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Bebop Spoken There

Freddie Hubbard: “Know what I miss most about New York? The drummers. You can't find any decent drummers but in New York-- most of the cats are there.”(DownBeat November 1981).
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Tony Glover: “They [the Slowlight Quartet] perhaps don’t yet know just how good they are.” – (Hexham Courant 17 April 2015) .

Today Sunday April 26.

Afternoon
MUSICIANS UNLIMITED BIG BAND - Park Inn, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Free. 1pm.
Long established big band session on Teesside
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DARLINGTON JAZZ FESTIVAL - various venues across town - final day. Details here.
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RALPH KEELEY (Solo piano) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 0191 2399924. 1pm.
Quality food and great solo jazz.
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- Quakerhouse pub, Skinnergate, Darlington. 5.30pm. £4/£2.
New venue for Darlington Jazz Club. Back on ?
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AM JAM - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm.
A jam aimed at encouraging the less experienced player giving listeners a chance to spot and encourage the stars of the future. Monthly -
Back May 10.
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MORE JAM - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm. Free.
C'mon and blow! Monthly - Today's the day!
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SMOKIN' SPITFIRES - - The Cluny, Lime St., Ouseburn, Newcastle. 12.30pm. £6.50.
Charity fundraiser for the Bubble Foundation.
Monthly - Back May 3.
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Evening.
HANNAH TAYLOR/ALIX SHEPHERD - Vermont Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. Tel: 0191 233 1010. 6pm-9pm.
New venture in the Redwood Bar featuring various class duos.
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YANA - Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. 8pm. £6.
Corey Mwamba/Dave Kane/Josh Blackmore make up this forward looking trio. A JNE/Splinter promotion.
Final session - the end of an era. Thanks to Andy and Zoe for putting a lot of effort into presenting a varied program.
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VIEUX CARRE JAZZMEN - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £5. 7pm.
First of a last Sunday in the month series featuring local trad bands. (NOTE EARLY START!)
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MAINE STREET JAZZMEN - Seaton Sluice Social Club. 8pm. £3.
Monthly - Back May 16.
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TBA - Black Bull, Bridge St., Blaydon NE21 4JJ. 8pm £7.
Monthly back May 16.
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VIEUX CARRE JAZZMEN - Red House Pub and Farm, Hepscott Dr., Whitley Bay NE25 9XJ. 8pm. Free.
Happy Hour 8-9pm Many drinks 2-4-1!
Monthly - Back May 3.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Vasil Xenopoulos Rides Again - Cherry Tree Restaurant, Jesmond.

Vasilis Xenopoulos (ten), Paul Edis (pno), Mick Shoulder (bs), Adam Sinclair (dms).
Different venue, different audience, same band, same tunes? This would be the easy way out but not for Vasy, Paul and Co.
Totally different set list yet equally as enjoyable.
Given that the quartet were playing for diners they began swinging gently along on "Witchcraft" with Vasy playing chorus after chorus incorporating a brief sortie into "Desifinado" before handing over to Paul who kept the mood going. "One Note Samba" and "Wave" provided the obligatory Bossa Nova moments with an original(ish) "Blues For Geordieland" going down the 12 bar route. An almost, but not quite, tongue in cheek version of "Honeysuckle Rose" built up to a blast on "Killer Joe".
Even unmiked, Vasy still has this wonderful sound that clings to the body of the instrument before erupting in a glorious cascade of audio colours.
As the room filled up and the rhythm section was augmented by knives and forks and plates and chitter chatter so the band moved through the gears accordingly and by the interval they were leaving the Earth's gravitational pull - Destination Mars.
At this point I will digress and let my tastebuds describe my Sirloin Steak.
"8 oz of heaven cooked to our preferred medium rare status and served with French Fries, tomato, mushroom and garnish. This was a culinary orgasm. My compliments to the chef he is to haute cuisine what Vasilis Xenopoulos is to le jazz moderne."
Service too is excellent and, above all, the owner is knowlegable and jazz friendly. How many restaurateurs do you know who can wax eloquently about Ellis Larkins (an American Paul Edis) or still recall the magic of seeing Sinatra at the Royal Festival Hall?
Back to tonight. The second set saw the band in orbit - "Smile", the bluesiest instrumental version of "Georgia on my Mind" that you are ever going to hear in a Jesmond restaurant, "Love For Sale", "Canteloupe Island", "The Nearness of You" - so evocative it sent pictures of loved ones past present and future floating across the crowded room.
If I seem to have neglected the rhythm section I hope they'll forgive me. Paul Edis fingered up his usual storm although perhaps marginally undermiked. He got in some good Garner licks (or was it Fats?) on Honeysuckle and a lot of his own brilliant and imaginative solos on the others. Mick and Adam, because of the diner situation were relatively subdued tonight although it didn't prevent them keeping it all together.
As I left "It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing" kept the joint jumping and it crossed my mind that "The Cherry Tree Restaurant on Jesmond's Osborne Road is as close to a big city jazz venue that we've had in Newcastle for many years.
The paradoxical thing is that most of the audience are probably only fringe fans yet the ambience is jazzier than in many of the other out and out jazz places.
Long may it reign which it also did outside (rain).
Lance.

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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.)
PS:I don't care what your political views are - you can love or hate Cameron, Clegg, Milliband, Farage, Genghis Khan or Julius Caesar - just don't air them here!
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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