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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 Monday August 21

Radio
Radio 3: Jazz Now. Live from Pizza Express, Soweto Kinch featuring Andy Sheppard/Carla Bley/Steve Swallow. 11pm.
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Afternoon.
Jazz in the Afternoon - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

CD Review: Phil Donkin – The Gate

Phil Donkin (double bass), Ben Wendel (tenor saxophone), Glenn Zaleski (piano) & Jochen Rückert (drums)
(Review by Russell)
From Sunderland to London to New York and on to Germany – bassist and composer Phil Donkin has travelled the jazz world. The Gate is Donkin’s debut release as a leader. Recorded in Brooklyn, NYC during August 2013, it is only now, some eighteen months on that the CD sees the light of day.
The Gate comprises ten tracks composed by Donkin and two arrangements (Thelonious Monk’s Introspection and Dimitri Shostakovich’s Prelude no 23 in F major). The title track is a subdued, reflective piece featuring the composer’s commanding introduction and the measured response of Ben Wendel’s tenor and Glenn Zaleski’s piano. In contrast, Macon Groove and Introspection positively fly. Drummer Jochen Rückert navigates the bop language with élan and on Birthday Samba demonstrates he can handle anything the composer-bandleader throws at him as Zaleski lays down a dazzlingly fluid solo.
Butterfingers is in safe hands with this quartet; Donkin’s walking bass line encourages Wendel to strike out and when the tenor has had its say there is Donkin (he hadn’t gone anywhere) alongside the most impressive Rückert. Submerged doesn’t let up, Zaleski’s solo finding common ground with Wendel’s tenor on a late Trane vibe. Unusually the track ends on a fade-out. Perhaps the quartet played on and on, such was the groove!
One for Johnny; the title suggests a bop-era number (horn players trading etc). It is an example of twenty first century swinging, modern jazz. Yesterday at My House is the killer cut. A furious, unrelenting pace – all four musicians burn it up. At three minutes and thirty five seconds think Little Giant or Tubbs working with the best. Hear it!  
The Gate is released on Michael Janisch’s Whirlwind Recordings’ label WR4668 on March 9th. Phil Donkin tours the UK during March starting tonight (Tuesday 3rd) at the Sound Cellar in Poole, Dorset. The official album launch gig is at the Pizza Express in Soho, London on March 10th. The Gate is a serious contender for the best album release of 2015. Recommended.
Russell
Note: Jochen Ruckert is unavailable for the UK tour. Fortunately James Maddren appears at Poole and Dempsey’s, Cardiff (March 4th) and Colin Stranahan fulfills all other dates.      

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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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