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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 Thursday May 25

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone, Newcastle (ish) NE27 0DA. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Millstone, Haddricks Mill Rd., South Gosforth NE3 3DB. 7pm. Free.
Maine St. Jazzmen - Potters Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE. 8:30pm. 0191 4888068.
Dulcie May Moreno - Bar Loco, Leazes Park Rd., Newcastle NE1 4PG. 8pm? Free? 0191 2325871 to confirm times etc.
Ray Johnson/Richard Herdman - Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £5.
Babmus - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £3/£2 (students/MU).
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Doo Wop Dollies - Queen's Hall, Beaumont St., Hexham NE46 3LS. 8pm. £10. 01434 652477.
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Tees Hot Club w. Richie Emmerson (tenor); Kevin Eland (trumpet); Ted Pearce (keys); Mark Hawkins (drums) - Dorman's, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough. 9pm. Free.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - The Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees. 8:30pm.
Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Ship, Church Lane, Redmarshall, Stockton TS21 1EP. Free. 8:00PM.
Paul Skerritt Band - Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. 7pm. £25 (3 course meal inc.)
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

CD Review: Kayle Brecher - This Is Life

(Review by Ann Alex).
There isn’t much biographical information included with this CD, except to say that the musicians have various music qualifications, eg  Sutin has a degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and the high standard of playing is obvious to the listener anyway. The basic idea of the disc was to convey a sense of intimacy, with a mixture of original songs, standards, and what are labelled as ‘re-envisioning’ of numbers such as Freddie Hubbard’s Red Clay’ (Brecher has added lyrics); Herbie Hancock’s Dolphin Dance (this has become Sea Of Dolphins with lyrics added); and a scatted arrangement of Egberto Gismonti’s Moon Dreams. 
I enjoyed especially hearing the harp as a jazz instrument, trilling out jazz sounds wonderfully, and I mean the harp with strings, as in Wales, not another name for the mouthorgan. Brecher’s  voice is fine, with a ‘cute ‘ sound for lighter pieces and more depth when serious, and she gives lots of space in which the instruments can do their stuff.
However, I had mixed feelings about the disc as a whole, as much of the material has been improvised and it has gone a bit too far out for my taste. The voice and the band seemed to be at odds sometimes, eg Back To The Red Clay sounds ‘messy’ at the beginning, with too much scat, too few meaningful lyrics, then a rock feel which didn’t seem to fit, and the piece was a bit too long.  In fact on some of the tracks, I’d have preferred no singing at all as the instruments conveyed the music well without any additions. 
On the track Life Is Just Rhythm, for voice and drums only, there simply wasn’t enough actual rhythm and the lyrics were too complex to be effective as a song. Some tracks were better, such as the exciting Not Alone (good harp, guitar solo, ‘cute’ vocal quality) and Wild Child (wildish music, random sounding, voice used as an instrument with call and response with the other instruments). The titles of the rest of the tracks were: African Dream; Torch To Hand; and The Gift.
The CD is currently available on Penchant Four Records
Ann Alex.
Kayle Brecher (vocals); Ratzo Harris (bass); Frank Butrey (guitar); Grant Calvin Weston (drums); Brandee A Younger (harp); Gloria Galante (harp on other tracks); Benjamin Sutin (violin); Dave Dzubinski (piano); Matt Cappy (trumpet) Not all instruments play on all tracks.

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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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