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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie McLean: “I can't understand British audiences. In Britain there doesn't seem to be any curiosity." (Melody Maker, April 1, 1961).

Charles Mingus: "It seems to me that if our records were not issued in Britain, the British cats would have to think for themselves" (Jazz News, July 26th 1961)

Archives.

Today Tuesday July 25

Evening
Misha Mullov-Abbado Sextet - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane NE25 5DW. 8pm. Free.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. £10 & £8. JNE gig.
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Maine Street Jazzmen - Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond Ave., Newcastle NE2 3EX. 8:30pm. £5.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, July 21, 2014

CD Review: Tommaso Starace Quartet - Italian Short Stories.


Tommaso Starace (alt/sop); Michele Di Toro (pno); Attilio Zanchi (bs); Tommy Bradascio (dms) + Paolo Fresu (tpt/flg - 4 tracks).
(Review by Lance).
After writing yesterday in favour of American jazz, along comes this one from Italy that compares favourably with just about anything I've heard Stateside in recent years.
Subtitled "Plays the photos of Gianni Berengo Gardin", Starace's inspiration is the black and white photos of internationally renowned Italian photographer Gardin.
Those who heard Starace and Di Toro at the JNE promoted gig at The Chilli in May 2011 will know that quality is the name of the game here, even if it is totally different from that momentous evening.
The melodic content is high with each photo providing the spark for composition and improvisation by Starace. Indeed listening whilst viewing seems to bring the photos alive. The couple dancing to an old phonograph at the Lido of Venice in Recollection could be dancing in your living room. In The Bubble Vendor, the bubbles drift upwards helped by Starace's soprano which has an almost clarinet-like purity of sound with Di Toro assisting their flight.
Motion in Stillness depicts a priestly like figure clad in his robes of office next to a blurred image of maybe carousers or card-players sitting round a table. The motion comes again from the soprano, the stillness, the breaks in between.
Ravel's Waltz is pure romanticism. The alto sax perfectly capturing the moment two lovers kiss in the Piazza San Marco.
Let The Magic Begin brings the muted trumpet of Fresu into the musical picture adding a piquancy to the photo of some fairground entertainment. Olivetti's Touch is a picture of a clown and Di Toro gives out with the stride piano whilst Starace darts around slipping in an off-key note purely for effect - and it is effective!
Jamme! opens discordantly as befits the picture of two men and child on a motor bike in Naples. Fresu and Starace blow some bop phrases here.
The Amused Gypsy Girl has two sheep rubbing noses watched by the girl and depicted with an up tempo blast by the two horns.
These are just some of the fourteen shots that inspire the 4/5 musicians. Believe you me the whole album is such that the above rhetoric could be dispensed with and simply replaced by Ti amo!.
And this applies to Gianni Berengo Gardin as well as the musicians.
Lance.
PS: Listen to Fresu's flugel on Ravel's Adagio Assai from Piano Concerto in G Major (Cover photo).

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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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