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Bebop Spoken There

Michael Feinstein: “Fred Astaire is my favorite singer. To me, he was the perfect interpreter of American popular song.” – (Jazz Times December 2014).

Bud Shank: “Once I saw California – that was it, I stayed.” – (Jazz Journal May 1991)

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.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

CD Review: Mark Elf Returns 2014

Mark Elf (gtr); David Hazeltine (pno); Peter Washington (bs); Lewis Nash (dms); Steven Kroon (perc. on 1 track).
(Review by Lance).
The world is full of great jazz musicians and, sadly, some of these don't achieve the recognition they deserve beyond their own shores. Mark Elf may be just such an unsung hero - at least in the UK - despite a career that has included record dates with Ray Brown, Clark Terry and Ed Thigpen and appeared on stage with Dizzy, Jimmy Heath, Lou Donaldson and, no doubt, countless others.
This, his first recording in 8 years, was due to be made in 2012 but Super Storm Sandy* put that on hold after his home was flooded.
Fortunately, it all eventually came together resulting in this fine album with Elf playing my kind of guitar and ne'er a foot pedal in sight. Think Barney, Herb, Jim, Tal and you get the picture. Taste and class. Seven originals and three standards make for very enjoyable listening. The originals include a couple played on baritone guitar - an instrument I'm not familiar with but which Elf uses to great effect playing with an almost plucked cello-like tonality to create a unique sound. Having said that, it's his playing of the conventional jazz guitar that floats my boat. Such lucidity, lines that flow with apparent ease and, above all, a sense of swing that eludes many contemporary players whilst at the same time Elf's playing is not at all dated.
He shares the above qualities with his cohorts. Hazeltine, on Elf's A Little Diddy (based on Duke Jordan's Jordu) brings to mind some of John Lewis' looser work with MJQ. Washington and Nash lay down the foundation and Kroon's Latin percussion on Michelle's Mambo injects some chilli powder to the mix. Titillating is just that! How does the first line of People Will Say We're in Love (track 9 of 10) go? Oh yes I remember - Don't throw bouquets at me...
Take it from me that, if there is any justice in the world, the bouquets will be coming fast and furious!**
Lance.
*:Mark Elf's poignant composition The Sandy Effect is inspired by the storm that destroyed his home and many neighbouring communities. I can share the emotion on this one as a close friend of mine who lives down by the Jersey Shore had her life turned upside down during that period of devastation. The guitarist pours his soul into this one and rightly so.
**: Currently No 1 on the JazzWeek Charts.

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About this blog - contact details.

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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