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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, June 02, 2013

CD Review: George Benson: Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole

George Benson (vocals); The Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, Conductor Randy Waldman;  Wynton Marsalis and Till Bronner (trumpets); Idina Menzel and Judith Hill (additional vocals)
(Review by Ann Alex)
I was fascinated to read in the CD insert that Nat King Cole actually started out as a jazz pianist and George Benson was originally a jazz guitarist (you probably all know this!).  Benson was born in 1943, just as Cole was starting to make it as a singer.  The CD is historically interesting for me as I remember, as a child, hearing Cole on the radio and absorbing the songs without realising that I was doing so.  I need hardly say that this is a very worthwhile compilation, with fine big band playing, short solos from trumpet, piano and, naturally, guitar. and very pleasing singing from Benson and the two ladies who join him for duets on some tracks.  Benson manages to stamp his own identity on these immortal songs without losing the spirit of the originals.
Blog readers will want to know exactly what is on a CD such as this.  It begins charmingly with a snatch of a young George Benson, voice not yet broken, singing a snatch of Mona Lisa, which shows that this lad, as he was then, could sing expressively.  The CD continues with Just One Of Those Things; Unforgettable; Walkin’ My Baby; When I Fall In Love; Route 66; Nature Boy; Ballerina; Smile; Straighten Up And Fly Right; Too Young; I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter; Mona Lisa (grown up version)
I have a special interest in song lyrics, and there was plenty to notice.  Walkin’ My Baby evokes courtship as it was in the 1950s or so, when young people lived with their parents before marriage; I’d never listened properly to the words of Nature Boy before, it has an almost mythical quality; and I hadn’t realised that Route 66 was such an old song, and very evocative of the USA.  This latter track had an effective piano solo and an appropriate walking bass, or should I say a travelling bass.  And I wonder, was I imagining the band doing twisty pirouette rhythms on Ballerina?
I think Nat King Cole would have been well pleased with this tribute.
Release date is June 3 on Concord Records.  George Benson is on a world tour this year – see www.georgebenson.com/tourdates.
Ann Alex    

1 comment :

Jim Fay (on F/b) said...

I've always just thought of him as a pretty fair jazz guitarist, but he's not a bad singer either is he?

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