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Bebop Spoken There

Sonny Rollins: "I work very hard. I wear out suits playing." - (Downbeat May 29, 1969.)

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Bob Brookmeyer: "The group's philosophy? We're saving to buy new uniforms - the ties wore out." - (Crescendo March 1965).

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Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Ann Alex @ Cheltenham Jazz Festival: May 2 – Sort Of

A good thing about spending more time at home is that you get the chance to see and hear more television and radio than usual, hence the Bank Holiday found me listening to 2 hours of items from last weekend’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival, with Jamie Cullum on Radio 2.  His choice of records tended towards the jazz/funk end of the spectrum, and he did interviews with Corrine Baillie Rae and Darius Brubeck. Ms Baillie Rae gave a lively, pleasant interview in an attractive speaking voice, so why was I disappointed when she sang Stop Where You Are from her latest album?  It was because her singing voice sounded unnaturally forced, in a strange restrained tone.  Why do singers do this?  I think she was trying to sound like certain pop singers, and it didn’t work.  Perhaps I shouldn’t criticise other women singers, but really!  She was far more relaxed for her duet with Cullum, Put Your Records On.
Darius Brubeck was quite a different kettle of fish, not so much to say for himself, but excellent music:  Brubeck on piano of course, with Dave O’Higgins on sax, for Before It’s Too Late; then Brubeck with Jamie Cullum singing Body And Soul. Records played included Dave Brubeck’s Take Five (the drumming never fails to entice the listener, and you hear new rhythms each time you listen); Nina Simone’s  I’ll Put A Spell On You; Herbie Hancock from 1978 I Thought It Was You; Ian Shaw Come Fly With Me; Gregory Porter Don’t Lose Your Head Of Steam. And most interestingly, David Bowie, from his Blackstar album, performing with New York jazz musicians, I Can’t Give everything Away, including the prophetic lyrics, ‘skull designs upon my shoes’.
Also recommended on TV are the current Friday evening programmes of Young Musician 2016.  The percussion 2 weeks ago was great fun, some youngsters playing multiple varied drums and vibes.  Last week was brass, trombones, French horns and trumpets, including a trombonist who was shown playing Take the  A Train with Ashby big band. This Friday it’s the strings – maybe some gypsy jazz will come up among the violin sonatas.
Ann Alex

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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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