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Bebop Spoken There

Danny Gatton: "I was tired of playing in beer joints. I wanted to do something tangible like building cars. But once you do music it gets into your blood. You can get away from it for awhile but sooner or later it comes back to you." - (Down Beat April 1991).

Tal Farlow: "There were times when I would stop [playing guitar] and do sign painting." - (Downbeat December 5, 1963)

Archives

Today Sunday August 20

Afternoon.
Mark Williams (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. Blues jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free. Summer Break. Back Sept. 3
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Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 01325 788564. 5pm. Weekly.
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Evening
Chris Martin - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Paul Edis Trio - Black Bull, Bridge St. Blaydon NE21 4JJ. 8pm. £5.
To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book review: The Baroness by Hannah Rothschild.


(Review by Lance.)
Suddenly she's everywhere in my life. A BBC documentary (The Jazz Baroness), a DVD of the same plus, a biography by David Kaskin - Nica's Dream - and now this! The Baroness by Pannonica Rothschild's great niece Hannah.
I devoured the pages - how could I not? I think I fell in love with the Baroness when I first read about Charlie Parker dying in her apartment  whilst watching the Dorsey Brothers' Show on television!
To an impressionable 15 year old whose parents had yet to acquire a television set the idea of a jazz musician dying in the New York apartment of a beautiful Baroness whilst watching other jazz musicians on tv seemed to me to be the ideal way to go! Of course if I'd realised at the time the tragi-drug related circumstances described in the book I may have removed the rose tinted glasses.
At least 24 compositions have been dedicated to the mysterious Baroness, including one by Britain's Eddie Thompson. - I wonder if anyone other than Duke can boast more?
This is a book to stay up night's for because, unlike other treatise's on the subject, this one concentrates on Hannah's quest to find out more about her great aunt Pannonica Rothschild rather than Monk, Bird and co although they are not short changed by any means.
The first half of the book delves into the Rothschild dynasty and what an odd bunch they were. Hannah's brother Victor studied jazz piano with Teddy Wilson and, during the Second World War worked for MI(5/6) on bomb disposal. He claimed that years of copying Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum's chords was ideal preparation for such a tricky task. He was awarded the George Medal - presumably for his bomb disposal rather than deciphering Art Tatum chords although that too is most surely worth a gong of some sort!
Nica also had quite a war fighting with the Free French Army in North Africa and rumoured to have flown Lancaster Bombers....
The second half centres around Monk, the drug bust she took for him, her tending him both in sickness and in health, his idiosyncrasies and much, much much more.
They were enigmatic people and despite the reams that have been written about the true relationship between Nica, Monk and his wife Nellie, it remains Mysterioso.
Nevertheless, although there isn't a lot of new jazz material in The Baroness, I found it compelling reading. Should you have Pannonica playing as you read - the live version recorded at The Five Spot - it will do nothing to spoil your pleasure. Pleasure perhaps isn't the right word as there is a lot of pain and suffering re-counted but, whatever, it is a fascinating study of pre-war European opulence, wartime, bebop and black America in the 1950s and '60s.
Nica, if there's a bar at that jazz club in the sky and the guys are blowing, - put down an extra teacup at the table and pour me a demi-tasse of Scotch.
Lance.
Hannah Rothschild: The Baroness. Virago Press. ISBN 978-184408-603-0.

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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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