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Bebop Spoken There

Dewey Redman: "When Trane came to Bop City in San Francisco and told me he liked the way I played, I stayed high off that forever." - (Downbeat June 1980.)

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Nick Brignola: “I got to talk to John Coltrane before he was John Coltrane!” – (Jazz Journal April 1991)

Archives.

Today Monday January 16

Afternoon.
Jazz in the Afternoon - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
Evening.
???????
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

CD Review: Jason 'El Rubio' McGuire - Terceto Kali

Jason McGuire (Guitar); Paul Martin Sounder (Bass); Marlon Aldana (Drums).
(Review by Steve T)
It's probably a man-thing but we've been seeding guitarists like tennis players since Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds fearing they were starting to sound like the Beatles. Known at the time as God, everything was about to change with the arrival on the scene of a certain Jimi. In truth, we had very little to go on, but I wonder what we would have made of Jason McGuire aka El Rubio?
Whenever anyone asks me who is the world’s greatest guitarist, which happens more often than you would think, I always propose it's likely some unknown Spaniard in his thirties. El Rubio is, in fact, a Texan with Irish roots (the band hail from the Bay Area) who cut his chops listening to Hendrix and the British 'blues' guitarists; presumably Eric and other Yardbirds’ and Bluesbreakers’ alumni: Peter Green, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.
However, it was on hearing Paco DeLucia that everything changed for him. Paco is largely responsible for spreading flamenco music worldwide and is equally revered in Jazz, Jazz-rock and Gypsy Jazz circles and I must concur, he's the most mind-bogglingly magnificent guitarist I've ever heard.
Virtuoso guitarists of the calibre of Paco and El Rubio often struggle to remain on the side of good taste, straying into performing circus tricks; impressive but meaningless in a musical context. Paco’s musicality is perennially intact and El Rubio more or less pulls it off too. 
While there are distinct features of each, the album serves up a superb fusion of flamenco and the Jazz guitar trio format. Although I have very little knowledge of flamenco, with over fifty distinct styles, it seems to me that it isn't just one with elements, textures and characteristics of the other, but a seamless conflation of the two.
This is evident on the album opener Zardoz, featuring flamenco guitar stylings assimilated into a basic Jazz guitar trio, which is disrupted after the four-minute mark by a short cante from guest vocalist Jose Cortes, further reminding the listener that it's also flamenco. 
Kali also has a flamenco style song-form featuring Jose Cortes, and A Liberty and Contratempio sound, to these untrained ears, like fairly straightforward flamenco.  
In contrast, Zap is reminiscent of Birds of Fire by the Mahavishnu Orchestra but on acoustic guitar and, while Rick Laird never used a bowed double bass, it was a prominent feature of both Miroslav Vitous and Stanley Clarke, enhancing the evocation of Jazz-rock, but retaining a flamenco sensibility.
The final track, Motivation is perhaps the most interesting from a Jazz perspective; at almost ten minutes it's free throughout with no repetitive rhythm and each musician taking the lead in turn. 
Romance is one of two songs on the album written for his wife, flamenco dancer Yaelisa, and he demonstrates a tenderness often lacking in guitarists who specialise in godzillions of notes per nanosecond.
For once, I'm encouraged there could be a market for a CD. Flamenco has a broad cross-cultural appeal and enjoys popularity around the world' and I hear no reason why the Jazz content would detract from this. Furthermore, there is much here to appeal to anybody who appreciates Jazz guitar, particularly anyone bored by the constant recycling of formulaic clichés, or Jazz more broadly.
Out now and recommended.
Steve T.

1 comment :

  1. For anybody interested in flamenco, or guitar geniuses more generally, Paco Pena, arguably the finest exponent of the style since the death of Paco De Lucia, returns to the Sage on July 18th.

    ReplyDelete

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About this blog - contact details.

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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