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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Blues

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Thursday, March 14, 2013

CD Review: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra - In The Spirit of Duke.

Tommy Smith (ten/md); Ru Pattison (alt/sop/clt); Martin Kershaw (alt/clt); Konrad Wiszniewski (alt/ten/clt); Bill Fleming (alt/bar/bs. clt/clt); Ryan Quigley, Cameron Jay, Tom McNiven, James Marr (tpt); Chris Grieve, Phil O'Malley (tmb); Michael Owers (bs. tmb); Brian Kellock (pno); Calum Gourley (bs); Alyn Cosker (dms).
There will be few better records than this released this year - or any other year! SNJO, led by Tommy Smith and recorded live on their 2012 Scottish tour, pay homage to Duke and, in doing so, somehow manage to put their own stamp on it. The material ranges from the 1920's Creole Love Call, featuring a clarinet trio, Tom McNiven growling like Bubber on Black and Tan Fantasy to more contemporary material such as selections from the, at the time, controversial Peer Gynt Suite. In the Hall of the Mountain King, Anitra's Dance and Morning Mood are the works chosen and I'm sure Greig would appreciate these versions as well as the originals.
Le Sucrier Velous, Sunset and the Mocking Bird and The Single Petal of a Rose are from The Queen's Suite. The latter being a gorgeous duet between pianist Brian Kellock and tenorist/leader Tommy Smith.
The Queen's Suite was written after Duke met Queen Elizabeth II at a Leeds Festival in 1958. Only a single pressing was made and Duke sent it to HRH. Tommy Smith's theory is that Ellington fell madly in love with the then 32 year old Queen. It was never released commercially during Ellington's lifetime.
In between the early and later stuff there is, naturally, lots from the late 30's and the 1940's Famous Orchestra. Ryan Quigley is at his most feline on Rockin' In Rhythm, Jack The Bear, Ko-Ko, Prelude to a Kiss, Daybreak Express, Concerto for Cootie, Harlem Airshaft and Sepia Serenade. Throughout, Kellock carries off the Ducal roll with distinction - never more so than in Kinda Dukish - but the wailing choruses a la Gonsalves by Tommy Smith on Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue coupled with Quigley's explorations into the stratosphere make for a fitting finale to a great disc.
If ever they do another Scottish tour, I'll don kilt and tam o'shanter, eat haggis, drink Johnnie Walker and Tak the High Road... Or maybe I'll just board the East Coast Train to Edinburgh (Do East Coast do an A Train I wonder?)
Why should I buy this when I've got the originals you may ask? Good question. 
1) Well, it's anything from 40 - 90 years >< and recording techniques have improved amazingly.
2) The Ellington Band were never the most precise of outfits (albeit that was part of their charm for some - less so for others).
3) SNJO do such a brilliant job of adding their own nuances, both ensemble-wise and solo-wise, that one complements the other.
Lance.
Scottish National Jazz Orchestra - In The Spirit of Duke. Released on Spartacus STS 017 on March 13. Order here.


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