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Bebop Spoken There

Ernie Wilkins: “If you don't look at the liner notes, you don't know who in the hell it is. Everybody sounds alike, that same million-note approach. Faceless.” – (Crescendo November 1975).

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Ben Williams: “A lot of jazz today has developed this allergy to simplicity. ‘If it’s simple, that means it’s not hip’ is a theme. But sometimes the simplest thing you can do is the hippest thing you can do.” – (Down Beat August 2015).

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Archives.

Today Wednesday March 22

Afternoon.
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Paul Skerritt Band - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:30pm. £3.00.
John Harle and Steve Lodder - Royal Grammar School, Eskdale Tce., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 4DX. 7pm. £20 & £10. 60th birthday tour for RGS alumnus Harl.
Chris Sharkey Trio - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £4.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra ft. Josephine Oniyama and Dwight Trible @ Islington Assembly Hall. EFG London Jazz Festival - November 14

Matthew Halsall (trumpet); Jordan Smart (sax/flute); Taz Modi (piano); Amanda Whiting (harp); Gavin Barras (bass); Luke Flowers (drums). + Josephine Oniyama & Dwight Trible (voice)
(Review by Peter Jones).
They should have named it - Before and after Dwight.
Before: it’s a packed house, as Halsall and his band settle into a mellow, somewhat spaced-out vibe, based on simple grooves rather than chord sequences. This music is clearly influenced by the other-worldliness favoured by the likes of Pharaoh Sanders, Carla Bley and Alice Coltrane.
Beginning with a stately, Indian-flavoured tune, Jordan Smart’s flute and Amanda Whiting’s harp take the lead roles. The Orchestra then strike up a number in 6/8, and for the first time we are treated to the beautifully clear, vibrato-free tone of Halsall’s trumpet. Spacy, ethereal harp twinkles and shimmers on the next, a lengthy modal piece, Taz Modi thrumming the strings of his piano. And the next tune is even more minimalist, leading one to speculate that these lovely meditative numbers are probably born of free jamming that goes on for hours. It promotes a pleasant mood of groovy introspection.
Whiting can make her harp sound like a guitar on its lower strings, and sometimes piano and harp don’t quite manage to keep out of each other’s way (a familiar issue when it’s piano and guitar) - not that it really matters with music that flows like this.

Five tunes have gone by before Matthew Halsall speaks to the audience for the first time, to introduce singer Josephine Oniyama. She does a nice job with a tune called As I Walk, Halsall kneeling to play pre-recorded vocal harmonies from some box of tricks on the floor.

After: one more song from Oniyama, and off she goes, to be replaced, with slow and deliberate tread, by singer Dwight Trible, a gentleman of a certain vintage, with white beard and knitted Rasta hat. The band launches into John Coltrane’s Wise One, as presented with Trible’s own lyrics on his 2006 masterpiece Living Water.

Yes, masterpiece. Because Dwight Trible is a singer like no other. A human conduit to the celestial spirit, he makes the walls tremble with transcendent energy-waves. Arms aloft, he is soon testifyin’ and hollerin’, his bass-baritone larynx vibrating with passion, and it jolts the audience back into full consciousness. Continuing with another tune from Living Water - Bill Lee’s John Coltrane - Trible soon has the audience singing along. He delivers a final killer punch with Burt Bacharach’s What the World Need Now is Love. Not happy-clappy, though: it’s deadly serious, and all on one chord. This is Dwight’s response to the unfolding horror on the other side of the Atlantic.

The Gondwana Orchestra are great, but by the time they get to the encores, Dwight has completely taken over their gig, and won a lot of new fans on the way.
Peter Jones
A new album of collaborations between Dwight Trible and the Gondwana Orchestra is planned for release in 2017.

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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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