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Bebop Spoken There

Alicia Hall Moran: “I would go to hear Jason's band play and I'd say "Y'all hot!" But they came out wearing these casual, saggy outfits, putting music out with these not-attractive outfits like they were going on interviews for jobs they didn't want.” – (DownBeat May 2018).

Shabaka Hutchings: “You have to get the funding to come here [New York], and then there's getting the proper visa to play, which costs more than we get paid.” – (DownBeat May 2018).

Today Friday April 20

Afternoon

Emma Fisk & James Birkett - Gala Theatre, Durham, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 1:00pm. £5.00. SOLD OUT!

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

Evening

Alice Grace Trio - Ushaw College, Durham DH7 9RH. Tel: 0191 373 8500. 7:30pm. 7.00.

Ubunye - Frosterley Village Hall, Front Street, Frosterley DL13 2QW. Tel: 01388 526632. 7:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs., ££5.00. child, £25.00. family).

Memphis Cruisers - 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.

Monday, July 03, 2017

George Benson @ Scarborough Open Air Theatre - July 1.












(Review by Steve T)
For years I've longed for someone worth the effort to play this open air theatre. I'd always thought, if anybody, it would be Santana, but when Benson was announced, it was that expression number one wife hates, a no brainer.
It doesn't feel like a six thousand capacity venue and there were plenty of empty seats but far more occupied. As at Sage Gateshead last year, there was a mix of those who think he arrived with the Breezin’ album and those who think it began with his collaboration with Quincy Jones et al, just four years later. The difference was at the Sage it was a 90/10 split, while here it was more 990/10.
A bold finger up then to open with Affirmation from Breezin’ but a joy for me, having all but missed it at the Sage trying unsuccessfully to obtain a decent photo for my review.
Once the crowd realised it wasn't one of the sing-alongs, they reverted to their conversations, imbibing, eating, trips to the loos, the bar etc. 'I don't get the guitar solos', a neighbour said to me. 'One of the greatest of all time' I offered, but he didn't seem convinced. 
A few hits: Love X Love, In your Eyes and Turn your Love Around before the crowd lost interest again during Mambo Inn until he started singing half way through.
Breezin’ was the high point but even this was met with indifference, despite its inclusion on every compilation/ best of/ greatest hits package. Written by Bobby Womack, for a few short minutes I was there.
He introduced the newest member of the band, a lady doing some serious stuff on percussion and adding some proper backing vocals. She joined him for a duet he described as one of those old standards which turned out to be Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway Where is the Love - how times have changed - a song ideally suited to his voice.
Love Ballad, an LTD original, was the hit from the album prior to Give me the Night but people still seemed to know it and it was a welcome addition not featured at the Sage. Unsurprisingly, Give me the Night brought the park down.
With half an hour to go,

I couldn't think what else he had to play beyond Greatest Love of All. I'd forgotten Never Give up on a Good thing, or more likely conflated it with Turn your Love  Around, and forgotten This Masquerade, possibly because he hadn't played it at the Sage, so another welcome addition. Inexplicably I'd forgotten On Broadway and we were mercifully spared Greatest Love, which must have been a real blow for the majority, though most seemed like they'd had the night of their lives.
Until he goes back to Jazz and includes stuff like Take Five (his live version my favourite version); as long as Breezin’ continues as his starting point - at the time the biggest selling Jazz album in the world - how times have changed - whether he's doing Jazz-funk, soul, disco, pop or MOR, he's a class act.
Steve T.
Note: George Benson's concert at Ronnie Scott's tomorrow night (July 4) is streamed live at 10:15 UK time.

2 comments :

Russell said...

Steve, if the shows weren't sold out (tickets ranging from £300 to £375 were offered to, and snapped up by, members of Ronnie Scott's at the discounted price range of £240 to £300) you could hear the man tomorrow night in a proper jazz club! A bargain!

Steve T said...

Many argue Ronnie's is no longer a proper Jazz club and it's certainly something of a tourist attraction. I believe he just does the same stuff at Jazz Festivals so I'd rather see him in my favourite British holiday resort.

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.

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