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Bebop Spoken There

Alan Luff: “The general view is that Ella’s songbook recordings are the supreme exemplars of sophistication, fine diction and creative voice in the wide field of popular music.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Steve Voce: “Most of us have been crashed into by cretins who walk along the road absorbed in the screens of their mobile phones.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Number 22!

Bebop Spoken Here is currently listed at number 22 in the WORLD JAZZ BLOG Rankings!

Today Friday May 26

Afternoon
Harambee Pasadia - See RH Column.
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
Paul Wilkinson - St. Nicholas Cathedral, St. Nicholas Square, Newcastle NE1 1PF. 1:05pm. Retiring collection.
Mark Williams/Joel Byrne McCullough - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. 1pm. £5.
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Evening
Ruth Lambert Quartet - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm, £7 (£6 in advance.)
Hand to Mouth (Lindsay Hannon/Bradley Johnston) - High Friars Lane (Tyneside Cinema), Free, al fresco, 8pm. food and drink available.
?????????? - Billy Bootleggers - 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8pm. Free.
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Imelda May - Sage Gateshead. 7pm. £38.20/£27.30 VIP Option £104.
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Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Ushaw College, nr. Durham. 7:30pm. £7.
Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

CD Review: Delta Saxophone Quartet with Gwilym Simcock – Crimson!

Gwilym Simcock (pianoforte), Graeme Blevins (soprano saxophone), Pete Whyman (alto saxophone), Tim Holmes (tenor saxophone) & Chris Caldwell (baritone saxophone)
(Review by Russell)
The saxophone quartet is a familiar unit to both a classical audience and a jazz audience. A classical enthusiast will listen to a Haydn string quartet at home or in the concert hall without looking around for the jazz fan’s rhythm section comfort blanket. On this Basho Records’ CD the Delta Saxophone Quartet’s approach was to commission a cross-genre work from Gwilym Simcock to arrange for strings and pianoforte.
The ‘prog rock’ band King Crimson provided the source material and a musical link. An earlier association with Bill Bruford’s Earthworks gave Simcock an insight to a world of extended rock (frequently jazz-rock inflected) pieces, with drummer Bruford an alumnus of a late incarnation of King Crimson. This beautifully recorded new release comes in at just under forty-five minutes. Six tracks, the first of them – A Kind of Red – is a Simcock composition, the others a reworking of King Crimson’s output spanning twenty years or more.
The Deltas’ jazz credentials are secure with the participation of the likes of Pete Whyman (alto) having worked with Mike Westbrook and Simcock’s upbringing in classical music make for an empathetic meeting of minds. Whyman’s soprano on the opening track hears Simcock’s pianoforte (‘pianoforte’, one for the classical buffs) comping and meeting the saxophonist at the other end. VROOM/Coda: Marine 475 from King Crimson’s THRAK (1995) – a prog rock title if ever there was one! – veers from an urgent rock pulse via the tenor saxophone of Tim Holmes to filmic minimalism.
The Night Watch from 1974’s Starless and Bible Black incorporates everything. Yes, that well-known prog rock gumbo; collective expressionism (Lark Ascending stuff), anthemic glory, elegant tenor, ruminating piano, a sustained final chord brilliantly recorded by the band’s soprano saxophonist Graeme Blevins doubling up as recording engineer. THRAK yields another tune (all prog rock ten minutes and fifty-nine seconds of it); Dinosaur. An open invitation awaits…Dinosaur…prog rock…nuff said. Much going on here, a bluesy pianoforte, Whyman prominent, great urgency.
The closing number – The Great Deceiver from Starless and Bible Black – showcases the jazz chops of all concerned; flying reeds, arresting voicings, a Blevins and Whyman dual.
Russell.
Crimson! by the Delta Saxophone Quartet is available now on Basho Records SRCD 50-2. The album’s accompanying notes includes an informative essay by Sid Smith from Whitley Bay.

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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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