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Bebop Spoken There

John Tynan: "Go ahead, call me reactionary. I happen to object to the musical nonsense being peddled in the name of jazz by John Coltrane and his acolyte Eric Dolphy." - (Downbeat November 22, 1961).

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McCoy Tyner: "If anyone want to know how the three of us - Elvin, Jimmy and me - felt about John [Coltrane], listen to the music and you can hear the love and respect we had for each other. The music can really speak more than any of us." - (Melody Maker, August 19, 1967).
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Today Tuesday April 25

Evening
Playtime Collective w. Martin Kershaw (alto); Graeme Stephen (guitar); Mario Caribe (bass); Tom Bancroft (drums). - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £10/£8 (conc.). JNE/Schmazz.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond Ave. Newcastle NE2 3EX. £5. 8:30pm.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
Lickety Split - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham. 9:00pm. Free (bucket collection).
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, September 23, 2016

CD Review: Gene Ess - Absurdist Theatre

Gene Ess (Guitar), Thana Alexa (Voice), Manuel Valera (Piano), Yasushi Nakamura (Bass), Clarence Penn (Drums).
(Review by Steve T)
Another strong album but when do we get to see them live at a Jazz Café or Globe near us [northeast UK]? Because that's the only market I can envisage for it, and, if they're as good live, I'm sure they'd shift loads.*
Having said that, the internet, social media, streaming, downloading; all these things are something of a mystery to me so maybe there's a marketplace I'm not privy to.
Gene Ess, originally from Tokyo, grew up in America and has lived in New York since 1991. He studied classical piano, listened to Beethoven and Chopin and then American pop and Jazz, particularly John Coltrane. He's also made an incredible list of guest spots including Dave Liebman, Al Foster, Rashied Ali, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Carlos Santana, Archie Shepp, Reggie Workman and Ravi Coltrane. 
It's another guitar album but, presumably, in the pursuit of variety, he shares the lead with the lady with the voice Thana Alexa. I'm also tempted to add pianist Manuel Valera to the list. In fact, the musicianship from all concerned is exemplary throughout. I say the voice rather than the singer because the album features only two songs and the rest of the time she's ad-libbing, trilling, scatting, la-la-la-ing and I realised she's using it as a musical instrument, and she has a fine voice.
However, unaccustomed as I am to lots of singing with very little in the way of discernible melodies and lyrics, I found myself losing interest a little as I progressed further through the album, though another song popped up just in time. I imagine any aspiring female vocalists, and we have several in the North East, will find it of great interest.
The album, his latest, is titled Absurdist Theater reflecting his interest in Absurdist philosophy, closely affiliated with existentialism and poststructuralism, which negates the idea of any underlying meaning, truth or structure. He claims the quest for meaning is replaced by contentment in the artistic pursuit of beauty which could account for the lack of any meaning inherent in music with lyrics, while some might argue that beauty in itself is not devoid of meaning.
I would have probably preferred a little more absurdity and rather less structure, but it's a fine, worthwhile album none the less.
Slated to be released September 2016.
Steve T.
*Street Date - September 26, 2016
CD Release Party
September 25th - Blue Note NYC
11:30 am Show & 1:30pm Show (Brunch)
Tix: $35.00 (price includes brunch, music, drink)


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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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