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Bebop Spoken There

Ken Peplowski: I try to play the clarinet like a clarinet and not like a guy doubling on another instrument.– (Down Beat July 2004).

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James Morrison: “I’m not a trumpet player that doubles on flugelhorn. I’m a musician that plays trumpet, flugelhorn, euphonium and the rest. – (Jazz Journal January 1992).

Archives.

Today Friday January 20

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Monkseaton Arms, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
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Evening
Triggerlawross - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. Free.
Zoe Gilby/Mark Williams - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. 6pm Free. 0191 2331010.
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Graeme Wilson Quintet - Traveller's Rest, 2 West Auckland Rd., Cockerton, Darlington DL3 8ER. 01325 382576. 8:30pm. £6..
Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7:00pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

GIJF – Day Two: Andrew McCormack & Jason Yarde with the Elysian String Quartet

Andrew McCormack (piano), Jason Yarde (alto & soprano saxophones), Emma Smith (violin), Jennymay Logan (violin), Charles Cross (viola) & Laura Moody (cello)
(Review by Russell)
Pianist Andrew McCormack and Jason Yarde (reeds) established their duo partnership some six years ago and subsequently visited Gateshead to perform at the Old Town Hall. This festival engagement previewed material written for a new CD project working with the Elysian String Quartet. Hall Two at Sage Gateshead regularly stages classical chamber music concerts and the intimate tiered space engaged musician and audience in an absorbing one hour set.

McCormack and Yarde introduced their compositions in an informative, informal manner, emphasising the collaborative element of jazz and contemporary  new music. The Elysians specialise in the field of  ‘experimental’ or ‘new’ music (they have worked with Polar Bear). Improvised sections notated in the score freed the string players from time to time as McCormack and Yarde, the natural improvisers, developed ideas. The composers – the jazz players – conducted with little more than a nod of the head. An enterprise such as this could only work – and it did – with exceptionally talented musicians being fully committed to it.
A feature of the performance was the musicians’ clear enjoyment in performing the music. Yarde created labyrinthine solos (alto and soprano), somehow finding his way out of the maze, McCormack and the Elysians with him all the way. McCormack’s compositions – typically percussive new-jazz/non-jazz repeated motifs – heard the Elysians immersed in dense note clusters, the tension released with a change of direction by, variously, one of the violins (Emma Smith and Jennymay Logan) or Charles Cross’ viola or the expressive cello playing of Laura Moody.
Jason Yarde, a born communicator, looked across the auditorium and asked: How about some audience participation? Yeah was the overwhelming response (it should be stated that some of us, the minority, do not go to jazz gigs to have a good time!) and it took the form of members of the audience calling out a note. D said one, G said another, E and so on. Then a number…9 (McCormack looked askance!), 2 said another. Okay said Yarde. The sextet would now create an instant composition based upon keys and time signatures as suggested by the audience! McCormack and Yarde would do it, no doubt about it. The Elysians? They too did it, consummate musicians all. How they did it is beyond mere mortals (McCormack would shortly return to the stage to play sensational swinging piano with Jean Toussaint – see LL’s review). Viola player Charles Cross was a late dep in the Elysians’ line-up. He read his part off the page. Top man Mr Cross! The McCormack-Yarde creative partnership would appear to have much mileage left in it. It will be interesting to see which direction they have taken the next time they park the tour bus at Sage Gateshead.

Russell.

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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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