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Bebop Spoken There

Grant Green Jr.: "One thing that most people--especially jazz cats--don't realise is that all of your jazz standards were once pop standards" - DownBeat July 2018).

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Bobby Sanabria: "Tito Puente was not a very tall man, but when he played the timbales he was a giant among men." - DownBeat July 2018).

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Voting is now taking place for Nominations in the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Please take this opportunity to vote in the various categories including MEDIA where a vote for Bebop Spoken Here would be much appreciated.

Today Saturday June 23

Afternoon

?????

Evening

Get in the Band - 1) Great North Museum (Hancock Museum), 2) Central Station & 3) Sage Gateshead. Times TBC. Free but ticketed. For details visit: www.sagegateshead.com

Eric Burdon & the Animals + Hilton Valentine’s Skiffledogs - Newcastle City Hall, Northumberland Road, Newcastle NE1 8SF. Tel: 08448 112121. 7:30pm. £86.00., £66.00., £46.00.

Teresa Watson Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Dean Stockdale - Zeffirellis, Compston Rd., Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9AD. 01539 433845. 8:30pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

CD Review: Fred Hersch - (open book)

Fred Hersch (piano)
(Review by Dave Brownlow)
(open book) is jazz piano-master Fred Hersch’s latest recording – his eleventh solo album – which finds him in a particularly reflective and lyrical mood. It is timed to coincide with the publishing of his memoir Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz which reveals his meteoric rise in jazz and his recognition as one of the most individual and expressive artists of his generation.
The music was recorded in a Seoul, South Korea, concert hall on a Hamburg/Steinway grand piano and Fred utilises all the magnificent sonorities throughout.
The Orb first appeared in Hersch’s recent music-theatre show My Coma Dreams and is an out-of tempo exploration of the theme with frequent re-harmonisations and daring phrases. I hear some of the chord-sequence of Stella by Starlight here and there…Benny Golson’s Whisper Not opens like a Bach Two-Part Invention, cleverly going straight into swinging improvisation in the same style with the theme stated only at the very end. I can see a parallel here with J S Bach himself playing keyboard in the court of Frederick The Great and hoping for his pay-cheque at the end of the month! (Bach was a great improviser!) Jobim’s Zingaro is transformed from a bossa-nova to a Chopin-like Nocturne in a minor key and is a graceful, fluid performance.
Next is the nineteen-and a-half minute Through the Forest which forms the centre-piece of the album. This was an unplanned, spontaneous piece where Fred allowed his improvisatory powers full rein in at times a surreal, abstract way. Hersch himself remarks “this is an example of improvising with no safety-net or pre-conceived ideas – I just went wherever it took me until it felt right to arrive at a musical and emotional destination.” I suggest that there are only a handful of musicians in the world today who are capable of a performance of this nature (Keith Jarrett is another) who have the musical knowledge and intelligence to carry it out successfully.
Following this tour-de-force is Plainsong another Hersch composition, a classical-flavoured piece somewhat like a folk-song, with theme and variations where the music meanders along in a melancholic mood. Fred always includes a Monk song in every recital – this one is a jaunty, buoyant effort – Eronel  co-written by Sadik Hakim (Argonne Thornton). Now there’s a name to conjure with! Argonne is believed to have played a small part on piano in the seminal 1945 Charlie Parker session which produced Now’s the Time and Billie’s Bounce! Finally, Billy Joel’s tender song And So It Goes brings the album to its conclusion. Here is a sensitive reading of this piece, beautifully harmonised in a gentle out-of–tempo style where the pianist extracts every bit of emotion from the fragile melody.
So, another in the series of successful albums from Fred Hersch which further enhances his status among today’s master-musicians.
Dave.
(open book) is on Palmetto PM2186 available on 8th September 2017 from:

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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

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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