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Bebop Spoken There

Frank Zappa: "There was so much acid during the '60s that it was very easy for large numbers of people to think they had seen God as soon as the Beatles went boom, boom, boom, you know?." - (DownBeat May 18, 1978). – (DownBeat May 18, 1978).

Ryan Keberle: “Don't be easy on yourself when it comes to playing with perfect intonation. All other instruments will be playing with close-to-perfect intonation; the same should be expected of trombonists.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Friday March 23


Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.


Jiannis Pavlidis Trio - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 9:00pm. £8.00. (£6.00. advance).

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

Five Men No Dog - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling Street, Gateshead NE8 2BA. 8:00pm (doors 7:00pm). A ‘jar on the bar’ admission event.

Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.

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

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Jazz North East ‘On the Outside’: Hans Peter Hiby Trio @The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle – November 6.

Hans Peter Hiby (tenor, alto & soprano); Mick Bardon (bass); Paul Hession (drums)
(Review/photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
Tremendous!!  This was the last of a four part mini-tour by the group, taking in Scotland and the Midlands and leaving the best till last for their final performance at the Bridge Hotel.   And what a blast – still full of such brutal energy, constantly driving power and a raw attack associated with the likes of Peter Brötzmann whom I’d seen over a decade ago, yet the Hans Peter Hiby performance tonight seemed so much more considered and accessible to me.

Hiby/Hession have played throughout Germany as well as Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands and on occasions augmented the duo with bass players Marcio Mattos, Roberto Bellatalla, Peter Kowald and recently Dieter Manderscheid.   Paul Hession is such a sympathetic partner on drums since Hiby has worked with him on and off since the mid-‘80s, often just as a duo.  For this short UK tour, Leeds-based bass player Michael Bardon completes the trio. He has played throughout the UK and Europe including festivals in Sardinia, Germany, Italy and Poland and his dynamic playing is the perfect fit for this trio.  So the addition of Bardon presented opportunities of greater interaction and dynamic variety across the group, producing a performance that combined high octane power with many moments of thoughtful and carefully crafted subtlety.  

And what a performance.  They hit the ground running.  It was immediately apparent that the key elements would be hugely energetic and thrilling, yet was soon to be intertwined with nicely contrasting melodic sections at a slower, albeit temporary pace.   All pieces in the concert were mined a similar vein, yet each developed and flowed differently – each having its own personality and mood.
It was not just Hiby on the sax simply producing the notes, but his gentle swaying and occasional thrusting of the sax into the air all added to the final delivery of an extraordinarily energetic performance.   It was not just an energetic delivery, but vibrant, screaming, flowing, thrilling, pounding, soaring, swirling, gesturing, grovelling, altogether coaxing the sound out of the sax and into the room.  And what a space this is for such an acoustic performance.  Hiby afterwards, as others have in the past, commented on the joy of playing in this space.

Was the sax driving the others, or maybe it was the drums driving the others ….. or maybe they took turns, who knows ?  The resultant sound of the sax produced by Hiby had a generally soft but very confident and strident delivery, rarely whispering, but more often tonally pure.  But occasionally a harsher Brotzman-like sound pushed it further into a split-tone producing complex harmonics, perfectly supported and followed by the others.

Motian’s facial expression changed very little throughout.  Admittedly,  his eyes closed once in a while to aid concentration, and occasionally looked across at Hiby and Bardon to assess the next area of exploration. But generally all of Motian’s expressions were in his musical output – conservation of energy and all that to power the continuous onslaught from the drum kit.  And Bardon’s contribution was equally full of vigour and drive.

The result?  It was Brotzman-like power jazz, industrial strength improv and a very memorable performance at that.  Aptly given on November 6 – indoor pyrotechnics were the norm.  Tremendous.


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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.