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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Tuesday May 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Kamasi Washington - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4461. 7:30pm. £30.00.

River City Jazzmen w. Maureen Hall - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NN. Tel: 01670 813983. 8:00pm. £5 (raffle inc.) Bob Wade, Gordon Solomon, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford, Tommy Graham.

Lindsay Hannon Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Thursday, September 10, 2015

CD Review: Don Laka - Afro Chopin

(Review by Ann Alex)
Don Laka, internationally renowned jazz musician, composer, accomplished classical guitarist, self-taught pianist and also a well-known, innovative, multi-platinum selling artist in South Africa working with musicians such as Hugh Masekela, Afro Chopin is regarded as his most exciting and challenging project to date. Chopin is Laka’s favourite composer, and his music has been skilfully fused with the multi-instrumentalist's Kwaii jazz style, South African jazz chords and the rhythms of Marabi and Kwela music.
But the best way to enjoy this fine CD is to simply listen; you’ll recognise many of the Chopin pieces, but you’ll hear them with new ears, Chopin literally off beat, with African drum rhythms, long piano solos with riffs which could have come straight from a township band, strong loud sax and a hint of steel pan samples.  A great CD for parties but also for close listening.  Impress your friends with your classy choice of jazz albums!
For those of you who know your Chopin, I’ll list the tracks, which all have evocative and sometimes amusing subtitles:-
Etude No. 3 (Big Mountain) - an arresting opening with drumbeats, effective keys, and hints of Caribbean steel pan.
Prelude No. 20 (Izulu).
Waltz in A flat Major (I Sing For You)   - a slinky waltz with good use of cymbals.
Prelude No. 1 (Hope) - listen for an exciting, fast keys solo.
Nocturne in F Minor   (Oh Such a Beautiful Place).
Prelude No. 3 in G Major (Ramasedi).
Mazurka No. 1 in A Minor (Imbazo)  - samples of African voices repeating the title in the background are quite moving.
Prelude No.15 in D Flat Major (My Heart Sings).
Waltz in C Major (Pretty Shades Eyes) - a beautiful slow, meditative waltz.
Mazurka in F Sharp Minor (Dusty Streets) - with beat box samples and jazzy riffs, what would Chopin have made of this?  Probably he’d have loved it once he became used to the sounds of the modern world.
Prelude 7 in A Major (Take A Short Left) - the title fits the tune. Lyrics anyone?
Enjoy! The CD is currently available and will be released worldwide on October 30 on Bokone Music.  
Ann Alex
Don Laka (piano, keyboard, samples, also string bass, percussion on some tracks, arrangements, production, mixing); Pat Mokoka (5 string bass); Oupa Makhubela (guitar); Rob Watson (drums on all tracks); Sello Montoedi (drums); Aiyo Solanke (ten/sop sax on all tracks); Percy Mbonani (ten sax); Julius Nkuna (percussion).

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