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Bebop Spoken There

Jim Hall: "Won't play loud, can't play fast" - (From one of the great guitarist's business cards brought to our attention by Roly Veitch).

Joel Harrison: “It’s incredibly hard to play bebop on guitar, harder than on saxophone.” – (Jazz Times August 2015)

Sir Thomas Beecham: "Forget about the bars. Look at the phrases, please. Remember that bars are only the boxes in which the music is packed" - (Beecham Stories by Harold Atkins & Archie Newman. Robson Books, 1978).

Today Wednesday June 28

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.
Chris Sharkey Trio - Jazz Café. 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £5/Students free - voluntary donation.
Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:30pm. £3.00.
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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

Chaka Khan @ 02 Academy, Newcastle, June 12.

(Review by Steve T)
The last time Chaka Khan played in Newcastle, you wouldn't get a Hoochie Coochie round with change from £200 so, at just under £40, I couldn't afford to miss this and clearly, others felt the same with this spacious, greater capacity, venue crammed.
It was always my intention, with number one son gone, to get back to some good ole rock n soul, but does she have any credibility or anything to do with Jazz? I've all but given up trying to second guess what else people listen to besides Jazz. As fellow Black Musics, blues and soul seem to me to be the most natural bedfellows, though I also get modern classical music and experimental rock. Hatred of all things charts and media strike me as given, but it seems young people and people with different routes into Jazz have entirely contrary sets of givens.
First question about Chaka is does she do Rufus? The short, easy answer is yes but the longer answer was swiftly confirmed when the second song was Tell me Something Good, their first hit, from 73. This was followed by a run of Rufus cuts, but the sound was so poor it was often difficult to discern what they were beyond they weren't any of my favourites, but served as a reminder of what a stonkin, fonkin band they were in the early/mid-seventies.
All on stage sat for a song she wrote for the film Clockers, which was followed by What you Gonna do for me, perhaps her best solo track (the album includes a version of Night in Tunisia) and the finest moment of the three sides live album Stompin at the Savoy which reunited her with Rufus.
My Funny Valentine, which wasn't but could just have easily been on the album of Jazz standards she made with Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White.
The announcement of a woman’s song was greeted by an explosion, the ladies, dominant in the audience singing their collective hearts out I'm Every Woman. Easy to look back and dismiss it as disco but it was her first post Rufus track and really didn't seem like a 'sell-out', but was one of the last credible disco records before the inevitable appropriation by whitey, the charts and media.
Encore Aint Nobody, centrepiece of the aforementioned one side studio album by Rufus, upped the anti a little further, the ladies once again, vocal and loud. Strangely no I Feel for You, particularly given Prince’s recent acquisition of genius status.
Never one of the great soul singers, she squawks and wails and gargles and yells and screeches. Her band were hot, despite a second guitarist doing Hendrix style posturing while you couldn't even hear whether he was any good. The three backing singers were all better than her and I think when they arrived many wondered which one is Chaka Khan. A friend of mine had pizza with her following her appearance on The Tube many years ago so I already knew that she's tiny.
Just about worth the effort and expense.
Steve T.

3 comments :

  1. Oh, wow - I saw her at Hoochie a couple of years ago ...... one of those unforgettable nights too! I missed this one though ....... silly me!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Like everything in life it's subjective. One man's meat etc... Jazz/blues is the basis for all modern music and, probably, although I'm in left field on this one. contemporary classical music. Or to sum up. all music is influenced by all music. To digress, I wonder, when Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down, who was playing lead trumpet?

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  3. Possibly should have used the capital M but on a Jazz site, I prefer to save it for Jazz. Like modern Jazz is the forties, modern soul the seventies, modern classical music is early twentieth century (contemporaneous to modern art)and is hugely important for Jazz and experimental rock.
    I prefer to think of it as discursive rather than subjective (taste and opinion become excuses for anything and everything) based on bodies of knowledge constructed in power, nowadays generally in the hands of the media.
    Currently we're subject to the discourse of Kind of Blue being one of the 'great' albums, talked about in the same breath as albums by people like the Beatles (who by their own admission, didn't make albums), Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Bowie, Clash, Nirvana etc.
    My background is in black music and this stuff is all a complete joke (maybe not Dylan but he's monumentally over-rated). I was talking to somebody at the first Durham Jazz Festival who claimed to be into blues, and claimed that he didn't distinguish by colour, but was unable to come up with one artist he listens to who is black, even get out of jail free card Hendrix.

    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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