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Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Bebop Spoken There

Howard Riley: “When I started out playing jazz back in the late 50s, early 60s, if you wanted a gig you had to learn some standards.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Eric Harland: “I love swing and I’m always going to swing but I also know that you can take a hip-hop groove and improvise with that just like you would with a swing pattern.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Today Saturday April 29

Afternoon

1pm: Dean Stockdale Trio. 2:30pm: Abbie Finn Quartet 4pm: Rick Laughlin Trio - Quakerhouse, Mechanics’ Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 01325 245052. 1:00-5:00pm. Free (donations).

Evening

Dave O’Higgins with Durham Alumni Big Band - Majestic Theatre, Bondgate, Darlington DL3 7JT. Support set by Durham County Youth Big Band (7:15pm). £12.00. (+ concs).

Late night jam session - Quakerhouse, Mechanics’ Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 01325 245052.10:30pm. Free.

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Ruby Turner - Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. £21.00. & £20.00.

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Fever & Friends - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE333 3NG. 7:30pm. £12.00. 0191 454234.

Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.

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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 10, 2016

CD Review: Rik Wright's Fundamental Forces - Subtle Energy

Rik Wright (guitar); Jim DeJoie (clarinet); Geoff Harper (bass); Greg Campbell (drums/perc). 
(Review by Steve T) 
Another good album, another piano-less quartet, another guitar/ woodwind frontline, clarinet standing in for the various saxophones featured on the original versions of these five tracks taken from his previous albums, though the player remains the same.
At a little over forty minutes, it's also another short album, which plays well to us oldies, groomed on twelve inches of plastic or (what seemed like) twelve miles of tape. Restrictions imposed by the limitations of the format but, with so many CDs (not to mention double albums) seeming too long, maybe fortyish minutes is a reasonable length of time before putting on something else.

Clarinet is not normally an instrument I'm taken by but, with a little help from Lord Edis, Arun Ghosh and this, maybe it was always the context that was wrong for me. Wright 'has always had an affinity for the sound of clarinet and guitar together...predicts the relationship...is a lovely one', and it is.
The notes inform us the album is 'more laid back than its predecessors', but also that Yearning and Nonchalant (tracks 3 and 4) are its 'softer centre'. The remaining three tracks all build during their respective lengths, in the rhythm section, through increasingly propulsive drumming and 'a straightforward bass line which...ripples outward into universal resonances'. On top you get the guitar sneaking around under the clarinet before taking over and the clarinet then coming back in behind the guitar lead, using different sounds and textures to build to a rockier climax.
However, the difference between these and the 'softer' tracks is one of degree and, despite his influences being routed in rock as well as Jazz, it never quite explodes, a common quibble I have with guitarists.
The Jazz establishment still hasn't quite accepted Jazz-rock, and particularly John McLaughlin into the mainstream, as evidenced by Downbeat readers recently voting Pat Metheny and not McLaughlin (or for that matter Benson) as its fourth guitarist in their Hall of Fame, which must have confounded and embarrassed them both.  
Having said all that, you really can't win. If an artist records an album with great variety, it's a mess lacking any direction or flow, and if you put out an album with the same flavour throughout, it's accused of being samey.
This album fits the latter, which is actually where most of the truly great albums are, and while it isn't that, it's a fine listen anyway.
Out now on HipSync Records.
Steve T.

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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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