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Bebop Spoken There

Michelle Coltrane: "It was Geri Allen who told me, 'Why don't you work with a guitar player? It's a lot easier. They're mobile, all the pianos are out of tune'" - DownBeat March 2018.

Verneri Pohjola: “I've been trying to get away from being 'a young and promising trumpet player' for over twenty years” DownBeat March 2018.

Today Friday February 23

Afternoon

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.

Evening

Dock in Absolute - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 9:00pm. £10.00. (£8.00 concessions).

James Taylor Quartet - Hoochie Coochie, 54 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. £16.00. Doors 7pm.

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

Crooners - Forum Theatre, Queensway, Billingham, Stockton on Tees TS23 2LJ. Tel: 01642 552663. 7:30pm. £20.00. Touring comedy Rat Pack production with Chris Hibbard’s nine piece Mini Big Band.

King Bees - Magnesia Bank, Camden Street, North Shields NE30 1NH. 9:00pm. Free.

Shamans Jazz Quartet + Collective Folamour - The Hearth, Main Road, Horsley NE15 0NT. Tel: 01661 853563. 7:30pm. £5.00.

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.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Misha Mullov-Abbado Group @ the Jazz Café , Newcastle – July 25

Liam Dunachie (piano); Misha Mullov-Abbado (bass); James Davison (trumpet, flugel); Matthew Herd (alto sax); Alex Hitchcock (tenor sax); Scott Chapman (drums)
(Review/photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
Jazz North East's end-of-the-month Schmazz concert (and the end of JNE's Summer season too) concluded with a performance from another young, vibrant group of musicians with the focus again entirely on their own original material. A London based sextet led by double bassist and composer Misha Mullov-Abbado, son of Russian classical violinist Viktoria Mullova and the late Italian conductor Claudio Abbado (who’s own father was a violinist). Yet despite his distinguished classical upbringing, Mullov-Abbado chose to pursue a career in jazz and, in 2014, he became a winner of the Kenny Wheeler Music Prize (he also picked up a Dankworth Prize for jazz composition). To date, MM-A has released 2 CDs (the first with a little help from his Mum on one track).
Tonight’s line up included album personnel Davison, Herd, Dunachie and  Chapman with Alex Hitchcock (tenor sax) standing in for Sam Rapley, and of course the man himself  Misha Mullov-Abbado on double bass. Over the course of two sets of material written exclusively by Mullov-Abbado the group presented compositions from both albums, as well as some newer, as yet unrecorded pieces.
 First set, first tune was fast and energetic. A breath of fresh air. Second tune - a slow one. Then continuing with a nice variety and contrasting styles, with various rhythms, pace, energy and fun. Good occasional solos across the band giving each an opportunity to breathe and stretch. The flugel was used sparingly but provided a good soft contrast to the trumpet, although their playing by Davison was never in doubt.  Comments overheard after their first set were very positive and complimentary. In fact a great first set.  We shouldn't have been too surprised, the pre-publicity was very enticing, and after that first set it was obvious that 'it does what it says on the tin' .... and a lot more as it turns out !! 

Second set - tunes played included the title track from their latest CD New Ansonia (reviewed previously by BSH on its release). Lil'  Bear (unrecorded as of yet) - slow & steady, raunchy rhythmic bass and slightly more edgy than previous tune. The repetitive bass line gave an edgy/moody feel along with some improvised sounds from drums & saxes, yet totally accessible through the melodic threads. To me it was fleetingly reminiscent of Nature Boy in parts but it had a unique and solid feel to it overall.  Gromit's Grand Outing is a very lively and fun tune, which segued into the next, starting with a superb extended solo from Hitchcock, then supported by the bass and developing further. What a great sounding and fun tune. Hair of the Bop (or was it ...of the Fox?) from the second CD Cross-Platform Interchange starting with a fine bass intro.  Finally ending with a very lively tune with a deceptively simple melody with good interchange across the band with long solos from Dunachie and Chapman. The audience were engaged throughout and delighted by what they saw (enthusiastic and often smiling musicians, especially Mullov-Abbado) and heard. They demanded more through their rapturous applause and were rewarded by an encore (see video on JNE page).

What a great set of varied compositions brilliantly played by a band 'in concert' with each other. Good sound from the brass section individually and collectively (aren't trumpets rather loud at times!!) and each piece was brought alive by a superb set of musicians all enjoying the ride.  Overall, straight ahead jazz, all original material and a truly well synchronised set of musicians who collectively provided much more than the simple sum of the parts. Excellent music, pure jazz, and an excellent night. This had a really good Jazz Club feel to it throughout. Noted that the audience was swelled by quite a few new faces for a Schmazz concert - the pre-publicity must have had some attraction - let's hope it sticks.

The next Jazz North East performance is after the Summer break on Sunday 3rd September at The Bridge with The Improvisors' Workshop on the afternoon and 'The Spirit Farm' in the evening. Then look out for 'Perpetual Motion Machines' and a brand new Trio from Adam Sinclair featuring Paul Edis and Jon Proud, plus at the end of September it's the 'Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music' with a heap of great artists including Zoe Rahman, Troyka, Schnellertollermeier, Mette Rasmussen and Julien Desprez to name but a few .... phew !!! 
Ken Drew
Video (the encore after the 2nd set):


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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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