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Bebop Spoken There

Curtis Stigers: “I’m a jazz singer. I’m not a saxophonist. When I stand in front of a band like the Danish Radio Big Band or Ronnie Scott’s, I usually tend to leave the instrument on the stand.” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Tamsin Austin, Director of Performance Programme, Sage Gateshead: “SummerTyne is our largest festival and we absolutely love it!” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Today Saturday July 22

Afternoon
SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017 - Sage Gateshead. Day two of three. Details. From 12 noon all day.
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Evening
Steve Glendinning (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
The Hookahs - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Big Chris Barber Band - Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. £21.50/£20.50.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Jazz North East & Splinter @ the Bridge present The Dors. Sunday Sept. 22

Christophe de Bezenac (sax & electronics); Chris Sharkey (guitar); Eve Risser (keyboards & vocals); Yuko Oshima (drums); Paul Miller (audiovisual projections).
(Review by Steve H/photo courtesy of Ken Drew.)
A jazz hating friend of mine has just visited New Orleans where he encountered the music in its birth place and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience. I patronizingly informed him that the sort of Jazz he was listening to belonged  in a museum. Quite where Sunday night’s performance at The Bridge Hotel ‘belonged’ to was anybody’s guess.
The upstairs room was kitted out in such a way as to resemble a cross between Miss Haversham’s  dining room and a venue for an early Halloween party. The room was in darkness and suspended from the ceiling in various strategic places were white drapes which were used as multiple screens to display the  dazzling audiovisual  art of Paul Miller. The stage itself looked like a section of the control room at  the Cern Hadron Collider  littered  with   computers, keyboards and miles of cables. The band took the stage and proceeded to perform an unbroken set of manic electronic experimental music accompanied by a kaleidoscopic interactive light show. Keyboards, vocals, saxophone and guitar were all embedded in a constant computerized whirlpool of beats and sci fi effects. The brutal and ferocious drumming of Oshima was a particular highlight. Personally, I feel this type of music would be far more appropriate if staged at somewhere like The Tusk  festival (held next month at The Star and Shadow in Newcastle http://tuskfestival.com/). It was an exhilarating experience but I am not entirely convinced that I was attending a jazz gig. Do four musicians frantically improvising primarily with electricity constitute jazz no matter what the eventual output sounds like ? As a piece of modern performance art it was commendable but for those attending with no prior knowledge of what to expect it may have left them at best bemused and at worst misled. This gig really did push the boundaries even of this most eclectic  art form.  Perhaps if it had been billed as Frankensteinian Punk Jazz meets Kraftwerk Electronica no one could have complained if it didn’t quite transport them form Newcastle  to New Orleans 
Steve H.

2 comments :

  1. Great review Steve. One thing rankles...your suggestion that New Orleans jazz resides in museums. No it doesn't, it is alive and well, played all over the world from Preservation Hall to the Oxbridge Hotel in Stockton on Tees (the New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band, Thursday nights). Is swing dead? Nope - you should have been at Hoochie Coochie on Sunday. Is bop dead? Nope - Jazz Café last Friday. Is free jazz dead. Nope - it just smells funny. Jazz Lives!

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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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