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Bebop Spoken There

Buddy Rich: "You either swing a band or you don't swing a band - (Metronome April 1956).

Sinclair Traill: “Well I don't think he (Chet Baker) can sing either.” – (Jazz Journal August 1956).

Fred Rowe Funeral Arrangements

The funeral of well-respected and much-loved trumpet player Fred Rowe will take place on Wednesday, December 13 at 14:00 hrs: Lytham Crematorium (Regent Ave, Lytham Saint Annes FY8 4AB). Afterwards - All warmly welcome for refreshments at 2 Chapel Close, Wesham, Preston PR4 3HB.
No flowers by request donations to Parkinson's UK. Should you wish to donate to Parkinson’s research, please contact the Funeral Directors (J & A Porter Funeral Services, Windsor Court, Windsor Road, Ansdell, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire FY8 1AH. Tel: 01253735423) or place in a collection box that will be provided at the end of the service.
"Please do come along, we would love to see as many of Fred’s friends as possible" - Joan Rowe and family.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

Today Sunday December 10

Afternoon.

Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.

Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's, 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Blues Jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.

Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 01325 788564. 5pm. Weekly.
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Evening

Blue Jazz Sextet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.

Article XI & Favourite Animals - Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. 8pm. £8 (£6 conc.) JNE.

Classic Swing - The Kittiwake, Claremont Crescent, Whitley Bay NE26 3HL. Tel: 0191 251 3977. 6:00pm. New weekly residency.

Durham Alumni Big Band + Durham County Youth Big Band - The Keys, Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. Tel: 01325 394222. 6:00pm. £6.00. Note change of venue.

Jazz Jam - Empty Shop, 35c Framwellgate Bridge, Durham DH1 4SJ. 7:30pm. Last one of 2017

Chris Martin & Scott Wainwright - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

CD Reviews: Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane and Matthew (son of Jimmy) Garrison - In Movement. Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard and Steve Swallow - Andando el Tiempo.

 (Review by Steven T)
When I was offered a pair of ECM albums to review I declared upfront that I have a love/hate relationship with the label. I generally hate them but occasionally stumble across one I really like.
Lightweight and boring, meaningless meanderings and pointless doodling claim the no camp, but believers, who like the European classicism, will point out that it's all done with incredible taste, which could be a contradiction in terms.
In a sense, it's an easy review since most people won't take a blind bit of notice; they'll either already have them or couldn't be paid to take them for fear of contaminating their collection.
This pair didn't quite fit my usual criteria; I couldn't say I hate the Carla Bley insomuch as I don't care sufficiently, which may be worse. So far, I don't particularly love the Jack DeJohnette, though there's a lot about it I really like, and perhaps room for that to grow through repeated listening.   
When I first saw the Bley album I thought I already had it but, following exploration, realised that the album sleeve is almost identical to her previous album, Trios. I couldn't remember anything about it and when I couldn't find it I realised I must have sold it.
In the spiel, it claims that the album (Trios) 'further reveals itself each and every listen' which I mustn't have given it the opportunity to do. We all know that some music, often the best music, requires repeated listening, which sneaks up on you, and we all pour scorn on music you hear twenty seconds of on the radio and then can't get it out of your head. But how many times do you need to play something before you can say you just don't like it? And how much music are you missing out on while you persevere? I use the power of three from the 'charmed' girls (which I watch for the intelligent scripts, innovative direction and quality acting).
I've been listening to lots of strange and varied music for many years and if I haven't got it after three plays, that's it. It's not an exact science and the odd thing may slip through but it's the best system I've come up with.
The claim is that Bley is more composer than pianist, though she's blissfully ignorant about right or wrong ways of writing songs, and this is why she plays less notes; the music is big band reduced to a trio and perfect chamber music. But comparisons to Duke, Monk, Miles and Mingus are just wishful thinking on a grand scale.
Sheppard is great but there are lots of his own albums available. A legendary British guitarist visiting the North East claimed ECM label boss Manfred Eicker wants music to listen to on a Norwegian mountain top, and a lot of it sounds like horns blowing down the fjords, though it could do with a bit more rape and pillage. 
The Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane are covers of Trane senior, Miles and Earth Wind and Fire at their funkiest best, I'd have bought this anyway, even before I found out bass guitarist Matthew Garrison is son of bass player Jimmy from Ravi' fathers most celebrated group.
'No pressure then' could go on Ravi Coltrane' headstone and you have to admire him for piling it on playing with these two. The shared history and anticipation of the blending of tradition and innovation are palpable and it's to their credit that, while the earth doesn't move, they just about pull it off.
Couple of slowies to kick off though Trane senior's Alabama is far from slight.
'Two Jimmys' (Garrison and Hendrix) picks up the pace with a pumping five string bass line, hi-hat  and some Hendrixesque soundscapes from Garrison junior's electronic looping evoking mid/late sixties hippiedom. Just before the four minute mark, sparse, syncopated drumming teases the listener into thinking it will kick in fully but as subtly as it builds, it fades leaving you wanting more.
DeJohnette switches to keyboards for Kind of Blue's almost masterpiece Blue in Green with the music, as on all the covers, sneaking in and out of the song form, but it's a disappointment, though a bold statement to use 'hallowed material' as an interlude.
The more you wanted after 'two Jimmys' comes in the form of Serpentine Fire, best track on EWFs finest album. A short bass intro brings in bass drum, bass guitar growling once again and the bass drum is back in, this time with sax. After a few subtle hints, three minutes in we get the familiar melody from the source material before a great sax solo and then back to the melody. No pressure but what a fine player Ravi is and his solo albums, without exception, are well worth it, but don't expect your world to change.
Rashied is a tribute to Rashied Ali who did a duet album with Trane senior in his late period called Interstellar Space. It's also a duet with drums and Ravi playing impressive sopranino and is livelier than I remember Interstellar Space, though I probably need to revisit it. An album may be too much and most Joe Lovano albums seem to have a track of drums/ sax duet which works well.
It's back to the piano for DeJohnette on album closer 'Soulful Ballad' which similarly doesn't work. Ironic that the tracks which work the least are those with the Bley format of piano, bass and sax.
The album claims to have a very C21st sound which isn't locked in to any genre, which makes it difficult for the layperson to review, with so little to relate it to. By way of having a go: Weather Report, and Miroslav Vitous ' ECM albums are ones I've particularly enjoyed and, would you believe Led Zeppelin circa fourth album for shared sonic soundscapes; check out John Bonham' drums on 'when the levee breaks' . 
Bley will only be of interest to followers of the artist and/ or label while anybody who likes ECM, Ravi and/or Jack DeJohnette, or is in to the whole Trane oeuvre, will want to check out the latter. Anybody who isn't familiar with ECM should certainly give it a go and you could do worse - much worse - than start here.
Steve T.
Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison - In Movement available now on ECM 2488.
Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard and Steve Swallow - Andando el Tiempo available now on ECM 2487.


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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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