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Bebop Spoken There

Sonny Rollins: "I work very hard. I wear out suits playing." - (Downbeat May 29, 1969.)

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Bob Brookmeyer: "The group's philosophy? We're saving to buy new uniforms - the ties wore out." - (Crescendo March 1965).

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Archives.

Today Saturday March 25

Afternoon

?????

Evening

James Harrison (solo piano) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.

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

Sunday, June 07, 2015

CD Review: Maria Schneider Orchestra – The Thompson Fields.

(Review by David Brownlow).
The Thompson Fields is Maria Schneider’s eighth production for the  ArtistShare label and she has certainly come a long way in her career since she worked as Gil Evans’ Assistant in the mid 80s. She is an extremely talented composer who is a master of harmony, and a formidable arranger who fully utilises all the tone - colours provided by her nineteen piece Big Band with all the usual Reeds, Brass, and Rhythm sections but without recourse to electronic instruments as Gil himself did in his latter years.
Maria’s inspiration for the eight tracks comes from her love of the natural world of her home environment in Minnesota. The songs reflect the beauty of the “sights, sounds and smells of nature’s bounty.” This is quasi-classical through-composed music played by jazz musicians with jazz solos from outstanding players such as Scott Robinson, Frank Kimbrough and Marshall Gilkes. The charts are all beautifully played with a high standard of musicianship as a “given.”
Walking By Flashlight – inspired by a poem by Ted Koosner - is meditative and wistful with a warm solo from Scott Robinson on alto clarinet. The Monarch and the Milkweed is meandering, reflective piece with an astonishing trombone solo from Marshall Gilkes and a thoughtful flowing one from Greg Gisbert on fluegelhorn. The piece builds throughout the twelve minute performance culminating in a passage where the soloists improvise together. Arbiters of Evolution inspires Maria by the exotic displays and behaviours of the extraordinary Birds of Paradise of New Guinea. Here, a strong framework supports beautiful solos from Donny McCaslin and Scott Robinson. A highlight of the album The Thompson Fields is a meandering piece which features some gorgeous writing for brass, together with piano and guitar solos which complement the composer’s feel for the open prairies. Home opens chorale-like with lovely Evans-esque harmonies. Rich Perry’s tenor solo continues the contemplative mood. This piece is dedicated to George Wein whose Newport Jazz Festival gave Maria many career opportunities. 
Nimbus is a brooding, threatening song in a minor mood with dissonance throughout, especially in Steve Wilson’s alto solo. This bleak, dramatic background is at times reminiscent of Gil Evans’ The Barbara Song and is inspired by the occasion when a tornado headed towards Maria’s home and the resulting reactions of herself and her parents.
A Potter’s Song is a moving tribute to recently deceased trumpeter Laurie Frink – a long-time associate in Maria’s band. This features the accordion of Gary Versace and is the stand-out track for me. The melody and chord sequence take many unexpected turns, but each one resolves harmonically and “right.” The final track Lembranca is Maria’s take on Paulo Moura and his Samba School in Rio de Janeiro. This thirteen and a half minute long piece features a solo from trombonist Ryan Keberle in an energetic opening segment full of dynamic percussion work which segues into a calm contrasting section with a very listenable melodic bass solo from Jay Anderson. This leads to a quiet conclusion to all the excitement.
There has been a huge amount of work required to produce such an album as this and the funding for the project has come from the many participants in the ArtistShare fan base. The CD itself comes in a lavish hard-backed case with outstanding artwork and photographs illustrating the flora and fauna of Maria’s homeland area and is available from ArtistShare.
David B.
Maria Schneider (Conductor, Composer & Arranger) Steve Wilson, Dave Pietro, Rich Perry, Donny McCaslin. Scott Robinson (Reeds). Tony Kadleck, Greg Gisbert, Augie Haas, Mike Rodriguez, Keith O’Quinn, Ryan Keberle, Marshall Gilkes, George Flynn, (Brass).Gary Versace (Accordion), Lage Lund (Guitar) Frank Kimbrough (Piano) Jay Anderson (Bass), Clarence Penn (Dms) Rogerio Boccato (Percussion)

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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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