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Bebop Spoken There

Howlin' Wolf: “He [Charlie Patton] was a nice guy, but he just loved the bottle--like all the rest of the musicians. He was a great drinker.” – (DownBeat December 16, 1967).

Frank Zappa: “Those kids [US students] wouldn't know music if it came up and bit 'em on the ass.” – (DownBeat October 3, 1969).

Today Thursday April 26

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - No.1 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL12 7NJ. Tel: 01388 665533. 12:30pm. Free admission.

Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society - Gateshead Central Library, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead NE8 4LN. 5:00pm. Fortnightly meetings, all welcome.

Evening

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Millstone, Haddrick’s Mill Road, South Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 1QL. 0191 2853229. 7pm.

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Holywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. 8:30pm. Free.

Bearpark Trio - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £3 (£2 student/MU.).

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland (tpt); Donna Hewitt (sax); Graham Thompson (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free.

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

Friday, November 25, 2011

Frank Brooker @ Blaydon Jazz Club. November 24th

Frank Brooker (tenor saxophone & clarinet), James Birkett (guitar), Jeremy McMurray (piano), Mick Shoulder (double bass) & Tim Johnston (drums) + Bradley Johnston & James Birkett (guitars)
November 24th could mean only one thing - Christmas party time! Yes, a bit early for the tinsel 'n' all that but after the Arctic conditions this time last year Blaydon Jazz Club decided to play safe and get in there early. Temperatures were positively balmy and a good number of Blaydon regulars turned out. A sumptious buffet was assured thanks to the efforts of many to bring an offering to the table. 
Yorkshire's Frank Brooker made the journey north to have a bite to eat and play some jazz. Straight ahead, mainstream, swinging jazz, call it what you like it was first rate from start to finish. Just Friends, Meditation, In a Mellotone and Benny Carter's Only Trust Your Heart were just some of the first set tunes Brooker invited his friend James Birkett to revisit in relaxed fashion. 
House pianist Jeremy McMurray, a first class soloist in his own right, together with bassist Mick Shoulder and Tim Johnston (drums) ensured the evening would swing tastefully either side of the interval culinary feast. Brooker took a vocal on Sometimes I'm Happy as Birkett excelled with an extended solo topped off by some tasty chords. As the band ran through Oleo pianist McMurray couldn't resist alluding to Santa's Big Day with snatches of Jingle Bells and White Christmas - Yo, Ho, Ho!. 
A musical interval dessert was lapped up by all present - James Birkett reunited with fellow guitarist Bradley Johnston to waltz through John Lewis' Skating in Central Park and then, metaphorically speaking, dashed off to Chick Corea's Spain to nonchalantly dash off Spain. Now, we've come to expect this of Birkett (a virtuoso musician) yet it was something else to hear Johnson, in his teenage years, get to grips with the tune and stamp his own spirited sound on the piece. 
Foodies sated, raffle done, the second set began with Brooker picking up his clarinet to play Kurt Weill's Speak Low and Ellington's I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart (the latter featured a tremendous bluesy solo from Birkett). Switching once more to tenor, Brooker and the boys really did play the blues on Wardell Gray's Twisted. Mick Shoulder featured on this one and it was pretty much  a case of solos all round. Gershwin's Our Love is Here to Stay had everyone Relaxin' at Blaydon (if not Camarillo) and then it was time for a road journey or two. As Brooker and the boys breezed along Route 66, I took my leave to race along the A695. 
Blaydon Jazz Club goes into hibernation until March of next year. Make a date in that new 2012 diary - Thursday 8th March - and get along to hear the roaring big band sounds of the Customs House Big Band with the incomparable Ruth Lambert.
Russell.    

1 comment :

Bradley Johnston (on Facebook). said...

What a night!

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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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Lance

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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