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Bebop Spoken There

Kathyrn Williams: “I got into Miles Davis when I was a teenager. But I’m nowhere near as knowledgeable as Anthony [Kerr]: he is an encyclopedia of jazz, with a real in-depth, academic knowledge. I’m just a fan.” – (Jazz Journal December 2017).

Steve Voce: “He [Alan Lomax] was one of the best musical researchers, whose amazing output seems not to have been impaired by the fact that he was under continuous investigation by the FBI from 1942 to 1979.” – (Jazz Journal December 2017).

Today Tuesday January 16

Afternoon

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

Evening

Jam Session - The Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. Free.

Ian Bosworth - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. 9pm. Free.

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

Friday, September 15, 2017

Theatre Review: The Suitcase @ Northern Stage - September 14

(Review by Russell)
Timi and Namhla gather up their few possessions and step off a train. Wide-eyed, a new chapter in their lives is about to begin, village life behind them, life in the big city is their future. Centre stage a simple raised platform functions as a train, later as the Ngobese’s home. Looking for work day after day, Timi strides the stage, knocking on countless doors, to no avail. Pregnant Namla occupies the platform – the couple’s humble abode. Pitso, our storyteller, steps forward, developing the narrative as the on-stage musicians frame the unfolding drama.
The Suitcase is James Ngcobo’s adaptation of a short story written by Es’kia Mphahele. Apartheid South Africa in the fifties, unjust laws, pass books, daily discrimination, yet the story is one of great humour and, initially, hope. Timi, played by Siyabonga Caswell Thwala, is the butt of jokes and the victim of apartheid's ugly ideology. A character wholly good, the audience knows of Timi’s one and only lapse in judgement, yet few would consider criticising his actions. All the characters in the play are likeable sorts, who, to all intents and purposes, are Timi.
The suitcase and its unknown contents are to have a profound affect on the lives of the Ngobeses. The mood changes, Timi seeks to explain himself to an authoritarian regime. The parallels with the present day – name your regime – are stark. The Suitcase is a story of, and for, our times.
  
The production’s three on-stage singers remained seated for the majority of the one hour thirty-five minutes’ performance, rising occasionally to deliver intense gospel-inspired vocals. In the shadows, seated, left handed guitarist Bkekisia Sifiso Makhosonke Khoza proved to be a master musician. A former pupil of Jackie McLean at the University of Hartford, Connecticut, Bheki went on to perform at many of NYC’s most prestigious jazz clubs including the Blue Note and Smalls. Township jazz, a jazz standard, and the blues were required of Bheki at Northern Stage…an absolute joy to listen to.  
Hugh Masekela* wrote the music for James Ngcobo’s 2012 Soweto Theatre production and to hear it performed in Newcastle made this a memorable occasion.           

The Suitcase continues at Northern Stage until Saturday 16th. For tickets telephone the box office: 0191 230 5151 or visit www.northernstage.co.uk
Russell.                                             
Director: Sibongeleni James Ngcobo (The Market Theatre, Johannesburg)
Composer: Hugh Masekela
Cast: Siyabonga Caswell Thwala Timi Ngobese, Masasa Lindiwe Mbangeni Namhla Ngobese, Molatlhegi Desmond Dube Mlotshwa/Storyteller, Nhlanhla John Lata Pitso/Storyteller
Music & vocals: Guguletthu Shezi (singer), Penelope Nomfundo Sambo (singer), Nokukhaya Gugulethu Dlamini (singer), Bhekisia Sifiso Makhosonke Khoza (guitarist)

* Hugh Masekela is to release a three CD set Sixty/Black to  the Future/Notes of Life on Retroworld

Float 6305 on November 3rd. 

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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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Lance

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: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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