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Bebop Spoken There

Miles Kington: "If the intake of alcohol fails to improve a jazz player's performance, why do jazz listeners think it improves their appreciation?" - (Jazz Express October 1982).

Barbara Jay: "My first gig was at the Astoria, Charing Cross Rd. It seemed like a den of iniquity to me. All the Soho girls were there and the gigolos with their old women paying them to dance..." - (Jazz UK May 2008.)

Archives.

Today Sunday February 26.

Afternoon.
Mark Williams (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
More Jam - Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm. Free.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. Blues jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
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Evening
Maine St. Jazzmen - Seaton Sluice Social Club, Collywell Bay Rd., Seaton Sluice NE26 4QZ. 8pm. £4.
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Shaun Henderson Band - Quakerhouse, Mechanics Yard, Darlington. 6pm. £5.
Jazz Jam - Empty Shop, 35c Framwellgate Bridge, Durham DH1 4SY. 7:30pm. Free.
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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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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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