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Bebop Spoken There

Sonny Rollins: "I work very hard. I wear out suits playing." - (Downbeat May 29, 1969.)

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Bob Brookmeyer: "The group's philosophy? We're saving to buy new uniforms - the ties wore out." - (Crescendo March 1965).

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Archives.

Today Thursday March 23

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone, Newcastle (ish) NE27 0DA. 1pm. Free.
Archipelago - King's Hall, Newcastle Uni, 1:10pm. Free.
Evening.
Maine St. Jazzmen - Potters Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE. 8:30pm. 0191 4888068
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BABMUS - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. Free.
Andchuck - Hoochie Coochie, 54 Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6sf. 8:30pm. Free.
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Tees Hot Club w. Jeremy McMurray (keys); Kevin Eland (trumpet); Mark Toomey (alto) - Dorman's, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough. 9pm. Free.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge Hotel, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees. 8:30pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, October 03, 2016

CD Review: Andrew Cyrille Quartet - The Declaration of Musical Independence

Bill Frisell – Guitar; Richard Teitelbaum  - synthesiser, piano; Ben Street – double bass; Andrew Cyrille – drums.
(Review by Hugh C)
In a previous blog post, Lance has alluded to fact that I am his preferred recipient of the slightly more outré offerings that drop through his letterbox.  I was not surprised therefore, bumping into Lance at the Sirkis/Bialis gig at the Globe, when I was greeted with “I've got something for you – Bill Frisell?”.  As my answer was in the affirmative, I was handed a smart red CD still in its polythene wrap, placed it in my coat pocket and thought nothing more of it – the International Quartet were starting up.

Lance knows I like the ECM product.  Many, but by no means all, of the CDs I am offered for review are on the ECM label – this appeared to be an exception, no moody black and white photograph on the front, just a smart red cover with white lettering.  The packaging, in the cold light of Sunday morning, however, felt familiar – an outer cardboard sleeve concealing the CD jewel case.  Yes, this was ECM.
I was surprised to read that this CD was by the Andrew Cyrille Quartet, Bill Frisell being second in the listing.  This is, apparently, avant-garde drummer, Andrew Cyrille's ECM leader debut. Unusually, no promotional material (other than the CD itself) was sent to BSH for review.  When reviewing a CD I tend to read through the promotional literature before listening to the CD, this often provides me with a hook on which to hang my additional verbiage.  The CD booklet has the usual moody photographs of the band and the individual members during the recording session.  Uncharacteristically for an ECM recording, there are also four pages of commentary on the CD.  Unfortunately (for me, as reviewer) I can barely understand a word of it!  Apparently in the musical world of the 20th century we had “become enmeshed completely and needlessly in steady, even time signatures deriving from military applications, to the exclusion of any other understanding of musical flow” - and so it goes on.

To the music then – this CD comes in at 45 minutes or thereabouts.  There are 9 tracks, the first being composed by John Coltrane and the remainder by individual, or a combination of the band members.  Some are previous compositions and three are new improvisational pieces involving all four musicians.  The languorous guitar style of Frisell is dominant throughout. 

As the title of the CD and the sleeve notes suggest, the music is largely devoid of the metrical contstraint of a time signature, one does get the impression from time to time (no pun intended!) that the output is a series of interesting, but unconnected noises rather than a continuous whole.  This is not to detract from the beauty of some of the more lyrical passages.

As I have commented before in respect of some of the CDs I have been offered for review, this is likely to appeal to the enthusiast, but perhaps not to the more general audience.  Would I buy this CD - no.  Would I recommend it to others – possibly, with the enthusiast proviso above.  Will I use this review copy to scare the birds in my allotment – no, I don't have an allotment

All in all then, an interesting (to coin a phrase) adventure – but not over-inspiring.  As Jazzwise Magazine's regular correspondent, The Colonel, might say:  “Could do with some military discipline!”
Hugh C.
Track Listing:
Coltrane Time  [Coltrane]
Kaddish [Frisell]
Sanctuary [The Quartet]
Say [Street]
Dazzling (Perchordially Yours) [The Quartet]
Herky Jerky [Teitelbaum]
Begin [Frisell]
Manfred [The Quartet]
Song for Andrew No. 1 [Frisell]


The Declaration of Musical Independence is released on ECM, Cat No.  ECM2430 and is available now.

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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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