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Bebop Spoken There

Michael Feinstein: “Fred Astaire is my favorite singer. To me, he was the perfect interpreter of American popular song.” – (Jazz Times December 2014).

Bud Shank: “Once I saw California – that was it, I stayed.” – (Jazz Journal May 1991)

Archives.

Today Thursday February 23

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone, Newcastle (ish) NE27 0DA. 1pm. Free.
Evening.
Maine St. Jazzmen - Potters Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE. 8:30pm. 0191 4888068.
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Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Millstone, Haddricks Mill Rd., South Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3DB 7pm.
Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. Free.
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Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Richie Emmerson (tenor); Bruce Taylor (keys) - Dorman's, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough. 9pm. Free.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge Hotel, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees. 8:30pm.
Pocket Jazz Orchestra - The Ship, Church Lane, Redmarshall TS21 1EP. 8pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, August 12, 2016

CD Review: Euan Stevenson & Konrad Wiszniewski – New Focus On Song

(Review by Russell).
New Focus is an ongoing collaboration between pianist Euan Stevenson and fellow Scot, saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski. On Song is their second album on Michael Janisch’s Whirlwind Recordings label. The majority of the thirteen tracks were composed by Euan Stevenson, the format similar to New Focus’ first CD, incorporating jazz quartet, string quartet and harp.

Air in D Minor would suggest classical connotations. This is the opening to the album. A brace of folk-inspired numbers follow – Green Park and Destination Unknown – making it abundantly clear this isn’t a straight ahead jazz album. No one said it was. It is what it is. The strings are members of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Sophia’s Song is an amalgam of Wiszniewski blowing, the strings attempting a riff and Alyn Cosker’s superb ‘big band’ drumming.
Stevenson has sought to incorporate disparate elements; French impressionism and Celtic folk melodies, small group jazz and solo piano episodes. The jazz ear was taken by Corea Change; scorching jazz quartet (think Tubby Hayes or Johnny Griffin), Cosker in Buddy Rich mode, Stevenson’s dazzling jazz piano. The strings enter late on and give as good as they get. This is the ‘jazz’ of the album. There is more jazz on Fourths Ostinato. Cosker is once again at the centre of things with an outstanding, high-octane workout as Konrad Wiszniewski’s soprano tirade scales the heights.  
Jazz and strings, jazz with strings or music with strings. From a jazz perspective, On Song is an album for those with a penchant for a ‘jazz plus’ offering.      
New Focus On Song on Whirlwind Recordings (WR4690) is released on August 19. The album launch, as part of the Edinburgh Fringe, is at the Jazz Bar on August 20.            
Russell.

Euan Stevenson (piano), Konrad Wiszniewski (tenor & soprano saxophones, clarinet, low D whistle), Andrew Robb (double bass), Alyn Cosker (drums & percussion);  the Glasgow String Quartet: William Chandler (violin), Lorna Rough (violin), Ian Budd (viola), Betsy Taylor (cello); Nicola Wiszniewski (flute) & Alina Bzhezhinska (harp)

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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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