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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Brubeck: “The critics who put me down the most asked me to forgive them.– (Down Beat July 2009).

Anita O'Day: “I don't think a singer ever gets so good she can't stand a little professional advice.– (Down Beat July 28, 1950).

APPJAG Jazz Awards

The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards are with us once more and the polls are open. You don't have to nominate in every category but once you've submitted your nomination that's it.

It's simple, just go to the Jazz UK website and enter your choices. For example, should you wish to nominate Bebop Spoken Here for the Jazz Media Award simply type in Bebop Spoken Here in the appropriate space.

You've got till noon on Feb. 18 to do it so - Let's Do It, Let's Nominate BSH!

Today Tuesday February 9

Afternoon
Mosaic Jazz (Playing a celebration of American music) - Bell and Bucket, 37 Norfolk St, North Shields, Tyne and Wear NE30 1NQ. 1pm. Free.
Evening.
Swing Manouche w. Daniel John Martin - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. £6 (£5 in advance 0191 2229882). 8pm.
Charles Gordon/Ken Hewitt Trio - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 7.30-10pm. Free.
Gavin Lee’s Dixieland Band - New Inn, 29 Church St., Durham. DH1 3DN. 9pm. Free.
Play More Jazz Course - Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. (4 of 10)

Friday, March 26, 2010

DAMMING JERRY - and THE SPATIAL AKA ORCHESTRA



The evening started with the best of intentions. Rather than go to see the Stan Tracey Octet with all the serious jazz fans I know, I took my family to see Jerry Dammers and the Spatial AKA Orchestra. The  five star review in The Guardian had promised an accessible mixture of jazz, ska and reggae, ideal for the jazz resistant men in my life. 
Well the concert started with ‘After The End of the World’ and went down from there. Too many songs were based on repetitive, monotonous grooves, with the undoubtedly talented musicians occasionally released for solos, with their attempts to releave the tedium occasionally resulting in ear splitting self-indulgence. Quite often, this was followed by the rest of the band joining in to create a cacophonous conclusion, which I quite liked the first time round, but then it got predictable. 
There was no subtlety, even Ghost Town was too slow, and the Batman Theme was ponderous. So many talented jazz musicians grossly underused.  After a long evening, it was quite a relief to hear we’d got to the last number Space Is The Place. Maybe we’ll get some interesting lyrics, I vainly hoped. Actually those were the entire lyrics, continually repeated for around 15 minutes, when the musicians eventually left the stage and carried on playing in the concourse. By the time we left, most of them were lying on the floor still grooving  with ‘Space Is The Place’ around the Sun Ra-like Denys Baptiste. 
They really should have made the effort to develop the song into something more meaningful. I managed it in a few seconds in the car on the way home. 
Space is the place. It’s in your face. What  a ...
Debra.
Pictures above are by official Sage photographer Mark Savage and are not for use in events unrelated to The Sage.

4 comments :

  1. I missed this one Debra - look forward to hearing from others.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Debra, I too missed the Stan Tracey concert (I had a ticket) in favour of the Jerry Dammers' gig. I'm as a big a fan of Stan Tracey as anyone (I've heard him live on many occasions) but after much thought chose to go to the Dammers' gig. Why? Well, it was likely to be a one-off never to be repeated experience or as Lance said, a happening. It was a band full of top flight British players, the Sun Ra legend was another factor and it promised to be good fun. The Guardian's promise that it would be accessible, should, I suggest, have been read with caution - after all the words Sun Ra and accessibe are rarely written in the same sentence other than this one and maybe in the The Guardian! I agree that their was much repetition.To an extent this is what Sun Ra was all about - the trance inducing music (Space Is the Place) of the self-appointed alien mystic. All nonesense of course but good fun. Ghost Town is Dammers' own tune so I guess he can take it at the tempo of his choosing! If I hadn't gone to the gig I could never have imagined the stage set and costumes. You are right that the musicians weren't particularly stretched but they were more than willing participants. I bet the money was good! See you at the next Stan Tracey concert.
    Russell

    ReplyDelete
  3. Shame Debra & Russell seem to have regretted going to this gig - I love Stan the man too, but I was charged with the fun of it all the way through and dancing to the chant in the main concourse to the end - with many others who appreciated this joyous tribute to Sun Ra. Having experienced Sun Ra's Solar-Myth Arkestra live over 20 years ago I wondered if Dammers could pull it off - for me he did. By the way, Herman Poole Blount may have been an American but just consider the achievement of a black jazz pianist & composer born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914, who manages to maintain a fantastic Saturnian mythology around him and gain the respect of some of the best jazz musicians of our time - he died in 1993 and probably went to Saturn where he continues to run rings 'round the more pedestrian planets! There WAS more to those lyrics by the way Debra : "Space is the place WHERE space is the place" Poetry n'est-ce pas!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can't agree - I loved this gig! Dammers has brought together a lot of serious jazz musicians, and he let them get on with it. Sure, they set up a groove - but what a groove! Too bass heavy for me, perhaps, but it sounded great. The soloing was excellent.

    ReplyDelete

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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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