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Bebop Spoken There

Jim Hall: "Won't play loud, can't play fast" - (From one of the great guitarist's business cards brought to our attention by Roly Veitch).

Joel Harrison: “It’s incredibly hard to play bebop on guitar, harder than on saxophone.” – (Jazz Times August 2015)

Today Wednesday June 28

Afternoon.
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Chris Sharkey Trio - Jazz Café. 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £5/Students free - voluntary donation.
Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:30pm. £3.00.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

CD Review: Thomas Maintz - Present

Thomas Maintz (electric/acoustic guitars); Scott Colley (bass); Jonathan Blake    (drums)
(Review by JC)
I am a big fan of jazz guitarists, particularly when they play acoustic guitar as well, and so was keen to listen to this album. Thomas Maintz is a Danish guitarist whose last album This is the Colour.. .released in 2009 garnered many positive reviews and was nominated for 'Best Danish Jazz Album' at the Danish Music Awards. This latest recording Present was made in New York with a couple of fine musicians, Scott Colley and Johnathan Blake.
Ten of the twelve tracks are written by Maintz, and the other two are Very Early by Bill Evans (which gets a rather meagre running time of 2.51) and If I Should Lose You by Robin/Rainger (allocated a more generous 6.58).
All the members of the trio are clearly excellent musicians and they give the album a highly polished quality. Maintz produces many melodic runs and plenty of warm chordal backing but only on some of the tracks did I feel that the music moved up a gear. One of the most successful is New York Butterfly where Maintz plays with more attack and the bass and drums demonstrate their jazz chops as well. The Bill Evans tune, Very Early, is another fine piece - short but perfectly formed - and Secret Hallway, which is dedicated to Jim Hall (who is clearly a big influence), has a rich mellowness and much of Hall's expressive qualities. Interestingly the bass player Scott Colley, has also played with Hall.
On the acoustic tracks, Maintz plays a baritone guitar, which the notes say 'gives the compositions a dark, warm sound' and this is undoubtedly true. The tone and texture of these tracks is delicious but the pacing is quite slow and sometimes I would have liked a more dynamic quality in the guitar playing.
Rightly, everyone in the trio gets plenty of opportunity to demonstrate their considerable musical abilities and Scott Colley embellishes many of the tracks with fine solo touches. But it is the drumming of Jonathan Blake that really stands out. No matter what is happening around him he continually produces a range of exquisitely timed and perfectly appropriate fills and trills, whizzes and fizzes, rings, dings and kerchings, bips, bops and bams which are constantly inventive and engaging.
Present is released by Beach Farm Records in collaboration with Gateway.
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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