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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)

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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, April 15, 2015

CD Review: Andy Sheppard Quartet – Surrounded by Sea

Andy Sheppard – tenor and soprano saxophones; Eivind Aarset – guitar, electronics; Michel Benita – double bass; Sebastian Rochford – drums.
(Review by Hugh)
This is Andy Sheppard's third album released on ECM.  The quartet is formed by the addition of Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset to the personnel comprising Trio Libero - whose output is encapsulated on the previous ECM release by Sheppard, which takes the name of the trio as its title.  The trio started out as an improvising trio, but in the new quartet format Sheppard wanted to “move things in a new direction with the addition of harmony and subtle grooves”.
The current album title “Surrounded by Sea” evokes some of the unique characteristics of those who inhabit an island nation.  According to Sheppard, the sea in this case is mostly calm, but squalls and storms can arise in a moment.
On this album the lyrical saxophone playing of Andy Sheppard floats gently on a raft of sound structurally underpinned by Seb Rochford's subtle drumming mixed with Michel Benita's sensitive bass playing and Eivind Aarset's layered guitar and electronics.
The album has eleven tracks in all.  These are arranged as eight separate tracks interspersed by the three separate parts of Aoidh, Na Dean Cadal Idir.  This piece is named after a Gaelic traditional song and translates as Aoidh, Don't Sleep At All. Sheppard learned the song from Hebridean folk singer Julie Fowlis and the instrumental music was written by all four quartet members to dress her a capella vocal rendition of the song.
The majority of the rest of the material is of Sheppard's composition, sometimes in conjunction with another member of the quartet.  The second track, I Want to Vanish is an Elvis Costello composition and Rochford and Benita have contributed one track each.  It is difficult to single out any particular track for comment as the album has a definite flow from one end to the other.  The overall atmosphere is calm with the minimum of swell now and then.  The squalls and storms remain over the horizon throughout. 
The signature saxophone style of Andy Sheppard is evident across all the tracks and is beautifully blended with the contributions of the other three quartet members.  This is a class act and unhesitatingly recommended by this reviewer!
Hugh.
Surrounded by Sea was released by ECM in the UK on April 13 (catalogue number 471 4273)







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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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