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Bebop Spoken There

Alan Luff: “The general view is that Ella’s songbook recordings are the supreme exemplars of sophistication, fine diction and creative voice in the wide field of popular music.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Steve Voce: “Most of us have been crashed into by cretins who walk along the road absorbed in the screens of their mobile phones.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Number 22!

Bebop Spoken Here is currently listed at number 22 in the WORLD JAZZ BLOG Rankings!

Today Thursday May 25

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone, Newcastle (ish) NE27 0DA. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Millstone, Haddricks Mill Rd., South Gosforth NE3 3DB. 7pm. Free.
Maine St. Jazzmen - Potters Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE. 8:30pm. 0191 4888068.
Dulcie May Moreno - Bar Loco, Leazes Park Rd., Newcastle NE1 4PG. 8pm? Free? 0191 2325871 to confirm times etc.
Ray Johnson/Richard Herdman - Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £5.
Babmus - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £3/£2 (students/MU).
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Doo Wop Dollies - Queen's Hall, Beaumont St., Hexham NE46 3LS. 8pm. £10. 01434 652477.
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Tees Hot Club w. Richie Emmerson (tenor); Kevin Eland (trumpet); Ted Pearce (keys); Mark Hawkins (drums) - Dorman's, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough. 9pm. Free.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - The Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees. 8:30pm.
Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Ship, Church Lane, Redmarshall, Stockton TS21 1EP. Free. 8:00PM.
Paul Skerritt Band - Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. 7pm. £25 (3 course meal inc.)
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

CD Review: Fini Bearman - Porgy and Bess.

Fini Bearman – voice, Matt Calvert – guitars, Ross Stanley – organ, piano, Wurlitzer, Jon Cox – bass, John Blease – drums, percussion.
(Review by Debra M.)
Fini Bearman’s second album Porgy and Bess is a reimagining of the Gershwin & DuBose Heyward opera ‘through the prism of the classic Miles Davis/Gil Evans’ album’, but clearly has many other influences too. She and her collaborators have interpreted the music quite differently to their predecessors, whilst maintaining the strength of the narrative.
Gone, Gone, Gone opens with a funereal drum roll, which transforms into a rocking lament for the deceased Robbins, with a passionate vocal from Bearman. The sombre mood continues with the reflective and despairing My Man’s Gone Now, a slow waltz with a country feel, inspired by Robert Plant’s & Allison Krautz’s Rising Sands.
There is light relief and a complete change in style with I Got Plenty of Nuttin’, which is given a swinging Rockabilly treatment, and features a fluid organ solo by Ross Stanley, rounded off  with relaxed vocal improvisation and a cracking drum groove to finish. In contrast, Bearman’s delicate, direct delivery of Porgy I’m Your Woman Now is beautifully supported by Matt Calvert’s plucked guitar.
It Ain’t Necessarily So is a Hendrix inspired bluesy rock number, well delivered, but possibly not the ideal treatment for such a light and witty lyric.  However, the mood is just right in I Loves You Porgy, with atmospheric guitar and cymbals augmenting an initially tentative and then heartfelt vocal.  The story draws to a close with There’s A Boat That’s Leaving, which is laid back & groovy, and has a powerful soul infused vocal , and an uncharacteristically  straight ahead jazz guitar solo from Matt Calvert. The relaxed vibe & potential to swing is tempered by the drummer Blease’s on the beat emphasis, possibly a deliberate echo of the sombre backdrop in earlier tracks. 
The album ends with the freely improvised Prayer (Summertime), bearing no resemblance to Gershwin’s overused classic; it has an ethereal, quiet beginning, which the ensemble develops and expands in support of the liberating, wordless vocal climax.  Apparently, there was some debate as to whether to include this track, but their contemporary approach impressively evokes the themes of oppression and loss, love and hope, a demonstration of how this work has inspired generations of musicians.
Debra M.

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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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