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Bebop Spoken There

Curtis Stigers: “I’m a jazz singer. I’m not a saxophonist. When I stand in front of a band like the Danish Radio Big Band or Ronnie Scott’s, I usually tend to leave the instrument on the stand.” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Tamsin Austin, Director of Performance Programme, Sage Gateshead: “SummerTyne is our largest festival and we absolutely love it!” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Today Saturday July 22

Afternoon
SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017 - Sage Gateshead. Day two of three. Details. From 12 noon all day.
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Evening
Steve Glendinning (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
The Hookahs - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Big Chris Barber Band - Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. £21.50/£20.50.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, January 15, 2016

CD Review: Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia – The Last Fandango

Barbara Thompson – saxophone; Jon Hiseman – drums; Peter Lemer – keyboards; Billy Thompson – violin; Dave “Taif” Ball – Bass. + Shona Brown – Flute; Apollo Saxophone Quartet and Rachel Calaminus – violin and viola.
(Review by Hugh C.)
As regular listeners to Jazz Record Requests on BBC Radio 3 may have heard, one of my first introductions to jazz in my student years was Barbara Thompson and Paraphernalia.  I was delighted to find, then, that a new album has just been released.
Jazz lovers may be aware that Barbara Thompson was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1997.  She announced the first of several “farewell” tours in 2001.  Every three years or so as her condition deteriorated she thought she would not be able to go on, but with the continuing help of new medications and her dedicated team of carers she somehow continued writing and playing. 
The Last Fandango has been some ten years in the making and was recorded and mixed in Spring/Summer 2014 at Temple Music Studio.  The name (derived from the title of the fourth track) hints at the reality that this CD release may be last from Barbara Thompson as no real fix is in sight for her Parkinson's disease.
The CD comes in at just under 60 minutes and is vintage Paraphernalia and Barbara Thompson.  The line-up on the CD is the same as that on the Live'05 DVD - which was received to much acclaim.  Straitlaced and The Magic Carpet both have a Middle-Eastern quality with Barbara's signature saxophone style to the fore in the first track.  Jon Hiseman and Dave Ball provide a rhythmic introduction on the second track.  The agile violin playing of Billy Thompson (no relation) weaves through the whole album.  Bulletproof follows and is driven by Hiseman's rhythmic powerhouse, aided and abetted by Lemer on piano.  The track has a filmic quality and brings to mind the kind of vintage cop shows that can be viewed on selected TV channels.  The Last Fandango does what it says on the tin. 
Saxey demonstrates the versatile talents of the Apollo Saxophone Quartet – long-time collaborators with Barbara Thompson.  One for the Road features the flute playing of Shona Brown, together with a fine bass riff by Dave Ball against Billy Thompson's violin.  Spring Fever brings some Caribbean sunshine with an up-tempo dance rhythm (roll on Spring!).  The Smooch slows it down again – as might be expected.  Satsuma is a tasty little number, composed by Peter Lemer – all other compositions are by Barbara Thompson (Peter joined Barbara Thompson in the composition of Saxey) - and freshens the musical palate before the dessert.  The anthemic track The Unseen Way provides a fitting finale to the whole.  The CD insert features a gallery of individual and band photographs over the years.
As Jon Heisman says “there is sadly no prospect of a tour to promote the album, we are relying on word of mouth to help spread the word”.  The only way you will hear this music is to buy the CD!
The Last Fandango is available now from Temple Music (http://www.temple-music.com/new-album-from-barbara-thompsons-paraphernalia/ ) for the very reasonable price of £10.99 plus delivery.
Hugh

2 comments :

  1. So exciting! Great to see she's still playing

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looking forward to hearing the CD. Great review btw

    ReplyDelete

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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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