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Bebop Spoken There

Alicia Hall Moran: “I would go to hear Jason's band play and I'd say "Y'all hot!" But they came out wearing these casual, saggy outfits, putting music out with these not-attractive outfits like they were going on interviews for jobs they didn't want.” – (DownBeat May 2018).

Shabaka Hutchings: “You have to get the funding to come here [New York], and then there's getting the proper visa to play, which costs more than we get paid.” – (DownBeat May 2018).

Today Thursday April 19

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Student Performances - King’s Hall, Armstrong Building, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle University NE1 7RU. 4:00pm. Free admission. Performers include Ada Francis (voice); Simon Hirst (trombone) & Harry Still (drums).

Tees Valley Jazzmen - White Horse Hotel, Burtree Lane, Harrowgate Hill, Darlington DL1 3AD. Tel: 01325 463262. 1:30pm. Free.

Evening

Paul Edis Trio - St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £6.00.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. Vocalists with Alan Law Trio.

Ada Francis & the Italic Quartet - Las Iguanas, Grey Street, Newcastle NE1 6AF. Tel: 0191 232 9729. 7:30pm. Fortnightly restaurant residency.

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Holywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. 8:30pm. Free.

The Strictly Smokin' Sessions - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:15pm. £8 (£6 conc.). JNE. Small groups from SSBB.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Tees Hot Club Guest Band Night w. Paul Donnelly Trio - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free. Donnelly (gtr); Stu Collingwood (keys); Paul Smith (dms).

Jazz Night - Musiclounge, 21 Yarm Lane, Stockton TS18 4DR. Doors 7:00pm.

Ubunye - Whorlton Village Hall, Barnard Castle DL12 8XD. 7:30pm. Tel: 01833 627253. £10.00. (£5.00. child, £25.00. family).

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

Friday, April 14, 2017

Emma Fisk and Paul Edis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle - April 12

Emma Fisk (violin) and Paul Edis (piano).
(Review/photos by Jerry)
A sign above the stage appeared to say “A DISCO”. Really? I adjusted my bifocals and found it was a date stone reading “AD1860” – when The Witham opened as a music hall – which is interesting as its Victorian / Edwardian heyday coincided with many of the performers and composers referenced in Emma Fisk’s fascinating introductions and links between the twenty pieces of music thoughtfully selected and brilliantly performed tonight. Might tangos on the set-list have been performed on that stage back then? That’s a connection which would appeal to Emma, I think.
I don’t remember Nuages (Grappelli and Reinhardt’s “reunion” recording after WW2) from the duo’s gig in 2016, so will start with that even though it was in the second set. There was good applause (not always easy to elicit from a crowd which was not unappreciative but a tad “polite”!) for a “trilling” piano solo and for the improbably high note which capped Emma Fisk’s ornate finish – some kind of high F?
Next up, beautifully performed, was the catchy Hot Club number, Undecided, introduced with the story of the vocalist, Beryl Davis. She toured with Reinhardt and Grappelli from the age of about 14 (!) and went on, via Glenn Miller in WW2, to an amazing career which by rights should have made her a household name such as Ella Fitzgerald, for example. Inspired by this biographical snippet I found Undecided on YouTube and was blown away by both the singing and the lyrics. The clip was dated 1939 when Davis was 15! I am going into detail here because in 2016 I said that I “learnt stuff” at the concert in Crook and all the above exemplifies that. Such a carefully crafted show put together by a performer who feels almost evangelical about the material cannot fail to enthuse even the ignorant such as myself.
Also new to me was Pardon Me, Pretty Baby which, after a “florid, showy intro” was an infectiously catchy tune which probably explains it being covered by so many bands / vocalists, including Harold Arlen, no less! Edis’ piano solo here seemed to be more Joplin-esque than A la Luz de los Faroles where Joplin was mentioned earlier.
I think the “quirky tango” in 2016 from The Threepenny Opera (Brecht / Weill) might have been The Pimp’s Song here reprised after the contrasting Polly’s Song (new to me) which is more lyrical than quirky suggesting that Macheath’s wife, like Dickens’ Nancy, might have been a naïve romantic at heart.
16 other numbers featured classical, tango, gypsy jazz and show-tunes (all of which featured in 2016), all beautifully performed with the musicians, clearly in tune with the dynamics of each piece, interpreting and bringing it to life. The tunes hailed from Paris, London, New York, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Prague and Vienna with every decade from the 1880’s to the 1960’s represented. It was, (the Witham’s website publicity) “…a musical tour (de force) across continents, centuries and genres..” I was dead chuffed to realise that the website, there, was quoting from my October 2016 review on Bebop….! Fame at last!
Special mention, among those 16 tunes for Someone to Watch Over Me (my favourite on the night) and Lady Be Good, which Emma clearly loves to play.
And finally, The Witham is an imposing building with a fine auditorium and good acoustics. The staff were friendly and helpful and the technical side of things all went well. They are “trying to re-establish jazz” there (other genres flourish) so please check out future listings and support them if you can. Oh, and the beer was good too!
Jerry

3 comments :

Steve T said...

Surely you weren't imbibing Jerry. Now I'm really jealous. Had hoped to go - at about a dozen miles it's almost our local - but everybody's knackered, what with FDTs practice regime beginning at everyone else's bedtime - he's a Jazzer through and through.

JERRY said...

Was able to imbibe (some) as I had a lift back with the pianist!

Lance said...

Beryl was a class singer who died in 2011 age 87. She did okay in America with records (I've got a couple of her CDs, one of which includes the 2 Django track) and appeared on tv with Sinatra. Her father, Harry Davis, was co-leader of the Oscar Rabin band who buried himself in the sax section whilst Oscar conducted and, of course, Beryl sang. No disrespect to Vera but...

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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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