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Bebop Spoken There

Curtis Stigers: “I’m a jazz singer. I’m not a saxophonist. When I stand in front of a band like the Danish Radio Big Band or Ronnie Scott’s, I usually tend to leave the instrument on the stand.” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Tamsin Austin, Director of Performance Programme, Sage Gateshead: “SummerTyne is our largest festival and we absolutely love it!” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Today Saturday July 22

Afternoon
SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017 - Sage Gateshead. Day two of three. Details. From 12 noon all day.
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Evening
Steve Glendinning (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
The Hookahs - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Big Chris Barber Band - Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. £21.50/£20.50.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

CD Review: Great Voices of Harlem - Gregory Porter, Mansur Scott, Donald Smith & Paul Zauner's Blue Brass

Gregory Porter, Mansur Scott (vcls); Donald Smith (vcl/pno/Rhodes); Paul Zauner (tmb); Barney Girlinger (tpt/flug); Klaus Dickbauer (alt/bs clt); Klemens Pilem (ten/alt fl); Martin Reiter (pno/Rhodes); Wolfram Derschmidt (bs); Howard Curtis (dms).
(Review by Lance).
The Gregory Porter name on the sleeve should be enough to have the fans scuttling to their nearest Amazon. The discovery that the great man only flies solo on three numbers may halt them in their tracks but it shouldn't. Even if Mr Porter had bought a ticket for Austria, and ended up in Crewe this would still be an important disc  - not least because it brings Mansur Scott and Donald Smith to a wider public.
Scott, 68, raised within a block of Minton's, spent a lot of time in prisons and detention centres and it shows in his singing - he's singing about life, about breaking rocks in prison (Doing Hard Time) and coming to terms with a stroke that left him completely paralysed down one side. You've never heard Stella By Starlight quite like this! You'll want to hear it again.
Smith, brother of renowned jazz/funk/soulster Lonnie Listen Smith, is another hidden Harlem gem - pianist, flautist and uniquely individual singer - My One and Only Love and Watermelon Man break away from  previous versions of these classics. Before the jury go out I think he'll cop for a plea bargain - the plea being originality.
Porter, Greg hadn't yet quite conquered the world when these tracks were recorded (2012) although he'd certainly crossed the Rhine. Superb versions of Moanin', Mona Lisa and Over The Rainbow along with a track where all three handle the vocal give a foretaste of what the world and Hoochie Coochie had in store!. 
The session took place at Stockerau in Austria, produced by trombonist Zauner, who also solos in a most appealing manner as do the other guys. Pilem's tenor brings to mind bygone German sax players such as Klaus Doldinger and Hans Koller (not to be confused with the pianist of the same name). Pilem plays nice flute too.
This one's going to be up there. Gregory on the brink of Greatness, Scott who should have been, and Smith, a truly unique talent. ****¾.
Great Voices of Harlem - Gregory Porter, Mansur Scott, Donald Smith is released on May 22. Distributed in UK by Discovery records.
Lance

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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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