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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie McLean: “I can't understand British audiences. In Britain there doesn't seem to be any curiosity." (Melody Maker, April 1, 1961).

Charles Mingus: "It seems to me that if our records were not issued in Britain, the British cats would have to think for themselves" (Jazz News, July 26th 1961)

Archives.

Today Tuesday July 25

Evening
Misha Mullov-Abbado Sextet - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane NE25 5DW. 8pm. Free.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. £10 & £8. JNE gig.
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Maine Street Jazzmen - Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond Ave., Newcastle NE2 3EX. 8:30pm. £5.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

IAN CHRISTIE R.I.P.

Back in the early days of trad-dom Ian Christie was frequently heard at Newcastle City Hall with the bands of Mick Mulligan and Alex Welsh. He later, along with brother Keith, re-formed the Christie Brothers' Stompers. Trombonist Keith eventually joined Johnny Dankworth to pursue a more modern path giving the musical press licence to refer to them as the 'Christies ancient and modern'.
Ian himself would say, "The name's Christie as in the serial killer."
As well as playing clarinet he also worked as film and music critic for the Daily Express.
Sadly, when I typed "Ian Christie" into the "Daily Express" search engine it came up with "Sorry, no results found for Ian Christie please try again."
Be that as it may jazz fans will always remember Ian for his clarinet playing which was rooted in New Orleans and he stood equal to his contemporaries such as Archie Semple, Wally Fawkes, Monty Sunshine, Acker Bilk and Sandy Brown.
Ian died Jan 19, 2010 aged 82.
Lance.
PS: Time may have coloured my opinion of Ian's playing. In his well known autobiography (well one of them), "Owning Up", George Melly describes Ian's playing as "...a continuous stream of notes played at approximately the same volume from the first bar of a number to the coda. As a result his solos, when on form, were often beautiful in an unpretentious and restrained way, but in ensemble, because he didn't listen to what the rest of the frontline were up to, had no give or take. Furthermore he had a bad memory for arrangements. This suited Mick (Mulligan) very well, as it gave him a perfect excuse not to hold rehearsals.
"What's the use cock?" he would ask. "Ian can never remember new numbers."
Be that as it may I certainly enjoyed hearing him all those years ago.

1 comment :

  1. Hi. I had the great honour of being a member of Ian's (ir)regular band for the last ten years or so of his life, and can say with confidence and some authority that he remained a fine player. He told me that, since returning to playing after a long break, he'd resolved to try never to play any phrase he didn't 'hear' in his mind, and this helped to make his later playing even more individual and distinctive than it had been earlier in his career. Ian was a genuine talent, an irreplaceable link to a glorious jazz past, and a wonderfully witty and generous man. I'll always be grateful to him for all of his help and encouragement, as well as his friendship. I'll miss him.

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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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