Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Don Rendell: "It was about the time that the organ-type piano attachment - the clavioline - was invented. And the poster billing at one place where we played up north announced proudly, but erroneously: "The Johnny Dankworth Seven, featuring Frank Holder and the cleolaine" " - (www.jazzprofessional.com, December 2001).

Mary Lou Williams: “...it was discovered I possessed perfect pitch. Rumour of this oddity spread throughout the school, and pupils would drop pots and pans and other loud objects, asking 'What note, Mary?' (Melody Maker, 1954).

Today Friday May 25

Afternoon

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Swing Manouche - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Evening

Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton - Sage Gateshead. 7:45pm. £15.30. NRFH. Solo blues, multi-instrumentalist, influences include Fats Waller & Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Shatner’s Bassoon - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. £8 (£6 in advance).

Hand to Mouth (Lindsay Hannon & Bradley Johnston) - Vicolo: Live in the Lane, Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. 8:00pm. Free.

Baghdaddies - Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 6:00pm. Online booking: £10.00. + £1.37 booking fee. The Whitley Bay Carnival ‘Big Ball’ featuring debut of the Baghdaddies’ big band line-up.

Nick Pride & the Pimptones - Cumberland Arms, James Place Street, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1LD. Tel: 0191 265 6151. 6:00pm. Free.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Schmazz Night to Remember @ The Cluny - The Patrick Kunka Quartet.

Leah Gough-Cooper (alt/sop), Alan Benzie (kbd), Dylan Coleman (bs), Patrick Kunka (dms).
There have been many memorable nights at The Cluny and it has to be said that this last night was one of them - and for all the right reasons. Given that the four musicians are Boston based students of the Berklee College of Music or the New England Conservatory - the former being possibly the most prestigious jazz based music college in the world - it was inconceivable that they would be anything other than brilliant.
They were quadruple-brilliant at least!
Playing originals, mainly, but not all, from the pen of Kunka, plus a fine exploration of Coltrane's "Equinox", they delivered a powerful performance that bears comparision with anything that I've seen/heard at the Cluny. It was compelling stuff that rolled from the stage and totally engulfed the large audience in sheets of sound.
Leah Gough-Cooper, the name may conjure up an image of a viola player in a twee string quartet but the reality is completely different, the lady is simply one of the best alto players around anywhere. She delivered the goods lock, stock and two smoking barrel's firing phenomenal runs that took my breath away. A native of Scotland, we can thank our lucky stars she opted for sax instead of the bagpipes - imagine!
On piano, another Scot, Alan Benzie, also gave a virtuoso performance. His percussive style kept the tension at an all-time high as the Yamaha CP Series keyboard manfully withstood the beating - this guy can play. His solos challenged Leah's with their seemingly limitless flow of creativity.
Massachusetts own Dylan Coleman underpinned the procedings effectively as well as having meaningful solos. No mere walkman, Dylan's basslines were interwoven into Alan Benzie's solos with both sympathy and contrast. They were an outstanding duo as well as being an integral part of the unit.
This just leaves the leader - Patrick Kunka.
Patrick impressed, not just with his technical prowess; as funky or as swinging as the moment demanded, but also his arrangements and compositions. They were creative and imaginative whilst his drumming gave the band the lift it needed to sustain the high level of mindblowing solo bursts. His solos, never mere flashy displays, but forceful efforts that pushed the tension to almost unbearable heights. The adrenalin pump was at double max tonight.
For an encore, "What is This Thing Called Love?" proved the band's adaptability. Dave Weisser, sitting across from me, compared Leah's playing to that of Kenny Garrett and I don't think he was far wrong. This was a night to remember alright - one helluva night!
Lance.

7 comments :

russell said...

Hi Lance

A truly great gig. The best I can remember at Schmazz.

Russell

jazzpazpanda said...

Lance
I have had the pleasure of seeing the Patrick Kunka Quartet perform in Massachusetts. This quartet is the real deal... full of excitement and surprise. I wish I had been able to see this show, but your review was the next best thing. Thanks!

Patrick Kunka said...

Thanks for the wonderful review.

byased said...

There's a better quality video (originally from the Aberdeen Evening Express) available from a gig at the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen.

Wish I'd got to one of their shows: the clips are pretty impressive.

scrabbler said...

I hope to hear and see more of this excellent quartet.

jazzpazpanda said...

Scrabbler, if you want to hear more, the PKQ has released a cd. The only site I have found the Patrick Kunka Quartet CD,The Edge, available is at http://www.jazzcds.co.uk

Can't wait to listen to it in its entirety!

Geoff said...

I saw this lot at a gig in Cambridge, Massachusetts, back in May and I was also at the Cluny. I thought they were very impressive the first time and the extra experience on the road since then has forged them into a very fine unit indeed. Hope their next trip this side of the Pond takes in the Cluny again - well done Schmazz.

Blog Archive

Submissions for review

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.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
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.

Subscribe!