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Bebop Spoken There

Ben Williams: "Jaco [Pastorius] is almost like the Charlie Parker of the bass." - (DownBeat November 2018).

Dana Hall: "My philosophy is that everyone in the band is a drummer." - (DownBeat November 2018.)

Today Saturday October 20

Afternoon

NYJO + Tees Valley Youth Big Band - Middlesbrough Town Hall, Albert Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2QJ. Tel: 01642 729729. 3:00pm. £12.00. Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender.

Evening

Big Chris Barber Band - Middlesbrough Town Hall, Albert Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2QJ. Tel: 01642 729729. 7:30pm. £15.00. Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender.

Dinosaur - Middlesbrough Town Hall, Albert Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2QJ. Tel: 01642 729729. 10:00pm. £12.00. Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender.

Smokin’ Spitfires - Scarth Hall, 5 South Green, Staindrop DL2 3LD. 7:30pm.

The Hookahs - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chucho Valdes & The Afro-Cuban Messengers + Ibrahim Maalouf @ The Barbican.

Chucho Valdés (pno), Mayra Valdés (vcl), Lazaro Alarcon (bs), Juan Castro (dms), Yaroldy Robles (perc), Dreiser Bambolé (bata drum/vcl), Carlos Hernandez (ten), Reinaldo Alvarez (tpt/flg).
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Ibrahim Maalouf (tpt), Nenad Gajin (gtr), Frank Woeste (Rhodes), Xavier Roger (dms), Benjamin Molinaro (bs).
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They stood up and applauded wildly and justifiably so. If one man and one band deserved a standing ovation it was Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers.
This was Harlem meets Havana - a Cuban Jazz Carnival.
The two horns provided the Messenger content and both would have been at home in any of Art Blakey's ensembles. They dug in and blew hard bop over the most pulsating rhythm section I'm ever likely to hear. In Hernandez you have tenor player who can hold his head high with the best of them - eat your heart out Mr Lloyd!
Alvarez too could swing as well as being beautifully lyrical on flugel.
The various percussionists gave the beat and a lot more conjuring up a variety of sounds from their armoury.
As for the leader well, he simply held it all together as well as chipping in with some wildly extravagent and exciting solos. Mayra Valdés was used sparingly revealing a powerful and emotive voice but it was Bambolé who took most of the vocals in-between Bata drumming.
It was great night as I knew it would be from the moment Alarcon kicked things off with a pizzicato bowed bass solo. Earlier on the French Arabian trumpet player's quintet got the ball rolling with a set that was, by his own admission more rock than jazz. Strangely, a section of the audience applauded that announcement!
Ibrahim Maalouf is a good trumpet player with a big fat sound and a band that at times really did rock the rafters - if they have rafters at the Barbican. However, there were too many deep reflective moments for my personal taste. Nevertheless the crowd liked it so who am I to complain?
A fitting and satisfactory end to my mini London Jazz Festival
On the free stage the Younger Zen (pictured right) had set the ball rolling with a brilliant set. Wade Austin (steel pan), Konrad Foster (bs. gtr), Siemy Diengue (dms). Playing sax in the Chilli Road Band, as I do, I thought I knew a bit about steel pans but never had I heard them played like this! Wade Austin plays runs that any sax, trumpet, guitar player would be proud of - if they could manage them! Add chords and contrapuntal lines and he becomes a keyboard/vibes player - amazing! I just wished the steel panners of my acquaintance could have been here!
Lance.

2 comments :

Ron A said...

I agree 100% with you Lance, as you know I'm a great Chucho fan and attended the very same concert at the Barbican on Thursday gone.Having visited Cuba earlier this year (including a couple of nights in a Havana Jazz Club) we could not wait to hear those fantastic cuban sounds again, being played live that is!
The solo piano he played was absolutely astounding,the band was exceptional and it was one of the best concerts I am are likely to experiance. I never understood why Chucho avoided my jazz listening radar until about 4 years ago!Such a talent!!!!!!!

Ron Ainsborough

Lance said...

Hey Ron wish I'd known you were there - it was quite amazing.

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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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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 all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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