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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.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

GIJF Day 3:John Pope Quintet @ Sage Gateshead - April 2

John Pope (bass), Jamie Stockbridge (alto), Faye  MacCalman   (tenor), Graham Hardy (pocket trumpet), Johnny Hunter (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
Having missed them at the Bridge last summer, this was a major fixture in the program for me, without which the Festival would likely have become two gigs over consecutive nights, which isn't that unusual at Sage Gateshead where I often spend three or four consecutive nights.
Coincidentally, Ornette Coleman's Shape of Jazz to Come is on number one son's listening list so, not having heard it for many years, I bought us each a copy. Like probably many others, I saw the great man in Sage One shortly after returning to the North East, which I expected to be an act of homage but was actually excellent, despite being younger and (even) less responsible - I think I may have nodded off during a pocket trumpet or violin part.
Although I wouldn't cite Ornette as an all-time favourite, I consider the initial breakthrough period as essential listening for any Jazz enthusiast with an interest in free, adventurous, innovative, challenging music - oh I'm sorry, I've just quoted Martin’s Listening to the Future by mistake (the Alan Barnes ones are the best).
It was a short set of just four pieces, including two from the aforementioned album, and a reminder of one of the great ironies and contradictions of Ornette, that he had a fantastic flair for melody.
Graham Hardy demonstrated why he's the first choice trumpet player for many in the North East. Jamie Stockbridge on alto was clearly an important component and rose to the challenge impeccably. Faye is at the forefront of TNG in North East Jazz, and Trekkies will know what that means and the rest may work it out - no passive reporting on BSH. She's a favourite of Jazz North East, (who did a splendid job putting the afternoon on), and you can hear why. Johnny Hunter on drums was a new name to me (I think and apologies if not) and I understand there's a Leeds or Manchester connection, but he could just as easily been dipped in the Tyne by his mam as a bairn, where we only produce top drawer drummers.
It's hard to think how anybody other than a sax player could lead a band dedicated to the music of Ornette, but there's no doubt at all who's in control of this, the horns watching him closely, providing a rock solid foundation with outstanding musicianship and stretching something already stretched beyond capacity into new musical terrain.
I missed a set I'd paid good money for to watch this and I'm satisfied it was a good call.
Steve T.

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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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