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Bebop Spoken There

Oscar Peterson: "I find most pianists use too many notes in a chord. They double up an awful lot" - (Crescendo May 1963).

Benny Green (British): "...there was a whole race of men who used to stand in front of their bands, waving their arms, pretending to conduct ... Many of the bandleaders we had worked for had been either crooks or imposters ... " - (Crescendo March 1963).

Today Friday September 21

Afternoon

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Zoë Gilby Trio - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Ladies of Midnight Blue - Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books, Lime Street, Newcastle NE1 2PQ. Tel: 03000 3301095. 11:00am. £5.00.

Paul Edis - The Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192. 1:00pm. £5.00. Edis, solo piano.

Evening

Ronnie Scott's All Stars - Middlesbrough Theatre, The Avenue, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough TS5 6SA. Tel: 01642 815181. 8:00pm. £22.50.

Groove-a-matics - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

George Shovlin & the Radars + Broken Levee - The Peacock, High St West, Sunderland SR1 3ES. Tel: 0191 511 1451. 7:00pm. £10.00. (+ £1.00. b/f). New blues venue.

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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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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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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