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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)

Archives

Today Sunday September 24

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Day three of three.
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Afternoon.
More Jam - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm. Free.
Ian Harrington (solo piano) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
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Mick Shoulder's Swing Manouche - Claypath Delicatessen, Durham DH1 1QS. 0191 3407209. 4pm. £5.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's, 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Blues Jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
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Jazz Tones - Quakerhouse, Mechanics' Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 6pm. £4.
Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 01325 788564. 5pm. Weekly.
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Evening
The Blueswater - Cluny, Lime St., Newcastle NE1 2PQ 0191 2304474
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Chris Martin - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, October 30, 2015

CD Review: Matthew Stevens – Woodwork

Matthew Stevens (acoustic & electric guitars), Gerald Clayton (keyboards & piano), Vicente Archer (bass), Eric Doob (drums) & Paulo Stagnaro (percussion)
(Review by Russell)
Woodwork is Matthew Stevens’ first album as leader. His pedigree is not in doubt having worked with tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III, Christian Scott and Esperanza Spalding. Described as a ‘stellar’ quintet, the musicians on this recording are ‘first call’ individuals. Stevens chose to record the twelve tracks at the Clubhouse Studio, Rhinebeck, New York over two days in May, 2014. The studio happens to own an acoustic guitar played by the late Pete Seeger. Stevens took the opportunity to play it and it is heard on this recording.
All but one of the tracks are Stevens’ compositions. Distinctive, light-of-touch, with more than a hint of Metheny, the melodies involve all five musicians, none dominate, Stevens a democratic force. 
Ashes (one) is a guitar and percussion-only opening statement. There is a return on the ninth track – Ashes (two) – which sounds like unfinished business; a guitar solo at the heart of it, Stevens flying on acoustic. Star L.A. could be a reference to glittery Los Angeles. Whatever, there is a Larry Carlton West Coast vibe going on, suggesting an epic fusion statement could be about to break out behind Vicente Archer’s in-the-pocket drumming.
David Bowie’s Sunday is a slow-burner. Gerald Clayton opens on piano, Stevens’ etches the melody, guitar low in the mix, the climax electric. Uptown Dance Party and Grown Ups are energetic work outs; tight drum ‘n’ bass work from Eric Doob on the former, the latter featuring an agile Clayton piano solo.
The musicianship on Woodwork is faultless throughout. Stevens is scheduled to tour the UK next year. In the meantime, Woodwork is due for release in early November on the Whirlwind Recordings label (catalogue no.WR4677) run by the indefatigable Michael Janisch. 
Russell.

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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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