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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.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Book Review: Billie Holiday - The Musician and the Myth

My first reaction was, do we really need another book on Billie Holiday any more than we need another book on Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington. Uncle Satchmo and all…? The answer, I said, emphatically, was no.
And then I read Billie Holiday – The Musician and the Myth.
This was different from the other biographies, well it’s not really a bio, it’s more an honest assessment of the myth’s that have surrounded her.
It also puts her music in perspective.
A major step forward is the author’s repudiation of the suggestion that Billie’s autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, written in conjunction with Bill Dufty, is more fiction than fact. Szwed answers much of the criticism and substantiates it with passages from the book that the publishers chose not to include for reasons that were, to say the least, not always musical.
It’s a fascinating read and, although the aim is to concentrate on the music, not surprisingly, some of the other side of her life; the drugs; the husbands; the girl friends; the seamier side are referred to but not sensationalised.
There are many musical references, her early influences, working with Shaw and Basie, Lester Young, Teddy Wilson. The songs, Gloomy Sunday, My Man and, of course, Strange Fruit are studied whilst also pointing out that Billie could swing in her own unique style. But, the one thing I longed for was an, at length, observation of Billie and Ella. I wanted to hear Szward’s thoughts and observations on the two most iconic jazz divas on the twentieth century.
That, notwithstanding, this is as good an insight into Lady Day as you are ever going to get (apart from Lady Sings the Blues - with the previously unpublished material included here.)
It’s not just highly recommended, it’s essential reading for anyone who ever played a Holiday CD/album/78, and then played it again and again and again…
Lance.
Billie Holiday - The Musician and the Myth available from Windmill Books on March 10, 2016.

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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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