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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

Archives

Today Saturday September 23

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Day two of three.
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Evening
Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Rockafellas - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Tobie Carpenter Organ Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £10.
Thin Man + Jon Gordon - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. Free.
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Nikki Iles & Stan Sulzmann - Great Hall, Hexham Abbey, Hexham NE46 3NB. 10pm. £10/£8.
Pat McMahon Trio - Tannery, Gilesgate, Hexham NE46 3QD. 01434 605537. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Under the Moon of Love? Ruth Lambert Quartet @ Ushaw College – April 21.

Ruth Lambert, vocals; Paul Edis, piano; Andy Champion, bass; Rob Walker, drums.
(Review/photos by Jerry)
The gig began with No Moon at All (which was appropriate as it was stottin’ down outside and even a “supermoon” would have been invisible), revved up in the second set with That Old Devil Moon and ended with How High the Moon. Love was most definitely the theme of the evening as evidenced by Beautiful Love, a song which Ruth Lambert explained had featured in the 1932 film, The Mummy, when Karloff’s mummy pursued the beautiful Helen Grosvenor. The things you learn!
We had a slow, moody take on “living to love and muddling through” in I’m Glad There Is You followed by a rapid gallop through Mercer and Kern’s I’m Old Fashioned (“stay old fashioned with me”). Ruth said she “never tired of singing” the next number, Arlen’s I’ve Got the World on a String, (“what a life – I’m in love!”) while Ira Gershwin summed up the euphoria with ‘S Wonderful! Brother, George, wrote the notes, of course, and some of his other notes popped up, intriguingly, in the piano solo during West Coat Blues in which Wes Montgomery with his “suitcase full of sorrows” gave an alternative take on love. The first set closed with Jobim’s Agua de Beber, a beautiful bossa nova with very metaphorical lyrics (by de Moraes?) – “Your love is rain, my heart the flower…”. It could have reminded us of the world outside –“since the rain has to fall, let it fall on me” – but we were lost in the music by then….
……..and stayed lost in the music till the aforementioned How High the Moon. I’ve mentioned all the second set songs bar two very contrasting ones in terms of tone and tempo: A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and Ellington’s Caravan. Although I am a bit of a birdwatcher, I’ve never heard a Nightingale (I doubt they sing a lot in Chester-le-Street!) but if I had, my comment would probably be, as per my notes at the gig: “a beautiful song, beautifully sung”. Caravan was memorable because it gave Rob Walker an opportunity to let off steam and gain much-deserved applause with a drum intro and the relentless driving rhythm of sticks on the rim of the drum (for which, I’m sure, there must be a technical term – rim-click, maybe?). I’d earlier appreciated his drumming with his hands on the bossa nova – I expect there’s a term for that, too!All four musicians were on top form. Ruth Lambert exercised her full vocal range (Agua de Beber finished on a very high note!) in a variety of moods from wistful (Nightingale) to giggly (I’m Old Fashioned). Before the second number she asked Paul Edis to do “something inventive and beautiful” as an intro and that pretty much summed up his solos all evening. Andy Champion was not to be left behind, either: my notes on ‘S Wonderful say “cracking piano solo matched by A.C.” and he was prominent on several other numbers such as West Coast Blues and I’m Old Fashioned where he gave us an amazingly energetic bowed solo!
So, this first in a new season of gigs at Ushaw (now well-established as a jazz venue and deservedly flourishing) set the bar high for the summer to come. With four top musicians mining the rich seams of the “Gasbook” you’d expect no less. Next up is the Strictly Smokin' Big Band, look out for details.
Jerry.

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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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