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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Blues

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

CD Review: Claudia Morris - Here's to Life

Claudia Morris (vocals); Liam Dunachie (piano/keys); Conor Chaplin (bass); David Ingamells (drums); Al Cherry (guitar); Alex Garnett (sax); George Hogg (trumpet/flugel); Laura Stanford, Penny Ainscow, David Lopez (violins 1,2,3); Daisy Spires (viola); Jessica Cox (cello); Claire Finley (backing vocals).
(Review by Lance)
I first encountered Claudia Morris back in 2011 on her album  Twelve O'Clock Tales. I was hooked.
Two years later, Ann Alex was equally impressed with Secret Love - Claudia's Doris Day celebration.
Now, the ball's back in my court with her latest - Here's to Life.
The standard hasn't dipped - far from it! The voice has mellowed, the theatrical approach has lessened without any loss of emotion and there is warmth exuding by the thermload.
Here's to Life: a philosophical look at hopes and dreams helped by some superb string writing and sympathetic guitar accompaniment. (Here's to Life is also due for release as a single on the same day as the CD release - October 6.) 
Fly me to the Moon: Soft and seductive. A gentle bossa with Hogg's flugel adding to the ambience.
Let There be Love: Hogg takes it up after Claudia's sung/spoken verse and her fairly straight reading. Straightness goes out the window when she returns - must have been the chilli con carne or the sparkling champagne but she sizzles!
You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman: Carole King nailed this one. Well, she would, wouldn't she? She wrote it! Nevertheless, this version doesn't lose face.
Stardust: The verse, now obligatory with Hoagy's hottest, and the melody are both given the pure treatment which is no less than this immortal song deserves.
It's Too Late: Another King classic uplifted by some paintstripping by Hogg and Garnett. Claudia edges this one.
You've Changed: One of the all-time GASbook classics both lyric and melody-wise. Garnett blows tenor - he knows these changes well. The tension doesn't drop when Claudia picks it up on the bridge, rather it keeps building until, the end of the affair in sight, she gently brings it down. Everyone who's ever been in a failed relationship can relate to this one.
For Once in my Life: A natural pick-me-up following the previous song. Our girl is back on her feet and Al Cherry's guitar solo helps to spread the love.
To Make You Feel my Love: Bob Dylan was guilty of this one. Different slant with sop sax well featured.
Bewitched: Has anyone ever made a bad version of this? I doubt it! The tune, the lyric are terrific and so sensuous. However, this time, as in most versions, we only get half the story - read the full lyric as sung by Ella and you feminists out there will be pleased to discover that being Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered isn't terminal!
What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?: The greatest musical chat-up line of all time! Claudia interprets Michel Legrand's piece perfectly with some fine piano to gild it.
The Nearness of You: Is there a better version? Voice and piano make their bid and succeed.  The perfect ending to an enjoyable album.
Lance
Afterthoughts.
Claudia isn't an out and out jazz singer but she can certainly help them out when they're busy and on this disc she does just that. It's the sort of voice you want to cuddle up to on a cold winter's night (or a balmy summer evening come to that!)
The arrangements are great and the solos superb.

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