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Bebop Spoken There

Danny Halperin: "Johnny Griffin is possibly the worst tenor saxophonist who has come to widespread public attention in the past decade." – (Jazz News, March 21, 1962).

Polly Gibbons: “If Billie [Holiday] had come up in the ’60s, she probably would have been a soul singer” – (Down Beat August 2017).

Archives

Today Wednesday August 16

Afternoon
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Tynemouth Metro Station, Station Tce., Tynemouth NE30 4RE. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
New Orleans Jazz at the Village Hall - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.
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Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Billy's Acoustic Blues - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free (weekly).
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Tees Hot Club - Cleveland Bay, 718 Yarm Rd., Eaglescliffe TS16 0JE. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Under the Moon of Love? Ruth Lambert Quartet @ Ushaw College – April 21.

Ruth Lambert, vocals; Paul Edis, piano; Andy Champion, bass; Rob Walker, drums.
(Review/photos by Jerry)
The gig began with No Moon at All (which was appropriate as it was stottin’ down outside and even a “supermoon” would have been invisible), revved up in the second set with That Old Devil Moon and ended with How High the Moon. Love was most definitely the theme of the evening as evidenced by Beautiful Love, a song which Ruth Lambert explained had featured in the 1932 film, The Mummy, when Karloff’s mummy pursued the beautiful Helen Grosvenor. The things you learn!
We had a slow, moody take on “living to love and muddling through” in I’m Glad There Is You followed by a rapid gallop through Mercer and Kern’s I’m Old Fashioned (“stay old fashioned with me”). Ruth said she “never tired of singing” the next number, Arlen’s I’ve Got the World on a String, (“what a life – I’m in love!”) while Ira Gershwin summed up the euphoria with ‘S Wonderful! Brother, George, wrote the notes, of course, and some of his other notes popped up, intriguingly, in the piano solo during West Coat Blues in which Wes Montgomery with his “suitcase full of sorrows” gave an alternative take on love. The first set closed with Jobim’s Agua de Beber, a beautiful bossa nova with very metaphorical lyrics (by de Moraes?) – “Your love is rain, my heart the flower…”. It could have reminded us of the world outside –“since the rain has to fall, let it fall on me” – but we were lost in the music by then….
……..and stayed lost in the music till the aforementioned How High the Moon. I’ve mentioned all the second set songs bar two very contrasting ones in terms of tone and tempo: A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and Ellington’s Caravan. Although I am a bit of a birdwatcher, I’ve never heard a Nightingale (I doubt they sing a lot in Chester-le-Street!) but if I had, my comment would probably be, as per my notes at the gig: “a beautiful song, beautifully sung”. Caravan was memorable because it gave Rob Walker an opportunity to let off steam and gain much-deserved applause with a drum intro and the relentless driving rhythm of sticks on the rim of the drum (for which, I’m sure, there must be a technical term – rim-click, maybe?). I’d earlier appreciated his drumming with his hands on the bossa nova – I expect there’s a term for that, too!All four musicians were on top form. Ruth Lambert exercised her full vocal range (Agua de Beber finished on a very high note!) in a variety of moods from wistful (Nightingale) to giggly (I’m Old Fashioned). Before the second number she asked Paul Edis to do “something inventive and beautiful” as an intro and that pretty much summed up his solos all evening. Andy Champion was not to be left behind, either: my notes on ‘S Wonderful say “cracking piano solo matched by A.C.” and he was prominent on several other numbers such as West Coast Blues and I’m Old Fashioned where he gave us an amazingly energetic bowed solo!
So, this first in a new season of gigs at Ushaw (now well-established as a jazz venue and deservedly flourishing) set the bar high for the summer to come. With four top musicians mining the rich seams of the “Gasbook” you’d expect no less. Next up is the Strictly Smokin' Big Band, look out for details.
Jerry.

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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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