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Bebop Spoken There

Danny Gatton: "I was tired of playing in beer joints. I wanted to do something tangible like building cars. But once you do music it gets into your blood. You can get away from it for awhile but sooner or later it comes back to you." - (Down Beat April 1991).

Tal Farlow: "There were times when I would stop [playing guitar] and do sign painting." - (Downbeat December 5, 1963)

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Today Wednesday August 23

Afternoon
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
New Orleans Jazz at the Village Hall - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.
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Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Billy's Acoustic Blues - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free (weekly).
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

DVD Review: Fred Hersch - My Coma Dreams

Michael Winther (actor/singer); Fred Hersch (pno); Ralph Alessi (tpt); Adam Kolker (reeds); John Hébert (bs); John Hollenbeck (dms) + string quartet inc. Joyce Hammann (vln/vla); Dave Eggar (cello).
(Review by Lance).
Jazz/theatre filmed live at Columbia University and released in Honour of World's AIDS Day (Dec. 1) with all proceeds going to the Benefit Treatment Action Group.
The story involves a renowned jazz musician with HIV/AIDS, in near-fatal septic shock, who is rushed by his partner to Manhattan's St. Vincent's Hospital where doctors place him in a medically induced coma. Over the next two months, he enters a highly personal dream world, full of vivid experiences of confinement and release, of surreal comedy and ineffable beauty. Meanwhile, his partner fights through panic and despair to try to reach out to him across the gulf of conciousness, while negotiating the real world complexities of his medical care.
That's the plot folks.
It may sound a bit heavy and indeed it is at times. However, there are lighter moments such as the meetings with various different consultants who are invariably called away to the phone at vital moments leaving the partner no further forward. Another dream has him in a cage alongside Thelonious Monk who's in a seperate cage - they have to compose a tune in the shortest possible time. It's bizarre, but it's also deeply disturbing, it gives the listener/viewer much to think about.
Herch was inspired to create this piece of jazz/theatre after being in a two-month coma back in 2008 and the suite is based on eight dreams he remembered.
The music is something else. Hersch is a soulful pianist - he's also a swinging one and one helluva a composer/arranger drawing the best out of his carefully chosen ensemble.
Winther plays both characters acting/narrating and singing.
In truth, this is something far beyond anything I've reviewed in the past or are likely to in the future. Why? Because it's unique.
I've probably not done it the justice it deserves and, whilst I doubt I'll be giving it to anyone as a Christmas present I know I will be playing it over and over until I fully grasp the more profound moments that may have escaped me.
Available on the Palmetto label November 25, 2014.
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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