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Bebop Spoken There

Allison Neale: “It’s difficult if you play mainstream in the UK, it isn’t appreciated enough. The current scene seems to focus on musician-composers.” - (Jazz Journal April 2013).

Liam Noble: “I know some people think playing standards is old-fashioned but I love it.” – (Jazz Journal January 2016).

Archives.

Today Monday February 20

Afternoon.
Jazz in the Afternoon - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
Evening.
Holy Moly & The Crackers + Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra - The Cluny, Lime St., Newcastle. 7pm. £10.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

CD Review: Chris Potter Underground Orchestra – Imaginary Cities

Chris Potter (tenor & soprano saxophones, bass clarinet), Adam Rogers (guitar), Craig Taborn (piano), Steve Nelson (vibraphone & marimba), Fima Ephron (bass guitar), Scott Colley (double bass), Nate Smith (drums), Mark Feldman (violin), Joyce Hammann (violin), Lois Martin (viola) & David Eggar (cello)
(Review by Russell).
Chris Potter has augmented his regular quartet – Adam Rogers, Craig Taborn and Nate Smith – with two bassists, a string quartet and former sparring partner Steve Nelson on vibes and marimba to record Imaginary Cities. The CD comprises a four part suite (the title composition) and four other pieces.
Lincoln Center, New York, invited Potter to write new music with a view to performing it at the prestigious venue. Initially, Potter had his working band in mind but in time the project grew to incorporate parts for the other musicians featured on this ECM recording.
Potter’s writing evolved from ‘a non-specific utopian idea of how the modern city could be better.’ The first of eight tracks (Lament) opens with strings, bass guitar and Smith’s languid drum patterns laying the groundwork for Potter’s searching tenor saxophone.
Imaginary Cities is divided into four parts – Compassion, Dualities, Disintegration then Rebuilding. The first part hears more of Potter’s accomplished tenor playing followed by Adam Rogers’ ever-excellent guitar playing. Smith drives Dualities, lifting Potter to ever greater heights, Nelson’s vibes break away from the strings’ secure foundation seeking to emulate the bandleader’s sense of adventure. Craig Taborn plays acoustic piano on the album and sketches a delicate opening to the impressionistic Disintegration ahead of Potter’s floating soprano above a field of decaying strings. Smith’s sparkling drum part revitalises the ensemble’s optimism on the suite’s end piece, Rebuilding.
Firefly burns brightly; Fima Ephron’s lithe bass pattern, urgent tenor, guitar and strings chase the melody, then vibes, Smith again pivotal. Shadow Self  suggests an ‘out’ string quartet piece, politely discordant. The final track, Sky, dazzles briefly (Taborn and once more Smith) and it is down to Potter to conclude matters. Imaginary Cities is released on January 19 on ECM (catalogue no. 470 4075). Chris Potter’s Underground Quartet (on this occasion Potter, Adam Rogers, Fima Ephron and Nate Smith) can be heard at Ronnie Scott’s, London, February 16 and 17.  
Russell.

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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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