Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

June Christy: "We used to say that if Stan [Kenton] had wanted to become President, nobody else would have stood a chance. ''- (Jazz FM issue 4, 1990).


Eddie Condon: "Every Kenton record sounds to me as though Stan signed up 300 men for the date and they were all on time." - (Jazz FM issue 4, 1990).



Today Friday October 28

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free. 0191 2513928.
Emma Fisk/James Birkett Duo - The Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Rd., /Newcastle NE1 1SE. 1pm. £4.
Gerry Richardson's Big Idea – Ushaw College, Nr. Durham DH7 9RH. 7:30pm. £7.
Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington. 7:00pm.
Ruth Lambert/Alan Law - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. 6pm Free. 0191 2331010.
Hand to Mouth (Lindsay Hannon/Bradley Johnston) - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. Free.
To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, September 03, 2010


Nothing really, but if Lance can write about Shakespeare on this blog, I reckon I can tell people who don’t normally go to folk festivals a bit about what such events are like. Maybe people can compare Whitby with, say, the Sage Jazz Festival.
Whitby Folk Week is run by a hardworking committee who plan for it during the whole year. The main events are concerts, ceilidhs (folk dances) and dance displays. I’d love to have some dancing at jazz festivals as there’s such a lot of dance music played. (Are people cringing in front of their computers as they read this, I wonder)?
Anyway, besides the standard folk events, some of the entertainment would be suitable for everyone, for example, the funny poetry of Les Barker (eg the dyslexic X files, called the Y files, ‘May the horse go with you’) or Vin Garbutt, a natural comedian, talking about his new varifocal specs.
There was a fun ceilidh with the Eliza Carthy Band (Eliza was brought up on jazz and has done all kinds of music). The dances were done to Motown tunes. For instance, ‘My Guy’ was played slowly and the dance looked really elegant, rather like a minuet. Then there’s a wealth of workshops, which are very varied because of the nature of folk culture, anything from morris, sword, clog and country dancing; or instrumental workshops for playing penny whistle, fiddle, melodeon, guitar, bodhran (folk drum). There was even a class in playing the Jews harp. They sounded superb and they’d obviously had great fun.
I think jazzers would have liked the American Flatfoot dancing; this is similar to modern Appalachian clog dancing. Storytelling and writing workshops have been introduced recently at folk festivals as well. And of course there’s all the singing, harmony singing and solo singing, although most singing is done in the pubs as part of the Fringe. In a folk singaround anyone who wants to can do a song. So the standard of singing varies. As a singer I’ve had to get used to the fact that in jazz clubs it’s best not to sing until you’ve reached a reasonable standard and can work with a band, whereas in folk clubs everyone is encouraged to sing, with varied results which can be very good sometimes. The week was marred for me by an event which I’m sure Jazz musicians will sympathise with. I broke my beloved penny whistle which I’d had for a year and which is the first tuned instrument that I’ve learned to play. It had cost me all of £8 at Windows. I must have hit it against a wall when it was in a shopping bag. I felt as if I’d lost a friend. I couldn’t bear to see it bent and broken so I threw it into the sea. I’ve now bought a much more expensive whistle, but there’ll never be another whistle like that one, a bit like first love really. So apart from the whistle incident I had a great time.
The Festival closes with a ceremony where a garland of local plants and flowers is brought into a ceilidh and is broken up so that everyone gets a piece for luck. I missed this as I was at a concert but it’s quite a moving moment. Whitby is a lovely town and the Abbey would make a marvellous back drop to a Jazz concert. But it’s all music and I’m enjoying having a part to play in both Jazz and Folk. Ann Alex

No comments :

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

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.