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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 Tuesday September 26

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Black Bull, 98 Front St., East Boldon NE36 0SG. 1pm. Free. 0191 5365127. 2nd of 6 consecutive gigs. 2 mins from East Boldon metro.
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Evening
Maine Street Jazzmen - Royal British Legion, West Jesmond Ave., Newcastle NE2 3EX. 8:30pm. £5.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

CD Review: Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden/Paul Motian – Hamburg '72

Keith Jarrett (piano, soprano saxophone, flute, percussion); Charlie Haden (double bass); Paul Motian (drums, percussion).
(Review by Hugh)
The Trio with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian was Keith Jarrett's first great band. This recording is of the trio playing live at NDR Funkhaus, Hamburg in July 1972. This concert was part of the first European tour for this trio, organised by ECM. Manfred Eicher returned to the original analogue sources 42 years later, remixing the music first recorded by NDR, together with engineer, Jan Eric Kongshaug. It is somewhat poignant that this work took place the day after Charlie Haden's death.
The CD has six tracks, coming in at just over 55 minutes in total. The first track, Rainbow, is composed by Margot Jarrett. It commences with Jarrett's solo piano. I thought I detected a cough (usually forbidden in Jarrett concerts!) from the audience early on in the recording, until I realised the sudden sharp release of breath was probably the man himself. He is joined later by Haden and Motian in a supportive role but subtly integral to the whole music – this is the trio at it's best.
The next four tracks are Keith Jarrett's own compositions. Everything that Lives Laments commences as a lively duo between Charlie Haden on bass and Paul Motian on percussive instruments that bear a striking resemblance to Swiss cow bells. This is overlain with the flute of Keith Jarrett, alternately blown conventionally and then vocalised through. This is a strange kind of jazz, and to some perhaps not even music. Approximately two-thirds of the way into the piece the Alpine scene develops broader vistas as the Jarrett's sweeping pianism takes over. We now enter the land of slow chord progressions with a gentle undercurrent provided by Haden's bass and Motian's drums.
Piece for Ornette initially features Jarrett on skilful soprano sax with vigorous rhythmic support from the bass and drums of his colleagues. This interplay continues for a full seven and one half minutes (the sweat is almost tangible!) before slowing to allow Haden's bass to come to the fore, with background support from Motian on drums. The piano does not feature in this track – but appears as the third track segues seamlessly into the fourth. Take me Back returns us to the more conventional trio format (with Jarrett on piano and grunts). Life Dance appears almost unannounced, again featuring the regular trio line-up. All three are on top form throughout.
By far the longest track on the CD, at just over 15 minutes is Haden's Song for Che and is Jarrett's only recording of this piece. Naturally the bass features prominently from the beginning, with improvisational interplay of piano, drums and various percussive instruments. Jarrett again takes to soprano sax, with a haunting melancholic quality at times offset by a more earthy, primaeval sound accompanying the rhythmic, almost African style drumming of Motian. According to the publicity, Song for Che has become a new jazz classic – I'm sure it may well have, but not in this version, I think!
When this CD arrived on my desk, I was greatly looking forward to hearing it – it was actually on my Christmas list anyway. Having listened to it a few times it has grown on me. There are moments of pure beauty - Rainbow in particular – interspersed with a strange improvisatory melange, which can probably only be really appreciated in the live setting. Where the applause is left in the edit, the audience of '72 certainly seem to be enjoying it.
Hugh.
Hamburg '72 has been released on the ECM Label, Catalogue Number 470 4256.

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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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