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Bebop Spoken There

Lionel Loueke: "A mistake is just for the moment - make it the best mistake it can be, and that's it" - (JazzTimes, April 2019).

Archive

Today Thursday April 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - The Merry Monk, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 12:30pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Eliot Smith Dance: Triple Bill - Newbiggin Maritime Centre, Church Point, Newbiggin by the Sea NE64 6DB. Tel: 01670 811951. 7:30pm. £14.00. (£12.00. concs., £30.00. family). Performance inc Poppy (music composed by Jason Holcomb).

Julija Jaceniate Trio Black Swan, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00. concs). Jacenaite (vocals), Steve Glendinning (guitar), Paul Grainger (double bass).

Paul Skerritt Band - The Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. Tel: 01325 468411. 8:00pm. Free.

Paul Donnelly Quartet - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free. Tees Hot Club: Dormans Jazz Festival.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

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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