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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie McLean: “I can't understand British audiences. In Britain there doesn't seem to be any curiosity." (Melody Maker, April 1, 1961).

Charles Mingus: "It seems to me that if our records were not issued in Britain, the British cats would have to think for themselves" (Jazz News, July 26th 1961)

Archives.

Today Thursday July 27

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:oopm. Free.
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Tyne Valley Jazzmen - No 1 Champagne Bar, 1 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL4 7 NJ 12:30pm. Free.
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Evening.
Strictly Smokin' Big Band - The Millstone, Haddricks Mill Rd., South Gosforth NE3 3DB. 7pm. Cancelled for pub refurbishment. Back August 31.
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Alter Ego - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £5.
Jo Harrop & Paul Edis - The Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm
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Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter's Wheel, Sunniside NE16 5EE, 8:30pm. Free.
Ray Johnson & Richard Herdman - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling St., Gateshead NE2 2BA. 8pm. Free.
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Paul Skerritt Band - The Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. 9pm. Free.
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Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland (tpt); Donna Hewitt (alto); Graham Thompson (keys); Mark Hawkins (drums) - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Free. 9pm.
Pocket Jazz Orchestra "Jazz & Tapas" - No 60, Arc, Dovecote St., Stockton TS18 1LL 7pm. £10.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.01642 678129.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

CD Review: Akua Dixon - Akua's Dance

Akua Dixon (baritone violin, cello, voice); Freddie Bryant (guitar); Kenny Davis (bass); Victor Lewis (drums); Russell Malone (guitar); Ron Carter (bass).
(Review by Steve T)
This must be the lady who played the Newcastle Jazz Caff a while back which I, unfortunately, couldn't make.
No doubt others will be able to point to precedents but I'm unaware of any Jazz with a cello as lead instrument and I was further intrigued to learn, after a couple of plays, that some of it's actually a baritone violin.
Her playing is immense and there's some brilliant solo exchanges, particularly with the guitarists.

Her voice only features on one track, Throw it Away by Abbey Lincoln, and the notes describe her voice as soulful, but it isn't in any conventional way and I found it more suited to show tunes and musicals.
There's a traditional spiritual and a version of Sade's Sweetest Tabu to get you guessing where you've heard it before. Sade's career began as part of the British acid/Jazz/dance scene of the eighties which evolved from northern soul and Jazz-funk, but with almost immediate chart action, abandoned her long before this point. The rest of the album features originals by the lady.
The strongest track for me is the title track with an exotic feel and builds nicely. Also of note is Afrika! Afrika! with a deep, dark and powerful sound coming from the cello, mostly unaccompanied for almost four of its almost seven minutes. A couple of times it sounds like it could go into Paranoid by Black Sabbath.
I imagine this would have been fantastic live and have it on the best authority that it was, so I imagine she'll shift plenty of copies at gigs.
It's been out since February. 

Steve T.

4 comments :

  1. Steve, you're thinking of Ayanna Witter-Johnson, and fabulous she was too! Aqua Dixon is an established NYC name working across the jazz to classical spectrum. If Dixon should ever turn up at the Jazz Cafe make sure you're second in the queue.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So there are other cellists in Jazz. Thanks for that , I must investigate further.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Like Oscar Pettiford with Duke and Fred Katz with Chico Hamilton and, I bet, even Andy Champion has a cello hidden in the closet!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Contemplated a Pettiford box set but too much music, too little time. Not a lot of people know this but if you put more than six hundred items (incl books, DVDs)in your Amazon basket, they randomly take stuff out without telling you.
    I feel an excuse to explore my latest Duke box coming on though.

    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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