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Bebop Spoken There

Grant Green Jr.: "One thing that most people--especially jazz cats--don't realise is that all of your jazz standards were once pop standards" - DownBeat July 2018).

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Bobby Sanabria: "Tito Puente was not a very tall man, but when he played the timbales he was a giant among men." - DownBeat July 2018).

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Today Saturday June 23

Afternoon

?????

Evening

Get in the Band - 1) Great North Museum (Hancock Museum), 2) Central Station & 3) Sage Gateshead. Times TBC. Free but ticketed. For details visit: www.sagegateshead.com

Eric Burdon & the Animals + Hilton Valentine’s Skiffledogs - Newcastle City Hall, Northumberland Road, Newcastle NE1 8SF. Tel: 08448 112121. 7:30pm. £86.00., £66.00., £46.00.

Teresa Watson Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Dean Stockdale - Zeffirellis, Compston Rd., Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9AD. 01539 433845. 8:30pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Leo Blanco @ Sage Gateshead July 5.

Leo Blanco (piano).
(Review by Lance).
A solo piano recital that defied definition although brilliant will do for starters. The tall, slightly greying, Venezuelan pianist nodded to the audience before sitting at the Steinway. It was a percussive start as Blanco got into his rhythm by stamping his feet, clapping his hands, slapping his thighs and having a few raps on the wood of the grand piano - it set up a groove for him  to start rolling.
And roll he did. From South America to Africa to maybe the Moon. This was a composition, like most of his repertoire, that crossed the genre. It was indefinable, impossible to pigeonhole, wait a minute, of course it's definable - it's Music!
Each piece featured multi rhythms, changes of mood - from fff bravura flourishes to ppp tenderness - Czerny on Tequila.
Occasionally an almost imperceptible smile fleetingly appeared as he executed some technically demanding phrase, almost as if he were saying, "I made it!"
The piano really is the greatest orchestra in the world and never more so than in this man's hands. The jazz content was maybe slight but who cared it was compulsive listening as thundering appassionata passages merged into melancholic tenderness.
Gateshead on a Sunday Afternoon was the title he gave to one piece although I'm sure I've heard it on YouTube with a different title! An improvised piece with a hint of Tea For Two and later Jeepers Creepers it again displayed his awesome technique. Dramatic, with strange, but not displeasing, harmonies it brought the first set to a close. Touchingly, he looked at the Steinway and applauded the magnificent shiny beast.
Apart from displaying his faultless technique Blanco also engaged the audience with odd bits of information eg; in Venezuela the cows are all given individual names!
A piece celebrating Afro/Peruvian music preceded an Arabic influenced composition that saw the pianist remove the music rack and produce some oud-like sounds from the piano strings before blowing up a desert storm on the 88 notes. This was wild then, suddenly, it mellowed  An oasis in the tempest or was it a mirage?
At times he appeared to be singing along with his phrases. we couldn't hear him but it was so well synced we didn't need to.
And then it was over and our heartbeats returned to near normal - it had been that sort of night.
Well done to The Sage and the Vamos! Festival for combining to produce such a memorable evening.
Lance.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Slightly greying?

Lance said...

Yeah I suppose there are degrees of greyness - I have passed the 'slightly' level! Who cares? it was what he did with the black and whites that counted.
Hope you enjoyed the concert.

Blog Archive

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

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

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