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Bebop Spoken There

Michelle Coltrane: "It was Geri Allen who told me, 'Why don't you work with a guitar player? It's a lot easier. They're mobile, all the pianos are out of tune'" - DownBeat March 2018.

Verneri Pohjola: “I've been trying to get away from being 'a young and promising trumpet player' for over twenty years” DownBeat March 2018.

Today Saturday February 24

Afternoon

Nikki Iles Masterclass - Music Department, Durham University, Palace Green, Durham DH13RL. 1:30pm. £.3.00. Open to the public as observers.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - Hardwick Arms Hotel, 1 North End, Sedgefield TS21 2AZ. Tel: 01740 622305. 1:30pm. Free.

Evening

Billy Bootleggers All-Star Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Customs House Big Band - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE33 1ES. Tel: 0191 454 1234. 7:30pm. £12.00.

Mighty Smokin’ Spitfires - Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. 8:00pm (doors). £10.00. Augmented line-up: David Blakey (trumpet), Lloyd Howell (perc.).

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

Sunday, May 26, 2013

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ Sage Gateshead. 24 May 24, 2013

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston (Gtrs)
 (Review by Russell).
They were there in their hundreds, in every nook and cranny, every vantage point taken. Guitarists James Birkett and Bradley Johnston had certainly pulled a crowd for their gig on the concourse at Sage Gateshead. Alas, the drinking and chattering gave the game away...the hordes were there to attend performances in Halls One and Two. Most didn't listen and many of those seemed oblivious to the brilliance of the master and pupil duo. 
Two sets of bossas, waltzes, swingers and blues held the attention of the few. Dick McDonough and Carl Kress made a flying visit (Stage Fright), John Lewis waltzed in Skating in Central Park, so too Dave Brubeck (In Your Own Sweet Way). The clattering of plates, the clink of glass on glass, the I'm at the Sage mobile types did little to dampen the enthusiasm of performers and the listening few.
Pupil Bradley Johnston - Mr Johnston turned eighteen last week - played as if a veteran of the music; rhythm, time, solo invention. Dr Birkett played the part of the senior man in the partnership, confident of his partner's abilities, indeed the younger man frequently took the first solo. 
Jobim's Wave opened the second set just as the few waved goodbye to ticket holders filing into their respective halls. Joe Venuti (Johnston) and Eddie Lang (Birkett) arrived Stringing the Blues (Joe/Bradley swinging it, Eddie/James knocking out sophisticated bass lines). Time for Django - the place had quietened - time for Nuages. Great! Bill Evans contributed Waltz for Debby then it was Guitar Hero Time. Mr P.Metheny's Farmer's Trust impressed Birkett and Johnston as much as the listeners! McDonough and Kress returned briefly with Chicken a La Swing, an hors d'oeuvres to Billie's Bounce. Johnston really got into this one, a highlight of the evening. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better the duo signed off in some style with Chick Corea's Spain. James Birkett is an acknowledged virtuoso, Bradley Johnston's time will surely come.           
Russell.   

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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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