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Bebop Spoken There

Roland Hanna: "To me, music is a sort of a help-mate for human beings to get through life with; it's a valve for us to release some of the pressure that builds up." - (Crescendo June 1980).

Rodney Whitaker: “I started playing jazz because a neighbor saw me carrying my upright bass home, and he made me know how important it was that I was part of a legacy – informed me about Paul Chambers and Ron Carter.” – (Down Beat November 2014).

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Today Monday November 24

JAZZ IN THE AFTERNOON - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
Classic Jazz, Raffles and a jolly afternoon.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

CD Review: Karen Mok: Somewhere I Belong


Karen Mok (vocals and guzheng); names of other musicians not given, instruments are: keys, guitar, sax, trombone, violin, bass, drums. (Review by Ann Alex)
This    This could well turn out to be my CD of the year.  Karen Mok, from Hong Kong, is said to be ‘one of the most successful Asian recording artists of all time’ and this is her début English-language album. The lady has already had 15 successful albums and has starred in over 40 films. 
Somewhere I Belong comprises; 7 jazz standards, 3 rock tracks 
jazzily, and 2 Chinese songs, of which 1 is self- penned.  The general feel of the album is intimate and seductive.  Ms Mok sings sweetly, enticingly and dramatically by turns, and on some tracks she plays a traditional Chinese guzheng, a large stringed instrument which has many tonal colours, sometimes sounding like an exotic sort of harpsichord.  The rest of the band are well-competent musicians, whom I guess are those worker bees of the musical world, session musicians, but I hope they’ll forgive me if they are all well known instrumentalists.  They contribute well, giving us effective short solos throughout the album.
Tracks which stood out include Stormy Weather, with brassy chords and guzheng indicating the storm, the sax representing sadness, and raindrops from the keys – such a clever arrangement.  Then there is the sheer fun of A Fine Romance, a fine Jerome Kern number, with such amusing words and period details of American daily life by lyricist Dorothy Fields. My absolute favourite was Moon Over Bourbon Street, which is a highly dramatic narrative, sung with an actor’s skill, with the sax, bass and keys creating a powerful moonlit atmosphere.  Ms Mok’s version of the rock song Wicked Game, shows off her wide vocal range.
I strongly recommend that BSH readers get on to YouTube immediately to watch the video of Karen Mok talking about the making of this album, with samples of the music.
The CD is released in the UK on March 11 on Decca Records.
Ann Alex 

1 comment :

  1. Love your reference to session musicians as "The worker bees of the musical world" - priceless Ann!

    ReplyDelete

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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.)
PS:I don't care what your political views are - you can love or hate Cameron, Clegg, Milliband, Farage, Genghis Khan or Julius Caesar - just don't air them here!
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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