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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.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

CD Review: Soweto Kinch - The Legend of Mike Smith


Soweto Kinch (rap vocals, alto & tenor saxophones, Fender Rhodes, all beats & programming), Shabaka Hutchings (tenor saxophone & clarinet), Jay Phelps (trumpet), Karl Rasheed-Abel (all live double bass), Graham Godfrey (all live drums), Julian Joseph (piano), Cleveland Watkiss (vocals), Eska Mtungwazi (vocals), Rachel Maby (vocals, all interludes)
(Review by Russell).
Soweto Kinch - urban musician, Oxford graduate in Modern History - has produced an ambitious work with the release of The Legend of Mike Smith
A double CD featuring a core band of musicians and a cast of characters tells the story of an aspiring rap artist in a world of ‘corporate suits’ seeking to exploit the underground talent of the eponymous hero is one facet of a project developed over several years in conjunction with Jonzi D. The scale of the work is impressive incorporating dance, design, jazz, hip-hop and visual art. Kinch sees the work as being in development, evolving as it is seen and heard in performance and on CD over the coming weeks and months. 
The work is based around the Seven Deadly Sins with MC Smith portrayed by a double narrator (Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins incorporated the device); Kinch narrates Smith’s inner thoughts, brother Toyin Omari-Kinch is the voice of the protagonist. Kinch the rapper drives the narrative, programmed beats (drum ’n’ bass) and Bach chorales (!) infuse the entire work and the ‘live’ jazz element is of the highest order. 
MC Smith takes The Phone Call from the cynical industry professional offering him riches and the dye is cast. Our hero sets off in  search of a mic (The Golden Mic) and encounters numerous obstacles as he takes his first frustrating (and at times amusing) steps in the music business (Kinch has previously spoken of his War in a Rack - a struggle against the industry’s pigeon-holing of his music). Road Block showcases the band’s blistering jazz credentials, Shabaka Hutchings (a BBC Radio 3 New Generation artist) plays big tenor on Tube Delays and Traffic Lights scream blindingly as altoist Kinch picks up the tenor. Trumpeter Jay Phelps and Julian Joseph (piano) shine on the ballad Vacuum and Joseph contributes to the tumultuous Sweeping Changes (stellar drumming from Graham Godfrey, Kinch on alto). Austerity, pizza chains, fat cats, the voiceless Palestinians, finance agreements, peddled cheap credit and the wealth gap are just some of the subjects referenced in a brilliant exposition on Avaritia. Will our hero resist? No matter, the band tear it up on Slam (put it on the iPod). Better Off Alone features Kinch rapping and playing tenor as Eska Mtungwazi’s excellent vocals -I’ll go my own way - suggest Smith should do it his way. Then more wonderfully dark, inventive lyrics on Superbia and The Dark Warrior Lord. Highlights are many; the tight combo playing on D’Urge is simply sublime drawing on American free jazz, Braxton, Dolphy and so much more. MC Smith survives Man’s Darkest Hour, experiences an Epiphany resulting in the joyous The Healing and The Bounce.
 Russell.
The Cast: Mike Smith: Toyin Omari-Kinch, Mike’s inner thoughts: Soweto Kinch, The Sage: Jonathan Owen, Kate Advo (A+R): Tessa Walker, Muse 1: Yvette Harris, Muse 2: Jonzi D, The Choir: Rachel Maby, Buzzy Sparxx: Dominic ‘Silverchet’ Davids, Taxi Driver: Joel Cottrell, Police Man in ‘Pressure’: Tony Platt, Bajan Tube Announcer: Jonzi D, Concierge: David Timothy, Waitress: Iza Coesak, Jada: Terri Facey, Jenni: Mimi Fresh, Dark Angel: Tyrone Huggins, Amusement Arcade Worker: Jonzi D, Koos: Tony ‘Jamo’ Morrison, Cynthia: Janine Small, Razor Sharp: Daniel Anderson.
Photography: Ben Amure, Album Design: D237, Illustrations: Daniel Isles, Soapbox Design. Producer: Tony Platt.
Soweto Kinch The Legend of Mike Smith is available on Soweto Kinch Recordings SKP003CD
Soweto Kinch will tour the project in collaboration with choreographer Jonzi D with a full staging of the work at the re-opening of Birmingham Rep on 12 September 2013. Kinch’s new trio - Shaney Forbes (drums) and bassist Karl Rasheed-Abel - will perform the music at this year’s Gateshead International Jazz Festival on Friday 5 April. A major event, be there.                  
                            


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