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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 Saturday September 23

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Day two of three.
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Evening
Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Rockafellas - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Tobie Carpenter Organ Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £10.
Thin Man + Jon Gordon - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. Free.
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Nikki Iles & Stan Sulzmann - Great Hall, Hexham Abbey, Hexham NE46 3NB. 10pm. £10/£8.
Pat McMahon Trio - Tannery, Gilesgate, Hexham NE46 3QD. 01434 605537. 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, February 12, 2016

CD review: Aruán Ortiz Trio - Hidden Voices

(Review by Alan Law.)
This is a new piano trio album from the Cuban born pianist, violinist composer and arranger Aruán Ortiz .joining him on bass is Eric Revis is and Gerald Cleaver drums.
All new names to me, but a cursory look on Google revealed Ortiz has written music for jazz ensembles, orchestras, dance companies, chamber groups, and feature films. His work incorporates influences from contemporary classical music, Cuban-Haitian rhythms, and avant-garde improvisation
On the composers website there is reference to a recent project in which non musical patterns and ideas were explored as fuel for improvised music.
This may explain some of the titles of the original compositions, which frequently refer to mathematical concepts.
Fractal Sketches starts with a dissonant grooving pattern, augmented by a dramatic percussive left hand with scurrying bass and drums, Open And Close /The Sphinx an Ornette Coleman tune, imaginatively re-interpreted with a cool bass figure periodically giving way to bright classical sounding passages Carribean Vortex/Hidden Voices begins with an unfamiliar clave pattern that becomes a percussion conversation, and the rhythmic drive continues when the trio begin. There is some dissonance involved, however, the pedal point and strong rhythm holds the listener well.
Analytical Symmetry intensity in one area is offset by the other players in this brooding exploration.
Arabesques of a Geometrical Rose (Spring) a spacious meditative piano solo with some gently mind expanding harmonic contrary motion.
Arabesques of a Geometrical Rose (Summer) a compelling hypnotic bassline underscores this very different take on the subject matter.
17 Moments of Liams Moments (or 18) is a brief composition that manages to sound avant garde yet structured, and is curiously evocative.
Joyful noises is a collective textural improvisation, punctuated by occasional timed bold chords. The Monk standard Skippy follows, the theme is there but has been deconstructed and re wrought by this masterfully creative trio.
Uno Dos Tres , Que Paso , is a solo piano piece and the last tune on the album.
It has a simple memorable melody (you can hear the rhythm of the title syllables throughout) that serves as a basis for a beautifully contemplative exposition.
The listening warranted time and my best stereo set up, it’s not something I could get into in the car, but I found it extremely rewarding when I gave the attention it warranted.  
The album is well recorded with a great sounding piano in particular, and if your ear can handle a bit of dissonance there is something deeply impressive here.
The improvised passages are marked by a commitment to the total sound of the music, as well as weapons grade virtuosity, and the effect is a sense of instant composition and arrangement, which is very satisfying in itself. However, I also found myself very engaged emotionally and rather touched on several occasions.
Imaginative, cerebral and very emotionally engaging, I found this a serious, and seriously good, contemporary jazz album.
Alan.
Aruán Ortiz Trio - Hidden Voices is available on Intakt Records.

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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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