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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
Harambee Pasadia - See RH Column.
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.
Chris James & Martin Fletcher - Billy Bootleggers - 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Imelda May - Sage Gateshead. 7pm. £38.20/£27.30 VIP Option £104.
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Hokum Hotshots - National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0GL. 7:30pm. £27.50. Tel: 0191 515 5555. ‘Bourbon & Blues’ three course meal - booking essential.
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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.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

CD Review:Alexander Stewart - I Thought About You

Alexander Stewart (vcl) w. big band inc. Rob Barron (pno); Rob Anstey (bs); Andy Chapman (dms); Freddy Gavita (tpt); Andy Panayi (alt); Callum Au, Alistair White (tmb) as well as the City of Prague Philharmonic on 7 tracks.
(Review by Lance).
I've been a fan of Alexander Stewart since that night back in 2009 when I first heard him at London's The Spice of Life. I was knocked out then and I've been increasingly impressed by his progress.
This new CD - perhaps his most ambitious yet - rubberstamps my early judgement.
Yes, he's still a crooner, but he's today's crooner, albeit one who still looks over his shoulder and says, "If it was good enough then, then it's good enough now - if I do it my way!"
Stevie Wonder's Part Time Lover kicks things off with a wonderful Au trombone solo slotting in between the vocal choruses.
Willie Dixon's I Just Want to Make Love to You swings like Sinatra/Basie may have done on this one.
I Thought About You is rapidly becoming another Summertime but, with a difference, it's a tune you never get tired of hearing and, dare I say it? Jimmy Van Heusen was, with all due respect, more hip than either of the Gershwins. People forget, or don't realise,  the Gershwin songs we hear today are far removed from the composer's original intent which was schmaltzy Broadway show tunes. Jazz musicians and singers took them to a higher level. Freddy Gavita blows trumpet here and the symphony squad from Prague saw effectively away in the background.
Brother Can You Spare a Dime? - a Yip Harburg tune, written in the post World War I depression days - may seem a strange choice (apart from being a great song) but in today's turbulent times who knows that it won't become appropriate once more? Hopefully not, but this is the best version since Bing!
Human, the first of 4 originals by the singer, shows that he's no slouch as a composer/lyricist - Gavita pours some flugelhorn icing on the cake.
The Look of Love tends to slot into the easy listening genre (like most Bacharach/David) until Andy Panayi blows cool sax.
How Glad I Am brings back memories of listening to pirate radio stations in the 1960's and feeling as though I was part of a revolution even though the nearest they got to jazz was Kenny Ball!
Speed of Darkness, another original by Stewart, in conjunction with longtime collaborator Alex Webb. Tommy Emmerton provides the guitar blast.
The Sweetest Feeling, a Jackie Wilson classic hits the spot.
Fragments, another original, has a Gregory Porter feeling about it and Stewart doesn't need a funny hat! Listen to the string writing!
Suitcase of Dreams. A superb, relaxed original with Stewart floating above piano, bass, guitar and drums. A love song worthy of the GASbook or it's British equivalent. Superb!
A House is Not a Home. More Bacharach/David - they can play this in my lift anytime.
Alexander Stewart is a voice to be reckoned with. and an album that will certainly figure in my Vocal Discs of the Year 2016.
Lance.
Released Sept. 9 - pre-order.

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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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