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Bebop Spoken There

Michael Feinstein: “Fred Astaire is my favorite singer. To me, he was the perfect interpreter of American popular song.” – (Jazz Times December 2014).

Bud Shank: “Once I saw California – that was it, I stayed.” – (Jazz Journal May 1991)

Archives.

Today Wednesday February 22

Afternoon.
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Lindsay Hannon - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Chris Sharkey Trio - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8ppm. £4 (Students free).
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Cancelled this week only. Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:30pm. £3.00. Cancelled.
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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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