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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.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum….

Actually not so funny – we got lost! Eventually finding it was a treat though as the show (Tuesday night in Billingham, and England on the telly – surely some mistake??) was fantastic! 
The old 1960’s show started with the words:
--"Something familiar, something peculiar, something for everyone….” And Jason Isaacs tonight put together two superb sets which lived up to that idea. Indeed with all the one-liners dotted about (mostly so bad they were good!), he could probably have claimed “a comedy tonight” as well!
For the “familiar” we had Rat Pack classics such as Sailing, Come Fly with Me and Mr. Bojangles; for those who liked an older vintage there was Cheek to Cheek or, for jazz-lovers a funky Summertime or, if you like more recent stuff (“something for everyone”) there was full-on Elvis in Vegas; “something(s) peculiar” came in the form of swing arrangements of For once in My Life and Wonderwall!! These last, both amazing to hear, proved that music, as long as it is GOOD music, has no boundaries and can forever be re-interpreted. The range, from Gershwin to Gallagher, all tackled with equal relish and with equal élan, had the audience clapping, finger-snapping, singing and bopping their way to three encores.
Apart from titles already mentioned Billingham swung to: Got You under My Skin, The Best is Yet to Come, That’s Life, It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing (nice “doo-wap” backing from The Fenner Sisters), One for My Baby and One More for the Road (nice piano, Paul Edis), Let There Be Love and many more.
You will have gathered from my exclamatory style that I loved this show: the “ingredients” were all first class. There were great songs with intelligent lyrics. The band was fabulous from first to last and the musicians so visibly enjoyed themselves that it all had the feel of a party. The late Dave Connolly would have been proud of them, I’m sure, and would have partied too. A huge sound when “giving it some” (the singer’s words, not mine), yet capable of subtlety and humour where required and with some great soloing along the way. The vocals were excellent – close your eyes and it could have been any of the originals, Sinatra, Bennett, Darin, Nat King Cole. The presentation was unfailingly engaging – Jason Isaacs is energetic (his high-kicks showed scant respect for health-and-safety), good-humoured, personable and boy, does he know how to work an audience! Even their singing on Minnie the Moocher and on The Wonder of You was mellifluous and moving (a bit, at least!).
So, although we got lost on the way home as well, we went home happily whistling Mack the Knife and hoping this show will be on again soon. If it is, we won’t miss it – nor should you.
Jerry.

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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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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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