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Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Bebop Spoken There

Howard Riley: “When I started out playing jazz back in the late 50s, early 60s, if you wanted a gig you had to learn some standards.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Eric Harland: “I love swing and I’m always going to swing but I also know that you can take a hip-hop groove and improvise with that just like you would with a swing pattern.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Today Sunday April 30

All Day.
Darlington Jazz Festival - details.
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International Jazz Day - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. From 2pm 'til late. Free - details.
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Strictly Smokin' Small Band - Gateshead Beer and Music Festival - Gateshead RFC, Eastwood Gdns., Low Fell NE9 5UB. £12 admission to beer festival. Band play 1:45pm - 2:35pm.
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Afternoon.
Joel Byrne McCullough - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. Blues jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
Evening
Nick Ross Orchestra (Glenn Miller) - Forum Theatre, Queensway, Billingham. 7:30pm. £22 (£20.50 conc.).
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

CD Review: Darren English - Imagine Nation.

Darren English (tpt); Kenny Banks Jr. (pno); Billy Thornton (bs); Chris Burroughs (dms) + Carmen Bradford (vcl); Greg Tardy (ten); Russell Gunn (tpt); Joe Gransden (tpt).
(Review by Lance).
I must confess that when confronted with an album of originals, I tend to flinch and prepare to bite the bullet. I realise that is the wrong attitude as every tune that was ever written was once an 'original'. However, not all of today's jazz musicians are Monk, Miles, Duke, Dizzy or Bird when it comes to laying down a tune, irrespective of their instrumental skills.
English, a South African-born resident of Atlanta Ga, combines the best of both worlds with six standards and four originals - three of which are part of a suite that pays tribute to Nelson Mandela.
Pledge For Peace cleverly intertwines a radio interview with Mandela who talks about being a freedom fighter. English blows a chorus without a mouthpiece, Tardy is far from tardy on tenor and English retrieves his mouthpiece to great effect.
The Birth represents the birth of a new nation with some frenetic tenor playing - an agonising, ultimately triumphant representation of the battle against apartheid.
Bullet in the Gunn - I don't know quite what the title's all about but I do know that it swings its ass off!
The standards display his lyricism, bringing to mind Clifford Brown or Lee Morgan.
Carmen Bradford adds her distinctive vocals to What a Little Moonlight Can Do and Skylark - I want to hear this lady again!
Three trumpets blow on Cherokee - perhaps the best trumpet tear up since Ellington's Trumpet no End! Maybe the best trumpet carvery ever!
Russell Gunn (one of the trumpets) recalls that English's request to sit in at one of his gigs was the first time any of the students on the "Jazz Programmes" of the local universities had done so.  This indicated to him that this young man was serious, That he knew that jazz is a life choice, not a fallback career, a supplemental income or something to do until you're tired of being broke.
Apologies for not mentioning the rhythm guys but they're right on the money. On a disc like this it was put up or shut up - they put up!
Lance.

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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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