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Bebop Spoken There

Danny Gatton: "I was tired of playing in beer joints. I wanted to do something tangible like building cars. But once you do music it gets into your blood. You can get away from it for awhile but sooner or later it comes back to you." - (Down Beat April 1991).

Tal Farlow: "There were times when I would stop [playing guitar] and do sign painting." - (Downbeat December 5, 1963)

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Today Monday August 21

Radio
Radio 3: Jazz Now. Live from Pizza Express, Soweto Kinch featuring Andy Sheppard/Carla Bley/Steve Swallow. 11pm.
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Afternoon.
Jazz in the Afternoon - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
?????
To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book Review: Dear Reflection: I Never Meant To Be A Rebel - Jessica Bell

(Review by Ann Alex)
Ms Bell, an Australian woman who lives in Athens, is an award-winning author, poet, creative writing teacher, graphic designer, singer, songwriter, and musician. She also co-founded Vine Leaves Press and she writes for various language teaching publishers. She is the daughter of Erika Bach, who with her partner Demetri Vlass, founded two of Melbourne’s iconic indie bands, Ape The Cry and Hard Candy.
The book is a memoir about Jessica’s childhood and youth, an interesting account of growing up with two talented adults who were heavily into their music, who encouraged Jessica in her own creativity and yet sometimes neglected her when following their careers. We read about her mother’s constant problems caused by being addicted to prescription drugs which gave rise to fits of anger and depression, and the effect this had on Jessica and Demetri. We learn about Jessica’s troubled adolescence, during which she tried all sorts of stimulants and lifestyles, experienced abusive relationships with men, and gave out some abuse herself. Without giving too much of the story away, things more or less come right in the end for both Jessica and her Mother, and Jessica becomes the successful woman described in the first paragraph.
 The book is saved from being just another misery memoir (a popular genre these days) by being skilfully written. For example, describing nerves felt before performing in a show, out author says tellingly ‘Butterflies head-butted the lining of my stomach.’ Jessica regularly has conversations about her situation with her mirror, which is both friend and enemy, as she imagines it is pointing out her faults and occasionally suggesting solutions. A note at the beginning of the work explains the methods of writing which are sound, for example, the writer has tried hard to be as accurate as possible but to avoid long-windedness she has sometimes combined three friends into one person to give the essence of what someone was like. I certainly believed the account that she provided of her life. And she does something which I wish all so-called celebrities would do when writing about their lives – she has the good sense to disguise the identity of all those she mentions, including even her husband, except for the names of her parents, who agreed to be identified.

So this tale is one of triumph against heavy odds, full of interest despite the reading being occasionally hard to take because of the problems described. And there is an added bonus – the music!  It’s not jazz but I loved it, so if your taste is for post punk indie bands, listen to Jessica’s parents in their youth by Googling  Ape The Cry and Hard Candy.( And ladies, Demetri Vlass is really dishy in the video) To hear samples of our author’s current band (electronic  indie pop/rock) go to www.keepshellyinathens.com 
The book was published on June 6. See www.jessicabellauthor.com
Ann Alex

2 comments :

  1. Wow! Thank you so much for this fabulous review. So pleased you enjoyed my book. All the best to you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jessica, from Ann, You're very welcome. And I also loved your website, very inviting, and the Keep Shelly In Athens music is intriguingly good.

    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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