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Bebop Spoken There

Buddy Guy: "My mother said, 'You got flowers for me, give 'em to me now, because I'm not going to smell them when you put 'em on the casket'." - (DownBeat September 2018).

Marty Ashby: "I asked him what his gig was and he said 'I put the scores on the music stands'. I said, 'That's a gig?' And I realised there were four floors of guys like him, who supported some of the finest musicians in the world. But I was a jazz musician, and I was used to playing with some of the finest musicians in the world in front of the New York Public Library for tips. That's when I realised that jazz didn't have the same support system as classical music. - (DownBeat September 2018).

Today Wednesday August 15

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. £1.00.

Stu Collingwood-Russ Morgan Organ Duo - Dun Cow, Brandling Village, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 4RS. Tel: 0191 338 7981. 8:00pm. Free.

Community Hall New Orleans Band - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm £3.00.

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson Street, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

CD Review: Michael Mantler – The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update

Nouvelle Cuisine Big Band (Conductor: Christoph Cech) – soloists: Michael Mantler (trumpet), Harry Sokal (tenor saxophone).
radio.string.quartet.vienna: Bernie Mallinger (violin), Igmar Jenner (violin), Cynthia Liao (viola), Asja Valcic (cello) + Bjarne Roupé (guitar), Wolfgang Puschnig (alto saxophone), David Helbock (piano)
(Review by Hugh C.)
Vienna born composer-trumpeter Michael Mantler recorded The Jazz Composer's Orchestra in 1968. First released on the orchestra's own label, this was later reissued by ECM. The album featured Mantler conducting a large jazz orchestra which included some of the luminaries of the time including: Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Roswell Rudd, Pharoah Saunders, Larry Coryell and Gato Barbieri.
In the process of digitising his catalogue, Mantler reacquainted himself with early scores, eventually envisioning fresh performances of not only this vintage material, but also including new versions of material from that period never previously recorded.
In The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update Mantler has re-imagined his 1960s music for the 21st century, with the amplified radio.string.quartet.vienna added to the instrumentation along with the prominent electric guitar of Bjarne Roupé. They and the Nouvelle Cuisine Big Band were recorded live at Vienna's Porgy and Bess club in 2013.
The CD comes in at just under 55 minutes and comprises ten tracks, all composed by Mantler: Updates One, Eight, Nine, Eleven, Five, Six, Ten and Twelve – parts 1, 2 and 3.
I am not familiar with any of the original album and so come to this with fresh ears. You will have to be a lover of free improvisation to like this CD. I will nail my colours firmly to the mast – I am not! The sleeve notes contain an in depth interview with Michael Mantler. In response to the question: “Has the ratio of composition to improvisation changed from the original album to the new one” he replies: “Very much so. Even though the original idea was, even then, to control and somewhat limit what were, in my opinion, the excesses of free improvisation...” well I think we can agree there! His aim, in the new realisation was to “create a continuity that melds improvisation and composition into one homogeneous work”.
I think he has achieved this aim. There are periods of (composed) breathtaking beauty for both small ensemble and big band, interspersed with raucous cacophony. The CD probably needs to be listened to as a whole, end to end, rather than selectively. The track breaks are hardly noticeable if one is not watching the CD player display.
Overall then, I think this release will fill a niche and will probably appeal to those with an interest in Mantler's previous work (including the 1968 original). The jazz enthusiast with a liking for the big band sound, but with a more experimental twist, is also likely to be rewarded.
The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update is available on the ECM Label Catalogue Number 379 0789.
Hugh C.

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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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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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