthias Seuffert, reeds, Henri Lemaire, bass, and the bolt-upright Richard Pite, drums.
Chanteuse Nicolle at one o’clock was one of those occasions when everyone found themselves a spot – sitting, standing, any and every possible vantage point. New Jersey-born Nicolle Rochelle is making waves in the jazz world. An acting career (Cosby Show, NYPD Blue, off-Broadway shows) with a long-running success playing Josephine Baker on the Parisian stage, Nicolle Rochelle is an absolute star! Accompanied by Jean François Bonnel (the Bonnel-Cécile parallel all too obvious at the Village Hotel), Claus Jacobi, Jacob Ullberger, David Boeddinghaus (MD, Looking for Josephine with Rochelle), Henri Lemaire and Josh Duffee. Them There Eyes sang Rochelle, the band on top form from the off. Billie Holiday permeated the hour-long set (the Bonnel-Cécile parallel), Rochelle singing and acting the part. I May be Wrong (I may be wrong but I think you’re wonderful – so sang  Doris Day, so sang Nicolle Rochelle!), Swing Brother Swing, small group jazz with an ace vocalist, what a gig! Long Gone Blues, Then I’ll be Happy, Blue Drag, Ellington’s Swingtime in Honolulu, the sort of gig you wish could go on, and on, and on.

One hour later, how to follow that? Banjo Eccentricities, that’s how! Germany’s tenor banjo player Peter Beyerer sat for half an hour, accompanied by Keith Nichols, playing banjo with such facility that later in the day it was reported that broken, discarded instruments were spotted floating down the Tyne and out to sea. ‘Virtuoso’ is the word when speaking of Mr Beyerer! Our banjo virtuoso, with deadpan humour, introduced tunes along the lines of Neal Hefti wrote this one for banjo with the Basie band and Duke Ellington composed The Mooche with the banjo in mind. Deadpan and self-deprecating humour rarely fail.

Trombonium – it could be a running gag with Stan Laurel visiting Oliver Hardy in an asylum – put three trombonists on stage together to play who knows what? In introducing the set, Keith Nichols realised that bass player Richard Pite was nowhere to be seen. Malcolm Sked agreed to step in at a moment’s notice only for Pite to come running into the hall. Nichols to Sked: You’re fired! A three trombone front line – Kris Kompen, Graham Hughes and Jim Fryer – opened up with Royal Garden Blues (arr. Nichols). A swinging George Chisholm composition found Graham Hughes switching to valve trombone with Kompen and Fryer expressing mock horror. Mid tune, Hughes, removing his mouthpiece, handed his instrument to Kompen, Hughes picking up Kompen’s slide trombone, then American Fryer took his turn. Good fun, seamless, the playing first rate. Sleepy Time Gal featured  Kompen (arranged by Hughes), then, all too soon, time was all but up. Claus Jacobi’s arrangement of In a Mellotone closed a most enjoyable half hour.

The Early Kirby Band – another set that did what it said on the tin with Nicolle Rochelle singing Maxine Sullivan (Blue Skies and Loch Lomond) and Malo Mazurié playing Charlie Shavers. The set included Onyx Hop, Dvorak’s Humoresque and The Old Stamping Ground. The finale didn’t take any prisoners – Rehearsing for a Nervous Breakdown couldn’t have been hotter if a bucketful of chilli powder had been thrown over the ensemble. Taken at a ridiculous tempo, the band worked like Trojans. At its conclusion bassist Malcolm Sked puffed-out his cheeks. Hot indeed!

Keith Nichol’s scholarly endeavours were in evidence as the afternoon session drew to a close. Fred Elizalde – Memories of the Savoy surveyed Elizalde’s 1920s Savoy Hotel days. Assisting Nichols in his presentation, Spats Langham crooned, and an eleven-piece orchestra in penguin suits played its part before dinner – at the Village Hotel, not the Savoy.

David Boeddinghaus’ ‘The Professor’ piano set evolved into a small group session featuring yet more from Nicolle Rochelle. Where’d You Get Those Eyes and The Man I Love just two tunes in
an all too short set. Seuffert’s 52nd Street at eight o’clock looked on paper to be stretching it just
a tad with the heady days of bebop sure to feature. Matthias Seuffert led the session which won over a few slightly sceptical listeners. The quality of musicianship wasn’t in question, the content, simply splendid. Alongside Seuffert sat Malo Mazurié, trumpet, and Jean-François Bonnel, reeds. The rhythm section – Martin Litton at the Kawai grand, Spats Langham, guitar, Graham Hughes, double bass (during the weekend Hughes doubled, to great effect, on trombone), and that well-known bebopper Richard Pite, drums – had a whale of a time. I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music to start and in no time the bop aspect reared its (ugly?) head. Robbins’ Nest  (composer Sir Charles Thompson/Illinois Jacquet) featured tremendous trumpet playing from Malo Mazurié – a fabulous talent! Hey, Lock! (comp. Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis) recalled, for those who were there, 52nd Street’s  Kelly’s Stables. The set also dropped by at the Three Deuces and, of course, George Shearing’s Lullaby of Birdland.

Trumpeter Andy Schumm runs a band in Chicago called the Fat Babies. For this penultimate set of the day, Schumm assembled an all-star band including three American heavyweights in Jim Fryer, David Boeddinghaus and Josh Duffee. Schumm introduced new material (shock horror!) alongside classic material from the 1920s. So new, like 2016, 2017 vintage. No need to worry, Schumm has written material that you would think was penned ninety-something years ago. That Gal of Mine is a Schumm composition, Pleasure Mad is a Fats Waller composition. They stood side by side, one as good as the other. Michael McQuaid was in on the set, as were Henri Lemaire (playing banjo), Richard Exall, reeds, and local hero Phil Rutherford playing ‘brass bass’. Schumm, trumpet, cornet, and on one number – My Gal Sal – clarinet. Schumm’s set list included I Found a New Baby. Our bandleader said the ensemble would play it …in a Chicago tempo, adding, …at least we’ll attempt it! And so they did. Fearless blowing, the hall erupted in cacophonous applause.

The final set of the day – before another late night jam session! – required a fourteen piece band to play the music of The Gene Krupa Orchestra. Richard Pite created a celebratory centenary concert at the Cadogan Hall, London in 2009. This evening would reprise the hugely successful event. The power of Krupa, the big guns in the sections, this was a fitting end to a glorious day of classic jazz.                        
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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