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Bebop Spoken There

Eubie Blake: “He [Willie The Lion Smith] played some tricky rhythms, if he'd seen them written down, he'd have said "Oh I couldn't play that", but he played them!” – (DownBeat May 24, 1973).

Mel Lewis: “They [kids] think the word "technique" means speed. The word "technique" just means the way you do something, that's all.” – (DownBeat July 19. 1973).

Today Tuesday April 24

Afternoon

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

Evening

Maine Street Jazzmen - Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond Ave., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 3EX. 8:30pm. £5.

Gerry Richardson Trio - The Fox, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB. Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (collection). Richardson; Garry Linsley (alto sax) & Adam Sinclair (drums).

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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Favourite Animals and Article XI @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - December 10

(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
What a great end to the JNE year as a dectet and an undectet literally filled the stage on Sunday night at The Bridge Hotel.  A Venn diagram of the 2 bands would have shown 7 musicians in the intersection of the two groups. So in total, there were 14 different players rather than the 21 any keen mathematician might have calculated. Many of the 14 were familiar faces having visited Tyneside many times in one guise or another in recent years. In fact, I think I have seen Johnny Hunter on drums more than any other musician in Tyneside which is certainly no bad thing given his aff/ability. The idea of the 2 ensembles touring together came out of a crazy conversation between respective bandleaders Cath Roberts and Anton Hunter and Sunday night saw the culmination of the 4 date mini-tour. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?
Favourite Animals (pictured above) kicked off the evening with Confirm or Deny which was a bit of stop-start affair until a really powerful groove kicked in to get the crowd rocking on their chairs. The rest of the set had a very cinematic feel to it. Graham South on trumpet seemed to dominate Boiling Point and on their final piece Shreds Dee Byrne on alto and Graham South on trumpet once again featured strongly. There were some very interesting combinations of instruments in this ensemble particularly the twin flute and bass clarinet pairing of Julie Kjaer and Tom Ward. The music although improvised has a  far more contemporary classical feel to it than a bluesy jazz one but whatever the label everyone seemed to wholeheartedly enjoy the experience.
Article XI was formed by Anton Hunter as the result of a commission from the 2014 Manchester Jazz Festival and takes its name from the said article of the European Convention of Human Rights although the reason why this name was chosen was neither explained or discussed. 
Another interesting line up with a vast brass section featuring 2 trombones, 2 trumpets. 2 altos, a tenor and a baritone. The music is improvised around Hunters compositions with space given to the individual soloists to explore the framework constructed. The result produced a more jazz-like feel to the proceedings than maybe the previous band had. 
The set got off to a flying start with 2 tracks Munichcreation and Always a Fox which are actually not on their forthcoming eponymous debut album. The scene had been well and truly set great ensemble playing spiced up with imaginative solos. It is not often you say a song does just the opposite of what it says on the tin but Not the Kind of Jazz you Like did exactly that! 
It was hard to single out any soloist in such a large ensemble but one of the guys I had never seen before, Simon Prince on tenor and flute, really impressed and I hope we see him again soon in some format or another. 
The evening closed with what appeared to be a planned encore I Dreamed I Spat Out a Bee which began with the trio, Johnny Hunter on drums, Ollie Dover on alto and Seth Bennett on double bass , before the rest of the band joined in and brought this brilliant doubleheader to a triumphant close.
A marvellous evening my only regret being that we only got to see one set of each band. Given the nature of these groups, there was always so much going on that one tended to focus on selected sections of playing thereby missing out on the equally interesting parts of the others. Maybe the best thing to do is get the respective CD’s of both ensembles. That way you can make sure you don’t miss out on anything as you relisten to this fabulous music time and time again.
Steve H
FAVOURITE ANIMALS
Dee Byrne (alto sax); Sam Andreae (tenor sax); Cath Roberts (baritone sax); Tom Ward (flute & bass clarinet); Julie Kjaer (flute & bass clarinet); Graham South (trumpet); Tullis Rennie (trombone); Anton Hunter (guitar); Seth Bennett (bass); Johnny Hunter (drums)
ARTICLE XI
Sam Andreae (alto sax); Ollie Dover (alto sax); Simon Prince (tenor sax, flute); Cath Roberts (baritone sax); Graham South (trumpet); Nick Walters (trumpet); Tullis Rennie (trombone); Kieran McLeod (trombone); Anton Hunter (guitar); Seth Bennett (bass); Johnny Hunter (drums).

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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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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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