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Bebop Spoken There

Mundell Lowe: “...we also had to play for a floor show, which consisted of girls dancing--some of 'em were dressed, some of 'em were not so dressed.” – (Crescendo September 1974).

George Melly: “I think all clubs are like old tarts, sad under full lighting.” – (Slowing Down, Penguin Books 2005).

Today Tuesday December 1

Mosaic Jazz (Playing a celebration of American music) - Bell and Bucket, 37 Norfolk St, North Shields, Tyne and Wear NE30 1NQ. 1pm. Free.
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.
Jam Session - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. Free.
Customs House Big Band w. Ruth Lambert - All Saints Church, Cleadon, nr. Sunderland. 7pm.
Ralph Keeley (solo piano) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 0191 2399924. 7.00pm.
Ian Bosworth and Friends - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough, TS5 5DT. 01642 823813. 9pm.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Troyka @ The Central Bar, Gateshead. May 29

Chris Montague (guitar), Kit Downes (organ) & Josh Blackmore (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Schmazz at the Cluny on the South Side! A one-off relocation south of the Tyne to the Central Bar in Gateshead to present Troyka paid dividends - a full house, no less. Well, it helped that guitarist Chris Montague, a Gateshead lad, had the Montague Clan (grand mother et al) in attendance to lend support in numbers. The trio arrived late due to the band bus (aka humble car) breaking down en route to Tyneside. It was agreed to play one long set rather than the regulation two sets. On a warm night make-shift fans were fanned, brows mopped, beers quaffed.
Moxxy, the soon-to-be-released CD, featured prominently and the opener – Dropsy – laid down a riff straight out of the Jimmy Page guitar tutor. Another new one – Tax Return – followed and solos were few and far between. Central to the performance was the group dynamic with frequently shifting rhythms developed by non-stop drummer Josh Blackmore and Montague. Organist Kit Downes clocked-up his third appearance on Tyneside in a matter of weeks and once more played a blinder. Troyka allows Downes greater freedom to go off on a tangent although he has the self-discipline to bring it home in good time. The slow tempo Chaplin (?) engaged a low gear heavy groove and in contrast Rest drifted on a (momentarily Metheny) thermal. The highlight of the evening came from an unexpected source – the blues. The tune (Crawler), a slow blues written by Downes featured a contender for solo of the year from Montague (eliciting spontaneous applause) with the trio showing how it should be done; measured, tasteful and an avoidance of excess. 
Moxxy is released on June 11th on Edition Records (

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.

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