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Bebop Spoken There

Howard Riley: “When I started out playing jazz back in the late 50s, early 60s, if you wanted a gig you had to learn some standards.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Eric Harland: “I love swing and I’m always going to swing but I also know that you can take a hip-hop groove and improvise with that just like you would with a swing pattern.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Today Friday April 28

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
Dean Stockdale Trio - Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1pm. £5.
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Evening
Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord - St. Cuthbert's Centre, Church Hill, Crook DL15 9DN. 7:30pm.
Matt Roberts Sextet - Voodoo Café, Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 8pm. £6. 01325 467555. Darlington Jazz Festival.
Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7:00pm.
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Lazy River Jazz Band - Blenkinsopp Castle Inn, Nr. Greenhead CA8 7JS. 8pm. £5. Dancers welcome! 07721 375278 for more details.
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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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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