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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.

Friday, September 20, 2013

CD Review: John Abercrombie Quartet - 39 Steps.

John Abercrombie (gtr); Marc Copland (pno); Drew Gress (bs); Joey Baron (dms).
(Review by Lance)
Copland and Abercrombie go way back having played in a number of bands together starting with the Chico Hamilton Quartet some 40 years ago so this is no "Pleased to meet you, what shall we play?" session. Instead it's two guys familiar with each other's musical thinking which of course is important in a quartet containing two chordal instruments. Gress and Baron have also had long associations with Abercrombie and Copland's own bands so the scene was set fair for a meeting of kindred spirits.
As the album title implies several of the tracks are inspired by Hitchcock films - Vertigo, Spellbound, Shadow of a Doubt and 39 Steps. Like the films, the music is deep and mysterious, gently probing, asking questions, looking for answers and finding them. Abercrombie wrote 6 of the pieces, Copland 2, there's a collective improvisation and, wait for it, My Melancholy Baby! Take it from me it's like no other Melancholy Baby you've ever heard. A musical jigsaw with some pieces missing - love it!
Guitar and piano blend almost as one throughout with Gress playing counter lines and Baron punctuating with cymbal clashes, snare drum rolls and rhythmic patterns inspired by what's going on around him.
For someone who was once at the cutting edge Abercrombie has mellowed in a most delightful fashion. In his own words, "Along the way my playing has become both more free and more traditional." Indeed only on the collectively improvised Shadow of a Doubt does his freer side emerge and it's hardly a fire in a pet shop - not even a storm in a teacup!
Copland too, once the wildman of the electric saxophone, is now a deeply contemplative pianist patterned in the Bill Evans school of explorative improvisation.
Another gem from ECM - Without a Shadow of a Doubt!
The CD by the John Abercrombie Quartet - 39 Steps is due for release by ECM on Sept. 23 Ref ECM 374 2710.
Lance.

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