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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

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Today Tuesday September 26

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Black Bull, 98 Front St., East Boldon NE36 0SG. 1pm. Free. 0191 5365127. 2nd of 6 consecutive gigs. 2 mins from East Boldon metro.
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Evening
Maine Street Jazzmen - Royal British Legion, West Jesmond Ave., Newcastle NE2 3EX. 8:30pm. £5.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

CD Review: Gwyneth Herbert:The Sea Cabinet

Gwyneth Herbert (vocals, piano, ukulele); Fiona Bevan (vocals, guitar, piano); Dave Price (percussion, strings, piano, programming, backing vocals); Al Cherry (guitar, backing vocals); Sam Burgess (bass, backing vocals); Harry Bird (guitar, clarinet, piano, strings, backing vocals); Christophe Capewell (fiddle, accordion, piano, melodica, backing vocals); Tom Allen (trumpets); Ollie Parfitt (Moog); Jack Carr, Alex Carr, Robert Harder (additional mob chorus); Will Mcvay (chain); Brian Herbert (gramophone operator)
(Review by Ann Alex)
This show was recently performed at the Sage (see Lance’s review), so it is interesting for me to compare the CD with the live performance. This is not a jazz CD, but rather a concept album, all about a woman collecting debris from the seashore which arouses memories from her life and experience.  The music has elements of folk, jazz, music hall, and pop.  It’s obvious from the musical instruments and effects listed above that the sounds are cleverly constructed, especially those portraying the sea, sounds of waves and underwater mystery.  The live performance had the added attraction of an effective light show with lots of blue and green.  The songs have a strong narrative element, exploring different aspects of the sea and seaside life. 
The Regal gives us the sound of an old-fashioned tea shop;  Alderney portrays the German invasion of the Channel Islands in WW2, jackboots and all, and a mournful cry of ‘Alderney, remember me’; there are the bells and echoes from the drowned village of Dunwich; a pirate song; a drunken song from a tavern; an exploration of the story of red-petticoated women frightening away soldiers; beautiful singing on the track about the Lorelei myth; The King’s Shilling, about soldiers and sailors being press-ganged.  Thirteen tracks in all. With the CD you are given lots of explanation of what the album is about, which was missing from the live show, which must surely have confused some of the audience.  But with the CD you don’t get the benefit of the light show, and some of the drama is missed, such as the voice of the woman herself, talking about the objects which stimulate her memories.  The general ‘feel’ of the piece is mostly light-hearted and sometimes funny, a portrayal of a lonely but optimistic woman.
Gwyneth Herbert wrote this work as part of an artistic residency with Aldeburgh Music, during a week spent living in a cottage in Suffolk, whilst nursing a broken heart, so the CD insert tells us, which seemed to fit with the mood of some of the songs.  An enjoyable and interesting piece of work.
Released on 15th July 2013 on Monkeywood Records (Monkeywood002) 
Ann Alex.

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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.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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