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Bebop Spoken There

Curtis Stigers: “I’m a jazz singer. I’m not a saxophonist. When I stand in front of a band like the Danish Radio Big Band or Ronnie Scott’s, I usually tend to leave the instrument on the stand.” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Tamsin Austin, Director of Performance Programme, Sage Gateshead: “SummerTyne is our largest festival and we absolutely love it!” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Today Saturday July 22

Afternoon
SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017 - Sage Gateshead. Day two of three. Details. From 12 noon all day.
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Evening
Steve Glendinning (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
The Hookahs - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Big Chris Barber Band - Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. £21.50/£20.50.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Scottish Swing Orchestra & Brass Broadway Chorus with Kate Graham & Matt Corner @ The Gala Theatre - July 9

(Review by Russell)
This Gala concert, one of the set piece events of this year’s Durham Brass Festival, attracted a full house on a sultry summer’s evening. All seats in the stalls and circle were occupied as the seventy-five or so performers filed onto the stage. The Brass Broadway Chorus (approximately sixty strong) assumed their predetermined positions, some nudging into the wings with the fifteen-piece Scottish Swing Orchestra assembling out front.
A fast moving Broadway revue featured most of the performers most of the time. Moving on and off stage wasn’t practicable (the show’s vocal stars the exception) and it appeared to be as hot as mid-summer in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. 

Conducting affairs was Paul Gudgin, Durham Brass Festival Artistic Director, happily forgetting his administrative duties for a couple of hours. The tunes ranged from the ‘golden age’ of Broadway and Hollywood to more recent box office blockbusters; Calamity Jane yielded Secret Love, an apposite Too Darn Hot (Kiss Me Kate) featured a trio of male singers stepping out from the massed choir, and Luck Be a Lady (Guys and Dolls) a thrill for local lad made good, West End star (Jersey Boys - The Story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons) Matt Corner.

The Gala’s on-side audience afforded Corner a hero’s welcome. Similarly, Kate Graham, West End star of Billy Elliot, revealing she studied right here in Durham in, she declared, 1902!  South Pacific presented Ms Graham with the show-stopping I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair and she didn’t waste the opportunity. The Gala’s full house lapped up the tunes, not quite a sing-a-long audience, but definitely not a jazz police crowd. Ah, the jazz…the Scottish Swing Orchestra, five-strong reeds, four trumpets and three trombones outfit with piano, bass, and drums rhythm section did everything required of them; an occasional solo spot (alto sax, trombone). Conductor Gudgin is a jazz man and he ensured the band got the chance to ‘have a blow’ on West Side Story. The Jets and Sharks of the Scottish Swing Orchestra tore into the Buddy Rich chart, a fine drum feature, the highlight of the show for the Gala’s (few?) jazz fans.

John Waters’ film Hairspray spawned a successful stage version of the box office hit, and the Gala Theatre reverberated to the joyous sound of the ensemble in full voice as the curtain came down. A Durham Brass Festival success. Jazz fans won’t want to miss this Thursday’s Dizzy & Co – Dizzy Gillespie and the great big band leaders featuring the BBC Big Band and the great Jiggs Whigham. Telephone the Gala box office – 03000 266 600.      

Russell.

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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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