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Bebop Spoken There

More from Jazz Monthly:

Jack Cooke: "...neither Giuffre nor Jim Hall are even adequate jazz musicians, they are technically limited, and more importantly, seem unable to improvise logically" - (Review of a JATP concert. Jazz Monthly May 1960)

Bill Evans: "A composer writes something, and an orchestra interprets it--he spends maybe six months writing 10 minutes of music, but a jazz musician spends 10 minutes of playing 10 minutes of music, and he performs it himself". - (Jazz Monthly July1960).

Archives

Today Thursday October 19

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:oopm. Free.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - White Horse Hotel, Burtree Lane, Harrowgate Hill, Darlington DL2 1RH.Darlington. 1:30pm. Free.

Evening.

Mark Williams Trio - Empty Shop, 35c Framwellgate Bridge, Durham DH1 3NJ 8:00pm. £5.00.

Indigo Jazz Voices - Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter's Wheel, Sunniside NE16 5EE. 8:30pm. Free.

Darlington Big Band, MD Richie Emmerson - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. 9pm. Free.

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.

Friday, June 16, 2017

CD Review: Stanton Moore - With You in Mind, the Songs of Allen Toussaint.

Stanton Moore (drums); David ‘Tork’ Torkanowsky (keys); James Singleton (bass) + Trombone Shorty; Nicholas Payton; Donald Harrison; Maceo Parker;  Jolyanda Kiki Chapman; Cyril Neville; Wendell Pierce.
Lance: I could write at length and wax eloquent but the press release says it all and, on this occasion, the press release doesn’t lie. An album that defies genre but pays tribute to one of New Orleans’ greatest musicians of the latter part of the twentieth century and beyond – Allen Toussaint.
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(Press release).
Toussaint’s sudden death on November 10, 2015 (in Madrid, far from home, of a heart attack, after playing a concert) shocked New Orleans. The polymath producer, songwriter, arranger, bandleader, pianist, singer, and all-around figure of elegance had been a vital, active presence in New Orleans since the 1950s.
Moore, Torkanowsky and Singleton immediately shelved a planned album and went into creative hyper drive. “We already had studio time booked, we couldn’t wait,” Moore recalls. “It’s not like we wrote out all these arrangements ahead of time. We were flying by the seat of our pants.” 
As they began working up pieces from Toussaint’s vast repertoire, it quickly became a vocal album with guest singers. “As Tork likes to say,” Moore comments, “being a musician in New Orleans is like having the greatest musical toolbox at your disposal.” Supplementing their trio with some of New Orleans’s living legends – their friends -- they reimagined Toussaint’s songs, conceptualizing and building out an album on the fly. 
It was Torkanowsky who brought in the first guest vocalist, Jolynda Kiki Chapman, best known in New Orleans for singing with her mother, Topsy Chapman. She delivers perhaps the most straightforward performance on the album: Toussaint’s tender ballad “All These Things.” “The first time I heard her sing was when we were tracking,” Moore says.  “The hair on my arms stood up. I took it home and played it for my girlfriend and she burst into tears.” The record was under way.
New Orleans music doesn’t recognize genre boundaries, so With You In Mind crosses effortlessly from funk to jazz and back. Two of New Orleans’s most eminent jazz thinkers, Nicholas Payton and Donald Harrison, appear on two instrumentals. The first is a version of “Java,” which became a top-5 hit for Al Hirt in 1963 and the other is “Riverboat,” Toussaint’s 1960 record with Lee Dorsey (which also doubles as an homage to the session’s original drummer, one of Moore’s heroes, James Black). 
They called in Cyril Neville to sing a song. “It turned into him singing four songs,” laughs Moore, “plus one as a spoken-word performance.” Neville kicks off the album with “Here Come the Girls,” with the added muscle of the musicians’ longtime colleague Trombone Shorty, the former child prodigy who is now a marquee attraction all over the world. Neville gamely sings one of Toussaint’s best-known numbers, “Life,” in 7/8 (James Singleton’s idea). Inspired by that, Moore put the 1969 Lee Dorsey classic “Everything I Do Gone Be Funky (From Now On)” into 5/4 (It was Tork, says Moore, who figured out how to make “fun-ky” line up on the 1). And Neville’s version of “Night People” features an alto solo by funk legend Maceo Parker.
But then they did something altogether new. “Tork said, ‘there’s this book of poetry that Allen wrote.’ We got a copy from Reggie Toussaint, Allen’s son. It’s just a little thin book of poetry -- a lot of it was different re-workings of some of his lyrics – but we found one, ‘The Beat,’ which he hadn’t recorded.” Cyril Neville pronounced the poetry virtuosically, with a characteristically funky musicality.
The album’s striking closer is another spoken-word number. Possibly the most experimental piece on the album, it’s also comfort music: a completely unexpected version of “Southern Nights,” a #1 hit in 1977 for Glen Campbell and a cornerstone of Toussaint’s own concerts. The catalyst for this number was Nicholas Payton, who’s doing compelling work these days in shows where he plays both trumpet and keys, sometimes at the same time.  And after it was recorded, Tork said, ‘what would be cool would be to get Wendell Pierce.’ “I was like, ‘uh, okay, I dunno.’ I thought it was a wacky idea at first, but it turned out to be a great idea.”
With You in Mind: The Songs of Allen Toussaint is built on the livest grooves the trio could deliver. It was a bittersweet project for all concerned, celebrating the memory of someone whose living presence was so important. “I didn’t get to work with Allen as often as I’d have liked to,” Moore says, “but I did get to.” Their friendship went back twenty years. Through the years we crossed paths a few times. The first time he played with us was also the first time we played the Saenger Theater,” referring to the 2,600-seat New Orleans landmark.
“Allen Toussaint wrote the soundtrack to New Orleans,” says Moore. “He came out of an environment that no longer exists. The level of talent and ability and artistry that he embodied – we won’t see this again.” 

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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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