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Bebop Spoken There

Benny Green [the British one]: "George Webb is no more qualified to pass judgement on bop than I am to offer opinions on Einstein's Theory of Relativity." - (Melody Maker July 30. 1949, From Colin Aitchison's amazing collection).
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Lou Donaldson: “Ornette told me one time, he said, ‘Lou, you need to play some of this free music.’ I said, ‘Uh-uh, I don’t do that. I like to get paid.’” – (Jazz Times June 2015).

Today Tuesday June 30

Afternoon.
ADVANCED JAZZ GUITAR (Tutor James Birkett)- The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 5pm. £15.
Fortnightly course - It's today!
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STRONGER JAZZ VOICES (Tutor Zoe Gilby) - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 5pm. £15.
Fortnightly course - Back July 7
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RENDEZVOUS JAZZ - Red Lion, 1 Front St., Earsdon NE25 9JU. 1pm. 0191 2532318.
New trad venue - monthly - Back July 14.
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Evening.
CHARLES GORDON/KEN HEWITT DUO - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 7.30-10pm. Free.
Regular Tuesday night with Charles on keys, Ken on ten/sop. Note earlier start.
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GAVIN LEE's DIXIELAND JAZZ BAND - New Inn, 29 Church St., Durham. DH1 3DN. 9pm. Free.
Gavin's bands are always interesting and this is well worth the trip.
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PLAY MORE JAZZ - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7.30pm. £15.
Weekly workshop.
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MAINE ST. JAZZMEN - British Legion, West Jesmond (nr. Metro Station). 8:30pm. £5.
Now a monthly session (again!) - Tonight's the night!
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MOONLIGHT SAVING TIME - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5SG. 8pm.
"Schmazz @ The Café" - quintet with voice used instrumentally.
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JAZZ MACHINE - Queen's Head, Victoria Cresc., Cullercoats. 7.30pm (?).
Pepe and crew venture forth...
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JAM SESSION - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5SG. 8pm. Free.
Come and jam with Mark Williams, Paul Grainger & Paul Wight. First and third Tuesdays - Back July 7.
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CUSTOMS HOUSE BIG BAND - New Crown Hotel, Mowbray Rd., South Shields. 7.30pm. Free.
Open rehearsal/concert by top big band. The beer's good and the band even better! Monthly - Back July 7.
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HENRY'S SWING CLUB - Brandling Villa, South Gosforth. 8.30pm. Free.
Monthly Blues - Back July 7.
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IAN BOSWORTH - Dorman's Club, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough. 9pm. Free.
New first Tuesday in the month gig with guitarist Ian and band. Back July 7.
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IMPROV WORKSHOP- Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5SG. 8pm. Free.
Monthly. Back July 14.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Schmazz Night to Remember @ The Cluny - The Patrick Kunka Quartet.

Leah Gough-Cooper (alt/sop), Alan Benzie (kbd), Dylan Coleman (bs), Patrick Kunka (dms).
There have been many memorable nights at The Cluny and it has to be said that this last night was one of them - and for all the right reasons. Given that the four musicians are Boston based students of the Berklee College of Music or the New England Conservatory - the former being possibly the most prestigious jazz based music college in the world - it was inconceivable that they would be anything other than brilliant.
They were quadruple-brilliant at least!
Playing originals, mainly, but not all, from the pen of Kunka, plus a fine exploration of Coltrane's "Equinox", they delivered a powerful performance that bears comparision with anything that I've seen/heard at the Cluny. It was compelling stuff that rolled from the stage and totally engulfed the large audience in sheets of sound.
Leah Gough-Cooper, the name may conjure up an image of a viola player in a twee string quartet but the reality is completely different, the lady is simply one of the best alto players around anywhere. She delivered the goods lock, stock and two smoking barrel's firing phenomenal runs that took my breath away. A native of Scotland, we can thank our lucky stars she opted for sax instead of the bagpipes - imagine!
On piano, another Scot, Alan Benzie, also gave a virtuoso performance. His percussive style kept the tension at an all-time high as the Yamaha CP Series keyboard manfully withstood the beating - this guy can play. His solos challenged Leah's with their seemingly limitless flow of creativity.
Massachusetts own Dylan Coleman underpinned the procedings effectively as well as having meaningful solos. No mere walkman, Dylan's basslines were interwoven into Alan Benzie's solos with both sympathy and contrast. They were an outstanding duo as well as being an integral part of the unit.
This just leaves the leader - Patrick Kunka.
Patrick impressed, not just with his technical prowess; as funky or as swinging as the moment demanded, but also his arrangements and compositions. They were creative and imaginative whilst his drumming gave the band the lift it needed to sustain the high level of mindblowing solo bursts. His solos, never mere flashy displays, but forceful efforts that pushed the tension to almost unbearable heights. The adrenalin pump was at double max tonight.
For an encore, "What is This Thing Called Love?" proved the band's adaptability. Dave Weisser, sitting across from me, compared Leah's playing to that of Kenny Garrett and I don't think he was far wrong. This was a night to remember alright - one helluva night!
Lance.

7 comments :

  1. Hi Lance

    A truly great gig. The best I can remember at Schmazz.

    Russell

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lance
    I have had the pleasure of seeing the Patrick Kunka Quartet perform in Massachusetts. This quartet is the real deal... full of excitement and surprise. I wish I had been able to see this show, but your review was the next best thing. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the wonderful review.

    ReplyDelete
  4. There's a better quality video (originally from the Aberdeen Evening Express) available from a gig at the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen.

    Wish I'd got to one of their shows: the clips are pretty impressive.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hope to hear and see more of this excellent quartet.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Scrabbler, if you want to hear more, the PKQ has released a cd. The only site I have found the Patrick Kunka Quartet CD,The Edge, available is at http://www.jazzcds.co.uk

    Can't wait to listen to it in its entirety!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I saw this lot at a gig in Cambridge, Massachusetts, back in May and I was also at the Cluny. I thought they were very impressive the first time and the extra experience on the road since then has forged them into a very fine unit indeed. Hope their next trip this side of the Pond takes in the Cluny again - well done Schmazz.

    ReplyDelete

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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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