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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)

Archives

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.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

CD Review: Nat Steele - Portrait of the Modern Jazz Quartet

Nat Steele (vibes); Gabriel Latchin (piano); Dario Di Lecce (bass); Steve Brown (drums)
(Review by Lance)
Mention MJQ and two contrasting images spring to mind. The early quartet which, I believe begun life as the rhythm section of the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band who, when they left to form what was initially the Milt Jackson Quartet (same initials get it?), breathed a breath of fresh air into 1950's small group modern jazz. Driven originally by bop drummer Kenny Clarke the momentum continued, at least for a while when Connie Kay took over from Clarke.
Fast forward a few years and the music became somewhat more pretentious in keeping with the band's funereal apparel and matching sombre expressions.

Fortunately, London based vibist Steele has opted for the earlier bop influenced period which in this case covers the period 1953-1957. 
Living, as we do, in an age where jazz musicians 'pay their dues' in colleges and academies it comes as a pleasant surprise to find that Steele is actually self-taught. Steele brings to mind Tubby Hayes' vibes playing particularly on Autumn in New York.
Naturally, comparisions are made with Milt Jackson and Steele is not found wanting and, possibly due to present day recording techniques, actually gets a warmer sound than did Milt who often sounded like he was hitting milk bottles.
Gabriel Latchin we know from his recent trio recording which we raved about last month and he doesn't let the side down here.
Italian born Lecce is rapidly making a name for himself in this country and justifiably so. Solos are impressive - listen to him on the Bachian Softly as in a Morning Sunrise. When he's put back in the box he remains an integral part of the group.
Steve Brown does what he always does and I don't mean smile although I'm sure he was grinning ear to ear on this session. Even John Lewis himself would, I'm sure, have allowed himself a faint movement of the lips had he been on the gig. No, Steve was laying down a drum masterclass as he invariably does when the going is good.
The going was good on October 14, last year in the Master Chord Studio.
Woddy 'n You; The Golden Striker; La Ronde Suite (3 parts); Autumn in New York; Softly as in a Morning Sunrise; I'll Remember April; Django; Bags' Groove; All of You.
The album will be in the shops and online from September 15 as well as at the launch on Sunday lunchtime at Ronnie's (September 10).
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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