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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 Sunday July 23

Afternoon.
Mark Williams (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
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SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017 - Sage Gateshead. Day three of three. Details. From 12 noon all day.
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Jason Isaacs Big Band - Hoochie Coochie, 54 Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. 5pm. £16.
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More Jam - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm. Free jam session.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. Blues jamw. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 01325 788564. 5pm. Weekly.
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Evening
Steve Glendinning Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.
Lee Bates & Billy Newton - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Anth Purdy w support by Siobian Stanley & Friends - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling St., Gateshead NE8 2BA. 6pm. Free.
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Maine St., Jazzmen - Seaton Sluice Social Club, Collywell Bay Rd., Seaton Sluice NE26 4QZ. 8pm. £4.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Benny Benack III - A guy worth checking out.

(After reading this press release of Benny Benack III, I was curious to discover more - and I'm pleased that I did. Singing or blowing trumpet this young man proves that all of the young talents don't come out of Newcastle. Some even come from across the pond in New York. Check him out here. - Lance.)
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(Press release)
Benny Benack III, a young and multi-talented Pittsburgh native and denizen of the New York jazz scene. He is never one to limit himself. He is both an affable and expressive jazz singer and a formidable, modern-minded trumpeter, and these elements of his musical self are deeply and effortlessly intertwined. On One of a Kind, his debut release, Benack also reveals himself to be a wry and expressive songwriter and lyricist, bringing his boundless musical gifts together in a program that’s steeped in tradition but every bit as restlessly individual as his album title suggests.
Benack teams with two players he calls his “musical brothers,” pianist Emmet Cohen and bassist Alex Claffy, as well as a key mentor, drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. “Ulysses was really the first musician that took me under his wing and gave me a shot and brought me on the road,” Benack says. “To have him here on my first album means the world.” Saxophonist Joel Frahm and guitarist Yotam Silberstein, masters on their respective instruments, make vital contributions as well.
Presenting eight Benack originals (four vocal, four instrumental), one by Emmet Cohen, vibrant covers of Burt Bacharach and Harry Warren/Al Dubin classics, and a closing killer novelty song by Eddie Jefferson, Benack paints a self-portrait in sound, honoring a legacy that stretches back to Benny Benack, Sr., his trumpeter/bandleader grandfather. Having grown up playing gigs with his father Benny, Jr., and absorbing influences from his musical theater vocalist mother Claudia, Benny III became the kind of player, writer and interpreter we hear today on One of a Kind: “I gravitated first to the legends of Tin Pan Alley. I find myself identifying not only with their timeless harmonic and melodic sensibilities but also the whimsical charms of their musings on romance and melancholy. I would love for my songs to capture the essence of that magical Golden Era.”
Benack continues: “The lyric aspect of my composing didn’t develop until much later. As I became more comfortable with my voice maturing into a focal point, it was only natural that I would gain inspiration to write from my personal experiences. For that to occur I needed a certain amount of romance and heartbreak, along with successes and setbacks. When those came to be, I found the music and words flowing out of me faster than I could write them down.”

The history of singing trumpeters goes back of course to the very foundation of jazz, which is Louis Armstrong. It goes forward to encompass Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Chet Baker, Kenny Dorham and more. “Anyone who steps onstage and sings while holding a trumpet owes a debt to all of them,” says Benack. “Because the trumpet is such an intimately vocal instrument, I believe it attracts musicians who hold lyricism and humanity in the highest regard. While my singing style is more out of the classic crooner continuum of Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Harry Connick, Jr., I relate the most to people like Dizzy and Louis, who showed the world that virtuosity and artistry didn’t have to be packaged in a demure and ‘serious’ way, that it was perfectly OK to laugh and smile while playing on the highest level.”

That upbeat sentiment is there from the first bars of the robust mid-tempo swing opener and title track “One of a Kind.” It’s a song about youthful love and exuberance, says Benack, and as a vocal-and-trumpet number it’s “the perfect summation of who I am as an artist.” Then after the Jobim-inspired, guitar-driven “Kiss Me Slowly” comes the tightly orchestrated and drum-centric “I Found You,” followed by Cohen’s “You Already Know,” which the pianist wrote with Benack in mind “as a piece that would feature my strengths: fiery excitement, whirring harmony & spirited fun!”
Benack recalls “Looking for Love” as “the first ballad I ever wrote,” while the fiery hard-bop of “Jumpstart” is his “homage to the ‘Young Lion’ movement of the ’90s, when my contemporary trumpet heroes burst onto the scene. I tried to imagine Nicholas Payton or Roy Hargrove slicing through these chord changes, and I hope I did them justice.”

Silberstein returns on acoustic guitar in fine form for the romantic Latin instrumental “When Midnight Comes.” Benack plays flugelhorn, joined by Frahm on soprano, on the Ahmad Jamal-inspired “Londontowne,” while “Guh Guh Guh” (with Frahm on tenor) is a suitably frenetic set-closer featuring the full band. “The title comes from how I hear the song’s first three notes,” says Benack. “The pace builds and builds until the ending explodes like a comet in flight….”

The remarkable arrangements of “Close to You” and “I Only Have Eyes for You” are full of surprises and a fun, grooving vibe that evokes the best of the historical intermingling of jazz and pop. And “Benny’s from Heaven,” which Benack first heard James Moody sing at a jazz camp years ago, was destined to become an irreverent staple in his repertoire. “After Eddie Jefferson’s lyrics, I composed the vocalese myself with my own solo as a framework, trying to channel the powers of such a wordsmith.”
Throughout One of a Kind, on the horn and the mic, Benack brings it all together with stirring swing and a unity of aesthetic intent, in the spirit of his role models. “My ultimate aspiration,” he says, “is to have each side of my artistry complement the other, to give my voice and trumpet space to shine.” And shine they do.
For further information, visit: www.bennybenackjazz.com
CD release show:
September 21st, 2017 at Birdland Jazz Club in New York City
6pm performance/ Doors open at 5PM
Birdland Jazz Club
315 West 44th St.
New York, NY 10036

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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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