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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)

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Today Wednesday August 23

Afternoon
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
New Orleans Jazz at the Village Hall - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.
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Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Billy's Acoustic Blues - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free (weekly).
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sean Noonan & the Suwalki String Quartet @ The Bridge Hotel. November 17

Sean Noonan (drums & vocals), Adam Roszkowski (violin), Afan Asjew (violin), Magda Malecka (viola) & JanRoszkowski (cello)
(Review by Russell/Photo by Ken Drew). 
Odd ball New Yorker Sean Noonan returned to the Bridge Hotel with a string quartet in tow. Drums and strings…the writing had to be on the outside and it was. Noonan wrote the music and lyrics. His storytelling took the form of narration rather than conventional singing. The narrative – A Gambler’s Hand – wove the strange tale of a man trapped in a wall (the wall of the Bridge Hotel, said Noonan). He, the man, broke free and travelled the world – perhaps in a dream, because, after all, he was trapped in a wall. We were in a dream, said Noonan. The audience believed him…well, some of us did.
Clad in boxer’s gown and shorts, the King of Kitsch called the shots, counting in the strings with no more than a stare and a nod. Filigree percussion flitted in and out of the strings, dancing like a butterfly, expertly evading the atonal sting of a fiddler’s elbow. Then with a nod and a stare, a stare and a nod, the man from Brooklyn put the hammer down (The Reincarnation of Several Hammers - John Henry style). The Hub may be in abeyance but Noonan has lost none of the explosive power heard in the NYC power trio’s numerous visits to Tyneside over a period of a decade or so. Razor-sharp drumming (Noonan’s forte) challenged the Suwalki Strings to read the dots and keep up with the pace. The American force-fed them Forced Meatballs – they appeared to like them! The violins did just that – Afan Asjew threw down a solo, winning applause and later Adam Roszkowski went on the counter attack putting his bandleader on the ropes. Cellist Jan Roskowski, hidden behind dark shades, played some dark material, the strings’ secure foundation. Magda Malecka (viola) added tonal contrast, the quartet perhaps heard to best effect when Noonan dropped out. Noonan didn’t sit on his stool for too long, metaphorically or literally. Ever busy, he covered the kit sitting or standing. The comic element emerged from time to time.
A Tommy Cooper – Les Dawson episode (probably lost on the American) required expert timing. Bouncing sticks off the snare, catching them, then, clumsily, not. A clutch of sticks spilled out over snare and toms, the actions of a bungling incompetent. Cooper the trickster, Dawson the pianist, they always pulled it off, the last laugh theirs. So too, Sean Noonan. Sticks gathered up, a brief drum master class concluded the sketch. The doubters were silenced. No they weren’t, they were applauding wildly! Noonan’s big hit – Drunkard Landlady – smeared boozy red lipstick across the audience. Was that a hint of garlic? Hey! Sean, give the lady what she wants! According to the man from Brooklyn she has taken up residence at the Bridge Hotel. Let me out of here!          
(Russell).

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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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