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Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Bebop Spoken There

Alan Luff: “The general view is that Ella’s songbook recordings are the supreme exemplars of sophistication, fine diction and creative voice in the wide field of popular music.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Steve Voce: “Most of us have been crashed into by cretins who walk along the road absorbed in the screens of their mobile phones.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Today Tuesday May 23

Evening
Davina & the Vagabonds - Sage Gateshead. 8pm. £18.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
Zoe Gilby: Pannonica - The Fox Inn, West End Tce., Hexham NE46 3DB. Free. 9pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

GIJF Day 2: Three Nations Under One Groove: NYJO, NJJO, BuJazzO @ Sage Gateshead - April 1

(Review/photo by Russell)
This concert performance by three of Europe’s finest youth jazz orchestras was under negotiation before the result of the 2016 EU referendum was known. Sage Gateshead determined to proceed with the event, the third and final date of a short British tour. Three nations represented by NYJO, NJJO (Germany) and BuJazzO (Holland). The respective MDs put their heads together – NYJO’s Mark Armstrong, NJJO’s Martin Fondse and American ex-pat Jiggs Whigham batting for Germany – to agree a programme and workable format to present something like seventy-five musicians at this thirteenth edition of the Gateshead International Jazz Festival.

Sage One – Sage Gateshead’s principal, world-class concert hall – accommodated all three of the orchestras, such are the stage dimensions of the Norman Foster-designed facility (see photo – 75 musicians!). NYJO’s Mark Armstrong assembled his charges to play an opening number (the MD’s own composition The Hunt), later turning to the audience to explain the format; a short, introductory statement from each of the three bands, followed by a European mix-and-match of musicians. The sections comprising British, Dutch and German musicians, readily identifiable in their band t-shirts, working together in pan-European co-operation, reading parts, acknowledging and encouraging a new section mate to their left or right. Every chair occupied by the best around – these are audition bands incorporating the very best young musicians – it became apparent that some big hitters sat out from time to time, biding their time, not unlike the football world’s Premier League squad player sitting on the bench counting his money, the difference being these young musicians at Gateshead were doing it for the love of it.

NYJO’s short set, with Alexander Bone in the line-up (that’s the standard), included the Gershwins’ ‘S Wonderful, and it was some kinda wonderful. NJJO (Nationaal Jeugd Jazz Orkest, Holland), or, ‘Young Oranje’ as they’re known, played parts of a suite written by Musical Director Martin Fondse. The Future is Now heard, variously, Robot Taxi, Introduction to Poetry, Partical Fever and Walking Across the Atlantic – this Fondse’s concept of a dystopian, robotic near-future. NJJO’s vocalists – Anna Serierse and Sanna Rambags – performed with distinction (Norma Winstone would surely approve) singing in English. British and German musicians sat in the various sections, a trans EU affair.

BuJazzO is the official national youth jazz orchestra of the Federal Republic of Germany. The full name of the band – Bundesjazzorchester – is guided by Niels Klein and Jiggs Whigham. This Sage Gateshead engagement was overseen by Whigham. A Kenton man to his fingertips, the American, dressed casually (flannels and jacket), presented a Stan Kenton programme. At the request of Mr Whigham the audience reserved its applause for the end of the performance.  The Gerry Mulligan arrangement of Young Blood, then Kenton’s 1956 Afro-Cuban recording of Johnny Richards Cuban Fire! took centre stage. Whigham stood in front of the horns, directing from memory, fine-tuning the reeds, turning his attention to the ‘bones, then priming the multinational trumpet section. Occasionally referring to the score, turning a page, Whigham got in amongst the rhythm section, hearing something, asking for, and getting, a rehearsal room refinement to the score.

The concert drew to a close with all seventy-five musicians taking to the stage. Sage Gateshead’s audience showed its appreciation. A major undertaking, an undoubted highlight of the weekend.    
Russell.
 NYJO: Mark Armstrong MD; Maria Rehakova (flute); Tom Smith. Alex Bone (alto saxophones); David Healey, Tom Ridout (tenor saxophones); Chelsea Carmichael (baritone saxophone; Anna Drysdale (French horn); James Davison, Tom Syson, Cameron Johnson, Harry Evans, Christos Stylianides (trumpets); Chris Valentine, Maddie Dowdeswell, Rory Ingham, Ed Parr (trombones); James Maund (bass trombone); Nick Fitch (guitar); Joe Hill (piano); Jack Tustin (bass); Max Mills (drums); Johnny Mansfield (percussion)

NJJO: Martin Fondse MD; Camila Ortega (flute); Kika Sprangers, Koos Zuilhof (alto saxophones); Jesse Schilderink, Gerben Wasser (tenor saxophones); Emilio Tritto (baritone saxophone); Maxine Tegelaers, Davy Vreuls, Koen Smits, Ian Cleaver (trumpets); Jeroen Verberne, Seynabou Claerhout, Alex van Abeelen (trombones); Lars de Bie (bass trombone); Gijs Idema (guitar); Roberto van der Padt (piano); Frederik Mulder (bass); Tim Hennekes (drums); Joost Janssen (percussion); Anna Serierse, Sanna Rambags (vocals)


BuJazzO: Jiggs Whigham MD; Daniel Roncari, Freddy Mademann (alto saxophones), Adam Grabner, Victor Fox (tenor saxophones); Ole Sinell (baritone saxophone); Marko Mebus, Berthold Brauer, Matthis Rasche, Marvin Frey, Cay Schmitz (trumpets); Alistair Duncan, Philipp Schittek, Lukas Reinert (trombones); David Vernds (bass trombone); Philipp Schiepek (guitar); Bela Meinberg (piano); Andreas Pientka (bass), Alexander Parzhuber (drums)

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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: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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