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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

Archives

Today Friday September 22

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Day one of three.
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Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
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Zoe Gilby Quartet - Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1pm. £5.
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Evening
Kentucky Cowtippers - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Sean Noonan: Memorable Sticks - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £8/£6.
Backyard Rhythm Orchestra + Monkey Puzzle - o2 Academy, Newcastle. Doors 6:30pm. Curfew 10pm.
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Dave Newton & Dean Stockdale - Traveller's Rest, 2 West Auckland Rd., Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. 8:30pm. £10.
Smokin' Spitfires - Forum Music Centre, Borough Rd., Darlington DL1 1SG. 7:30pm. £10.
Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CD Review: Steve Heckman Quintet - Search For Peace.

Steve Heckman (ten/bar); Howard Alden (gtr); Matt Clark (B3); Marcus Shelby (bs); Akira Tana (dms).
(Review by Lance).
It's a couple of years now since I heard Howard Alden down at Boisdale. I was impressed then and I'm equally impressed hearing him on this disc particularly alongside his fellow travellers.
Heckman's a relatively new name to me but his modern/mainstream tenor (2 tracks on bari*) style gels perfectly with the ace guitarist.
How refreshing it is to hear players who can work the changes without resorting to histrionics - players who know a melody when they hear one.
And what melodies! Not Porter/Gershwin/Kern/Berlin etc but, with the exception of Vernon Duke's Autumn in New York* and Heckman's own Hangin' at Slugs, the other 7 pieces are all composed, not by Tin Pan Alley guys, but by jazzmen of great merit. Thus, we have Fungii Mama (Blue Mitchell); Grantstand (Grant Green); Search For Peace (McCoy Tyner); Pannonica (Monk); Hi-Fly* (Randy Weston);  Melody For C (Sonny Clark); Spiral (Coltrane).
All terrific heads that hook you from chorus one and in this respect Heckman's Hangin' at Slugs more than holds it own.
His playing has been paralleled with such as Dexter Gordon and Hank Mobley and I'll go along with that. His baritone playing on Autumn is sumptuous and luxuriant like a glass of vintage Madeira savoured alongside a Tiramisu dessert.
Alden has, of course, long been heralded as the natural successor to such as George Van Eps and his use of the 7 string guitar adds credence to this. (I'd be interested to hear from others on the merits of the extra string).
Matt Clark keeps pace on the good old Hammond B3, Shelby frees him from the pedals and Tana lives up to his reputation as someone who could swing the Dead March in Saul should the occasion demand it.
Steve Heckman Quintet - Search For Peace is available on Jazz Media JM 1069.
Lance.

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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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