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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

New Century Ragtime Orchestra @ Gateshead Old Town Hall

Tom Cook (cor), Caroline Irwin (cor/vcl but no uke), Don Fairley (tmb), Ed Cross (vln), Jim McBriarty (alt/clt/vcl), Alan Marshall (alt/clt), Gavin Lee (ten/clt), Steve Andrews (ten/clt/raconteur), Neville Hartley (pno), Keith Stephen (bjo/gtr), Phil Rutherford (sousa). Special guests: Nick Ward (dms), Keith Nichols (pno/vcl).
There was a time when it seemed Stan Tracey played every other gig in the North East. Now that mantle seems to have fallen on the shoulders, or rather the fingers, of Keith Nichols but don't worry Tracey-ites the GOM of British Jazz will be in Gateshead for the Sage Festival in March.
And, just as Stan has assimilated the music of Monk, so Keith has taken aboard the legacy of Fats Waller, James P and other stride men. Tonight he demonstrated that facility to a packed Town Hall. This makes yet another well supported gig - pinch me! Tell me I'm not dreaming!
However, this wasn't just about Keith or his Castle Bromwich based drummer Nick Ward but that most unique ensemble the New Century Ragtime Orchestra.
It was a brilliant concert which, coming from someone whose tastes lie further up the musical road, may be considered praise indeed.
Like the bands of old, with the NCRO, entertainment runs alongside the musical aspect and the NCRO score on both counts. Jim McBriarty singing "The Sheik of Araby" dressed as a Sheik of Araby, Steve Andrews' humourous compering - as well as his superb tenor feature on "Stars Fell on Alabama" accompanied by Nichols and rhythm section - Keith Stephen's banjo solo on "Lollipops" (yes me confessing to liking a banjo solo!). Jim had another gem in "Washing Dishes With My Sweetie" which contains the immortal line: "We do things we didn't oughta, holding hands under the water" - they sure don't write 'em like that anymore! The list of goodies is endless although, at the top, has to be the bands enthusiasm and the accuracy with which they read the parts successfully re-creating the sound of that era of crystal ball chandeliers, bootleg gin and Blackbottoms.
Then there is Caroline.
The young flapper was in fine voice and looked good on "Am I Blue" - love that tune - "I Think You'll Like It", "Only You" and "You'd Be Surprised" complete with come hither glances emphasising the mildly risqué lyric.
No ukulele tonight!
If you've got a big garage and you want to hold a massacre on St. Valentine's Day...
I drove my flivver home on a cloud.
Lance.

2 comments :

  1. Hi Lance

    It was really good to see the Old Town Hall packed-out. Keith Nichols' 'Shreveport Stomp' was one of many highlights.

    Russell

    ReplyDelete
  2. One of many indeed - 30 to be mathematically precise.

    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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