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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

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Today Saturday September 23

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Day two of three.
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Evening
Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Rockafellas - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Tobie Carpenter Organ Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £10.
Thin Man + Jon Gordon - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. Free.
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Nikki Iles & Stan Sulzmann - Great Hall, Hexham Abbey, Hexham NE46 3NB. 10pm. £10/£8.
Pat McMahon Trio - Tannery, Gilesgate, Hexham NE46 3QD. 01434 605537. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Book Review: Serendipity Doo-Dah by Edward Allan Faine.

You know how it works, or rather how it used to work back in the day when the GASbook ruled the airwaves - or do you?
The songwriter, usually a Jewish or a Russian immigrant, writes a catchy melody, adds a lyric (or else knows a guy who has a way with words to form a team) and starts pestering all the music publishers in Tin Pan Alley. Eventually, he succeeds in getting his masterpiece published and before you know it, he's moved from Skid Row to Park Avenue and married an heiress.
Right?
Wrong!
The first thing our young tunesmith discovers is that 9 times out of 10 the moguls who make these decisions don't know a crotchet from a hat check girl!
So how does his/her song get published and become a smash hit?
Luck, fate, happy accident, maybe someone up there had sympathy with our composer.
Edward Allan Faine thinks so and he makes a strong case for 43 of some of the worlds most loved songs from 1918-1989 (and don't forget this is just book one!) that fate took a hand in guiding them to their destiny.
I'm not going to post any spoilers save to say that they range from Richard Whiting and Richard Egan's 1918 song Till We Meet Again (the discarded manuscript was rescued from a waste basket by a secretary) to Tom Petty and Full Moon Fever that, in 1989, almost didn't make it owing to a....read the book and find out for yourself!
Faine's style is humourous and perceptive. There's many a chuckle and a 'Well I never!' that, only those whose heart has never stood still will fail to utter. I'm already on to my second reading and picking up on other gems.
A cross section of artists and composers are in there. Jazzers, popsters, rockers who all had hits, often with unlikely items in even more unlikely circumstances.
There's also a lot of quotes from songwriters who go along with the theme of divine inspiration - melodies or lyrics that arrive out of the blue and decree that you are the one to introduce them to the world.
Like Faine's previous books* reviewed on this site, it's highly recommended and well worth reading  - again and again.
Lance.

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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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