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Bebop Spoken There

Ben Williams: "Jaco [Pastorius] is almost like the Charlie Parker of the bass." - (DownBeat November 2018).

Dana Hall: "My philosophy is that everyone in the band is a drummer." - (DownBeat November 2018.)

Today Monday October 22

Afternoon.

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

?????

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

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Wayne Shorter 4tet /ACS @ Marseille Jazz Festival – July 23

ACS : Geri Allen (piano), Terri Lyne Carrington (drums), Esperanza Spalding (bass) 
WAYNE SHORTER 4TET:  Wayne Shorter (saxophone), Danilo Perez (piano), John Patitucci (bass), Brian Blade (drums).
(Review by JC)
After an entertaining (but hot) motorized meander through France, we arrived as planned at Marseille in time for Wayne Shorter’s appearance at the local jazz festival. Cooling down in an air-conditioned room overlooking the old port, the view from the window was very pleasant, even if there was no sign of a pork pie hat – neither Popeye Doyle’s nor the ‘Prez’.
Arriving at the venue by taxi, the Palais Longchamp had that quiet, understated elegance so typical of France, with a towering entrance of fountains, statues and pillars at least six stories high and curved staircases running up each side. We had expected something outdoors but not quite as grand as this and so had brought some bottles of water and bottles of wine. The smiling security at the gate were quite happy for us to bring in as much wine as we wanted but insisted that the tops were taken off all the bottles. When asked why, the mimed explanation was that they might be used as missiles (fair enough, but just imagine an open air gig in England where the audience would throw full bottles of alcohol at the stage).
Of course, we needn't have bothered bringing anything, as there were a variety of bars and stands selling every kind of food and drink. There was even an open-air silver service restaurant and champagne bar, unfortunately only available to VIPs, liggers and other hangers on. The concert area itself was more Glynebourne than Glastonbury with plenty of space for people to stretch out with chairs, tables and picnics. 
The gig was billed as a celebration of Wayne Shorter’s 80th birthday and the support band were identified as part of the process. This was the all-women jazz group of Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding, which I was looking forward to hearing. However, I found this set to be a disappointment, for although the three were clearly excellent musicians and soloed together in a complex manner, the music itself never really took off for me and a lot of the tunes sounded quite similar. Even the sound of the cicadas in the trees became a little repetitive and I don’t think that the continual clicking of the membranes in their abdomen is ever going to get them an ‘On the Outside ‘ gig, even in the insect jazz world.
So although the band seemed to be well received there were quite a lot of people around us lying flat out on the grass counting the stars or catching up on beauty sleep.
Another disadvantage of having a ‘support’ band was that it was now 11pm and still over 80 degrees, I could sense my accompanist getting a little fidgety and starting to dream of some shut eye in a nice cool bed.
However, I needn't have worried – the moment Wayne Shorter and the 4tet started playing everyone in the audience was gripped. This was exquisite music as each of the musicians listened closely to each other, sometimes joining in and adding something or else leaving spaces for their colleagues. For the first time I saw the value of having giant screens at a gig as the cameraman didn't just show a general view of the stage or an individual musician but focused in on the key board of the piano or Wayne Shorter’s hands on the keys of his saxophone so you could see musical ideas being worked out. Occasionally it focused on Shorter’s face, usually furrowed in concentration but occasionally giving a slight hint of a smile as he listened to some idea from one of the other band members. What he and the band played I don’t know but the music was beautiful and enthralling. A magical gig.
Fortunately, unlike the No. 27 bus, the Marseille metro was still running at one o'clock in the morning….
JC


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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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