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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.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

CD Review: Count Basie - Original Album Series

The Atomic Mr Basie (1957)*
One More Time (1958)
Count Basie Swings, Tony Bennett Sings (1959)
Chairman of the Board (1959)
Basie at Birdland (1961).
(Review by Lance).
OMG! Must check the calendar - it's either Xmas Day or it's my birthday! Unless my parents were lying, it's not but it sure feels like it!
Four albums by the most swinging band ever, plus one with a guy who could sing a bit, make this my album (box set) of the year. Sure the Ellington Band had more depth of colour, tonal textures etc. but even Gonsalves swinging his butt off at Newport 56 never got within an inch of this band for sheer excitement.
Most people will have one or more of these albums - me and everyone else has the Atomic which is surely the all-time greatest big band album (debate?) and the Bennett/Basie has been around in so many formats that it is easy to dismiss it as commercial fluff - far from it - Bennett and Basie establish the same rapport as the Count did with Old Blue Eyes. The other three albums I've heard over the years and it has to be said that they are on the same exalted plateau as the Atomic. Basie at Birdland has Jon Hendricks driving the crowd crazy with his vocalese/scatting on Whirly Bird. On the same disc Budd Johnson blows great tenor on Segue in C .
This was a band! Just look at the (collective) personnel - Newman, Jones, Culley, Snooky, on trumpets; Al Grey (which north east jazzer didn't just love Al?), Bennie Powell, Henry Coker, on trombones; the two Franks, Lockjaw (another north east fave), Marshall Royal, Billy Mitchell, Budd Johnson, Charlie Fowlkes, on reeds; and, of course, Basie on piano, Freddie Greene on guitar, Eddie Jones on bass and the flamboyant Sonny Payne on drums. The discs bring back so many memories of concerts at Newcastle City Hall and elsewhere.
How can anyone be less than ecstatic about music like this?
I recall seeing Basie at Newcastle's Odeon cinema. Earlier that day, I'd split up with a girl friend and the last thing I needed was sitting through a concert with an empty seat next to me. It only took the opening One O'Clock Jump (or whatever) for me to move on!
Yet another one of  Warner Jazz's magnificent original album series.
Amazon.
Lance.
*Atomic Mr Basie is a 1994 re-mastered version of the 1957 recording. I'm not sure why they do this as the sound is much warmer on the original vinyl. However, by messing about with the controls you can get it back to near enough the original sound!

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