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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.

Friday February 24

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Monkseaton Arms, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
Sue Ferris Trio - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1pm. £5.
Hand to Mouth - (Lindsay Hannon/Bradley Johnston) - Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SE. 1pm. £5.
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Evening
Mo Scott Band - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. £7/£5 (in advance).
Taupe - Head of Steam, Neville St., Newcastle. 8pm. CD launch.
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Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7:00pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

CD Review: Alex Merritt Quartet - Anatta.

Alex Merritt (ten); John Turville (pno); Sam Lasserman (bs); Jeff Williams (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Four of the younger stalwarts of today's jazz scene (the legendary Williams is young in spirit!) Musicians capable of producing inventive, contemporary, sounds without raising the hackles of those with an ear for a well-turned phrase.
Merritt incorporates the sound of early Stan Getz with the approach of Warne Marsh. He quotes Joe Henderson and Coltrane amongst his influences which isn't a bad place to be. Five of the pieces are originals by Merritt with some quirky titles. Conn Artist which, in an ideal world, if Alex is blowing a Conn tenor, should have every aspiring tenor saxist wanting a Conn (do they still make them?). Justin Time-berlake! - I ask you!
Takes on Monk's Ugly Beauty and Pannonica and, straight out of left field, Eubie Blake's Memories of You! And why not? It's one of the great jazz standards and, without wishing to denigrate Alex's own compositions, will be around long after Justin Time-berlake, and the inspiration for the title, have been buried in the sand!
But, for today, this is as beautiful a British offering as you're likely to hear all year. Merritt's tenor has the aforementioned Getz/Marsh sound that I love - dry but not arid. Turville - you want a piano man who can cover all the bases? Look no further. Jarrett? - nah!
Lasserman impressed on his recent Sage Gateshead gig with Arguelles and no doubt he'll be back with this quartet. Whoops! No! 3 gigs in London, 1 in Colchester, 1 in Cambridge and, their most northerly - Wellingborough, Northampton.
Shame.
Jeff Williams' CV just about matches anyone's and his sympathetic, intuitive playing here tells us why.
Memories of You is beautiful and, take it from me, neither Eubie or Benny [Goodman] are turning in their graves!
Amazingly, this is due for release on the F-ire label - a label that doesn't always stay within the walls.They've done it here! Bravo!
The CD,  Alex Merritt Quartet - Anatta will be released on December 4 (F-ire) with an official launch at the Vortex Jazz club on December 10.
Lance.

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About this blog - contact details.

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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