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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

Rick Laughlin Trio, Abbie Finn Quartet ao - 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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

JD Allen @ Pizza Express. EFG London Jazz Festival - November 19

JD Allen (tenor), Gregg August (bass), Sebastiaan de Krom (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
The Jazz life can be a lonely one, being what Gareth Lockrane referred to as the jazz kid at school. It was easier in my day when the jazz kid was held in quiet reverence, but I imagine half the gigs I've been to in my life have been on my own.
Having bumped into Lindsay, baritone player from the Durham Gala Big Band, before the MCA Power Trio earlier that evening, we headed off to Pizza Express together for pizza, wine, cworfee (sic) and the second of the this Saturday’s Tenor Titans.

He [JD Allen] didn't even adjust his sax mike when he introduced the band before he was off. Just bass and drums and he kept them busy throughout, perhaps so there was no one to tell him to take the horn out of his mouth, which he barely did for the next eighty minutes or thereabouts.
Allen played right through the first piece and, when the bass took a solo during the second, he comped through that.
Many of the riffs and vamps seemed vaguely familiar and Trane was the obvious first thought, though one had me thinking Caravan. It felt like a genuine stream of conscience coming through in his ideas and all credit to the band; his regular bass player and, particularly, Sebastiaan de Krom, who stepped in for this gig while the regular drummer negotiated the airways.  
A slow blues, still in Trane mode, followed by another slow one starting with JD and bass, then brushes, JD’s sax whispering while bass took the lead providing variety at exactly the right moment. When JD took back the lead, keys blazing, a moment of genuine applause, not just for the bass solo but for the moment.
As it went on, some started chatting, which I never mind and it wasn't clear whether the band did, but I know the venue do. Others danced around in their seats.
Tenor Titans was right but for me Murray clinched it by a whisker, solely on the basis that he has played through the influences and found his own voice. The only possible criticism of JD would be that he's still close to Trane, as a saxophonist, musician, performer and composer.
Having said that, if you're going to be close to anyone, it doesn't really get better than Trane. And that's not to say you don't hear other influences in his music. Tenor titans is right as he's clearly absorbed the other tenor titan, the saxophone colossus.
This was around eighty minutes, around midnight on a Saturday night/Sunday morning of brilliant, compelling, intense, uncompromising music in an amazing venue, harking back to late sixties New York.
As it neared its end, it felt like we were heading for total sheets of sound to last all night, which would have suited me just fine and much of the audience, if I'm not mistaken.

Steve T.

1 comment :

  1. Listening to a David Murray album (Special Quartet) purely by chance and I was struck by how close to Trane he was on this one. Of course almost every sax/tenor player since has a lot of Trane in there. On this album he's joined by McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones so we'll let him off.

    ReplyDelete

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About this blog - contact details.

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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