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Bebop Spoken There

Kenny Dorham: "Diz has on a green job with low vents. The upturned horn has a silver bell. That gives us green on silver on black-and-yellow socks. Wow!" - (Down Beat June 15, 1966).

Cécile McLorin Salvant: “I am one of the unfortunate users of Spotify – which is not great for us musicians. I use it because it’s so easy to pick up anything you want anywhere…” (Jazzwise August 2014).

Bebop Spoken There Archives.

Today Friday August 1

Afternoon.
RENDEZVOUS JAZZ - Black Horse, Monkseaton. 1pm. Free.
Classic jazz.
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Evening.
ALAN GLEN TRIO - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. £5/£3 (before 8.30pm.).
More great piano jazz at The Caff from THE MASTER. John Pope on bass and Mike Humble on drums. Mike is a long time associate of Alan's as well as working with Martin Taylor in the guitarist's early days.
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HILDY HARLAND - The Place, Athenaeum St., Sunderland. 8pm. £6.60. 0191 5106171.
Emerging vocal talent.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Keith Jarrett - Royal Festival Hall, London - Monday 25th February 2013 (warning - this review may contain references to flash photography)

Keith Jarrett (piano)
(Review by JC.)
Some time in the early 1980s, I travelled right across London on a dark, wet night to the Royal Festival Hall on the off chance that I might pick up a ticket for that night's Keith Jarrett concert - no chance! When people have tickets for one of his solo performances they go, I thought to myself as I struggled back through London in the rain. So, while traversing the internet one night recently and happening to see he was to appear at the RFH and that tickets were to go on sale at 10am the following morning, I broke the habits of a life time and was sitting at my computer at 9.50am with the RFH web page open and the phone at the ready. I was delighted to get through on the web page at about 2 minutes past 10 but then less so when I saw that about half the seats were already gone - how does that happen? However, based on my early experience, I bought a ticket, leaving the logistics of getting to London and back to Newcastle the following morning for a meeting at 10am to a later date.
I hadn't been in the RFH for quite a while and I had forgotten what a great modernist building it is.  The curved cantilevered boxes on each side reach out into the hall like the open drawers of a bureau and the tiered auditorium looked great as it filled up with fans. There was a palpable sense of excitement in the air.
The support act was someone from the promoters Serious, who came on stage and asked for all mobile phones to be turned off and then initiated a John Cage like moment by saying 'Mr Jarrett would appreciate if there was no coughing or other noise during his performance'. Inevitably, this was followed by about 4' 33" of improvised coughing from the audience.
However, the arrival of 'Mr Jarrett' was greeted with extended applause and he turned towards the hall and bowed to the audience - twice. As he went towards the piano he muttered to himself 'I've never bowed twice before - Hmmm'. So something special was in the offing.
The first item was an intense improvisation, which was followed by a Spanish tinged piece with full Jarrett effects. I was seated on the first floor looking directly down on the piano keyboard, so got a full view of him standing up, shaking his head (and other parts) and stamping his feet as the tune developed.
He was in very chatty form, some of which was hard to hear from my vantage point, but he did ask the audience if there was any chord they would like him to play and then rambled on about the piano being bigger than usual. The gig was developing a surreal fascination.
He then launched into wonderful boogie driven piece followed by a gloriously lyrical free improvisation which left everyone gasping as the first set ended.
The second half carried on as the first had ended. Another boogie influenced piece with lots of body movement and then an avant-garde classical improv with extended vocalese. This was followed by some more beautifully lyrical piano playing, that had the hall entranced. Then a version of Summertime, which recaptured the beauty of the tune (and even you would have loved, Lance). Another piece with a contemporary classical feel led into a really swinging groove.
At the end of the set there was wild applause and true to form KJ preceded his many encores with a set piece 'rage against the machine' (or electronic device, in this case). This had been a running theme throughout the evening, but you got the sense that although it still bugs him he is resigned to it being a feature of concerts wherever he goes. More in sorrow than in anger he railed against the few people taking photos in the audience saying 'How can using a little electronic device be more important that 64 years studying an instrument?' (Yes, he did start playing when he was three years old). However, I am with him on this and can't bear the ubiquity of mobile phones in all situations.
Then, rant over, he played numerous encores, each one followed by standing ovations and much bowing.  A wonderful Miss Otis Regrets, a riproaring blues and a glorious ballad.
A unique and fabulous concert and well worth a night in the most spartan hotel I have ever stayed in. I asked for an early morning call to be told there were no phones in the rooms, not only that but there was absolutely nothing in the bedroom apart from a bed and a tiny piece of soap. According to the Daily Mail most prisons have better facilities, and this was a national chain (with the letters T and L in its name).
JC
ps - BSH jokes that Keith Jarrett might have played at the Bridge, the Cherrytree or sundry other places in the North East instead of the RFH but something even more unlikely is a note on the Keith Jarrett unofficial web site (keithjarrett.org) that he might have played at the Fox Inn in Asbourne, Co. Meath in Ireland in 1971 for a week! I was still living in Dublin at that time and we would have been camping inside the pub all week if that was true.

3 comments :

  1. Does he still make awful noises that are a cross between farmyard animals and excited monkeys that totally detract from his playing?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wouldn't say it detracts from his playing, actually it's inspiring how involved and dedicated to the music he is. KJ's music is not for the easily-distracted, so if some errant vocalising puts you off, you might prefer some pop music.

    ReplyDelete

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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.)
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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