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Bebop Spoken There

Howard Riley: “When I started out playing jazz back in the late 50s, early 60s, if you wanted a gig you had to learn some standards.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Eric Harland: “I love swing and I’m always going to swing but I also know that you can take a hip-hop groove and improvise with that just like you would with a swing pattern.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Today Saturday April 29

Afternoon

1pm: Dean Stockdale Trio. 2:30pm: Abbie Finn Quartet 4pm: Rick Laughlin Trio - Quakerhouse, Mechanics’ Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 01325 245052. 1:00-5:00pm. Free (donations).

Evening

Dave O’Higgins with Durham Alumni Big Band - Majestic Theatre, Bondgate, Darlington DL3 7JT. Support set by Durham County Youth Big Band (7:15pm). £12.00. (+ concs).

Late night jam session - Quakerhouse, Mechanics’ Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 01325 245052.10:30pm. Free.

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Ruby Turner - Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. £21.00. & £20.00.

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Fever & Friends - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE333 3NG. 7:30pm. £12.00. 0191 454234.

Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.

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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Tale of Two Venues - Tommaso Starace Quartet @ (eventually) The Chilli

Tommaso Starace (alt/sop); Michele di Toro (keys); Will Collier (bs); Chris Nickolls (dms).
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
First it was Thursday, then it was Wednesday. It was at The Corner House, then it was at The Chilli.
This Jazz North East promoted gig had had so many ups and downs it was amazing that it ever got off the ground but it did - and how! Arguably, the North-east Gig of the Year (so far) it wasn't surprising that even after it was all over there were still a few twists and turns...
The Best of Times: What a magnificent performance this was! Tommaso, soaring like the post Cannonball/Bird player that he is, impressed the crowd, and it was a decent sized crowd, with his sheer virtuosity. Every note was on the money - no aimless meandering, no honks and screeches - straight down the middle modern jazz.
On keys, Michele di Toro matched and complemented his pisano every step of the way - the unison passages were quite incredible and his solos something else. Woosh! this was some playing. The tunes - mainly originals - too were beautiful. The ballads were played on soprano tugging at the heartstrings whilst the grooves got the feet activated. Not surprisingly, my personal favourite was Simply Bebop - straight from 52nd St., via Milano - it dazzled and beguiled. As one friend remarked "Three letters - W-O-W!"
Summed up the whole gig.
Bass and drums did the necessary with Collier - depping for Lawrence Cottle - slotting easily into the role of both anchorman and occasional soloist. Nickolls had an extended solo early on punctuated with an infectious riff from alto and keyboard that helped set the tone for an evening that swung. As an added bonus I had the priviledge of hearing them rehearse and do a soundcheck. If there was a downside, it took a while to get the keyboard sound/balance spot on but, as the evening progressed it just got better and better.
The Worst of Times: After the mix-up of dates and venues there had to be a sting in the tail!
Walking down the path to Chilli Road Station I was met by a fellow Star(ace)gazer who told me the westbound platform was closed and that we had to cross over and get an eastbound to Walkergate then cross back over and head west once more. This meant missing the train and, ultimately, my South Shields bound train from Monument. Boarding instead one which terminated at Pelaw - 3 miles from home.
Fortunately, a fellow traveller was in a similar situation so a taxi was the answer with us sharing the fare. After a gig like tonight, I'd have happily walked home from anywhere and never noticed the miles.
Photos. 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.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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