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Bebop Spoken There

Artie Shaw: “I'm not interested in giving people what they want--I'm interested in making music.” – (DownBeat October 15, 1939).

Jason Marsalis: “There's so many places that this music can go and there's a lot yet to be discovered.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Tuesday March 20


Classic Swing - The Ship, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.


Jam session - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free.

Jazz Blowers’ Easter Concert - Hurworth Grange Community Centre, Hurworth Road, Hurworth Place, Darlington DL2 2BN. 7:00pm. £5.00. Concert in the Hadwin Lounge.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Matt MacKellar Trio with Julija Jacenaite @ Empty Shop - August 13

Joel Brown (keyboards), Paul Grainger (double bass) & Matt MacKellar (drums) with Julija Jacenaite (vocals)
(Review by Russell)
A mid-August late Sunday afternoon gig at Durham’s Empty Shop. Would anyone show up? The first floor speakeasy with its paint-splattered mix and match tables and chairs, floorboards and a minimalist lighting rig, slowly but surely filled up with a mix and match audience of regulars, jazz musicians (established and emerging) and first time visitors. The band, fronted by vocalist Julija Jacenaite, made a first visit to Durham, and in so doing said farewell to a young man destined to perform at the world’s great jazz venues.
Lithuanian born, Newcastle resident, Julija Jacenaite is a welcome addition to the north east’s A- list of, almost exclusively, female jazz singers. Misty, All of Me, a premiere of a Jacenaite-penned number titled By the River, our vocalist worked hard to generate a late night jazz club atmosphere in a sun-dappled, white wall room. Summertime (note to BSH Editor, calm your apoplexy!) given a new treatment with a drum ‘n’ bass/funk groove worked surprisingly well as Jacenaite’s energetic, dynamic performance engaged the audience. JJ never gives less than 100%, immersing herself, body and soul, in the tune at hand. None better than Angel Eyes, a drama played out before our very eyes. The boys in the band (‘boys’ being an accurate description of two young men making a name for themselves – pianist Joel Brown, 17, and drummer Matt MacKellar, 18) were given more than enough space to do their thing. Joel improvises a solo for fun, frequently glancing at the man at the helm, Mr Paul Grainger, seeking reassurance, and receiving it.  A smiling PG indicates that all is well. To our bassist’s left, Matt had everything covered and, for good measure, knocked out a superb solo on There Will Never Be Another You.

The Steam Machine Brewing Co has established a summer-long tap takeover at Empty Shop. The new (retro) thing, beer in a can, was on offer. It’s enough to make you drink pink lemonade!

A Mood Indigo like you’ve never heard before featured a Joel Brown intro and JB soloed on A Train as only he can. Wave introduced a Latin element to the set, and Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love – Julija inquired if any rock fans were in the house…surprisingly few hands went up – kind of rocked out. By way of contrast, How High the Moon? refocused on the jazz with bassist Grainger grabbing a solo. The audience demanded an encore. Julija’s whispered intro to What a Wonderful World put the world to rights on a sunny Durham afternoon.                   

The young man destined for great things, Matt MacKellar, is heading to Berklee in a matter of days. We wish him well, and he is sure to return to play a few gigs during, as his American friends would say, ‘vacation’. Bon voyage!

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About this blog - contact details.

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: I look forward to hearing from you.