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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.

Friday, November 03, 2017

The Austerity Playbook @ Northern Stage - November 1

(Review by Russell)
Stage 3 at Northern Stage was, at one time, the foyer bar of the then University Theatre. Back then on this very spot on Sunday mornings, the legendary Newcastle Big Band played to full houses. On the very same spot, a then-unknown bass player, Gordon Sumner, played with the big band and an all-conquering Last Exit. Sumner, already known to all by his nickname, headed for the bright lights of London. The rest, as they say, is history. Sting was about to hit the big time.
Fast forward five minutes, in truth several decades. In this Age of Austerity, two academics working at Durham University and Newcastle University have developed a new musical. The Economic and  Social Research Council provided support and as part of Freedom City 2017 – commemorating the visit of Martin Luther King to Newcastle University – the Austerity Playbook took to the stage.
Doors opened on time. On entering the space it was as if time had stood still. Not quite déjà vu, but right there playing Have You Met Miss Jones?  was pianist Andrea Vicari and two familiar figures –  Andy Champion, double bass, and drummer Russ Morgan. Right there, where Cormac Loane and Nigel Stanger once stood, and Andy Hudson and Gerry Richardson, and Sting. The trio, wearing a natty line in bowlers, was at work, the music the soundtrack to the Austerity Playbook.

A cast of five, comic, politically incisive, at times a little too obvious in its message. What message? The Stage 3 audience didn’t need any help in appreciating the harmful effects of ‘austerity’ and the fictitious northern city of Burnside could represent just about anywhere you care to name. Andrea, Andy and Russ, bowlered throughout, went into Song for My Father. Audience seated, the sparse stage set, the Austerity Playbook’s pages turned introducing a cast of familiar characters; harassed council leader, dedicated librarian, disillusioned PCSO, affable immigrant. Andrea Vicari wrote the music and the trio played on throughout much of the action. Sheet music stretched across stands, any non-jazz fans present could well be persuaded to attend a local jazz gig. Musicianship of the highest order, the acting talents of the cast of the Austerity Playbook spoke to the converted.
The Austerity Playbook was written by Mark O’Thomas, directed by André Punk, music by Andrea Vicari. Professor Laurence Ferry, Durham University and Professor Ileana Steccoloini, Newcastle University researched material on poverty, its challenges and how to challenge it.
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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