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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.

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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