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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.

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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