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Bebop Spoken There

Jeff Lindberg: "You can have innovative new music and you can play music of the masters. They're not going to cancel each other out" - (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 Saturday May 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - St. Cuthbert's Church Hall, Dovecote St., Amble NE65 0DX. 12:00pm - 3:00pm (music from 1:00pm). £10.00. See poster for more details.

Sax on the Tyne, St George's Church Hall, St George's Close, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2TF. 5:00-7:00pm. Free (donations). A Jesmond Community Festival event.

Evening

Baghdaddies - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 6:00pm. £10.00. Whitley Bay Carnival.

Lady & the Jazz Tramps - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Radio Pensacola Band - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Blues/Funk/Soul

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

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

Saturday, September 16, 2017

CD Review: Sam Boshnack Quintet - The Nellie Bly Project

Samantha Boshnack (composer, trumpet, vocals); Beth Fleenor (clarinet, bass clarinet); Alex Chadsey (piano, keyboards); Isaac Castillo (upright/electric bass); Max Wood (drums); Valerie Holt, Anne Mathews (vocals tracks 1 and 3); Anne Whitfield (spoken vocals tracks 2 and 4)
(Review by Ann Alex).
Sam Boshnack, a bandleader based in Seattle, works with various ensembles and has been influenced by free jazz, Cuban rhythms and modern jazz. She has at least 4 previous albums to her credit, such as Go To Orange (2013) and Exploding Syndrome (2014). I enjoyed The Nellie Bly Project, which was as I expected from the notes supplied, full of a free jazz feel, lots of repeated riffs and unusual sounds.  In fact I must quote from the blurb in Downbeat ‘...’open voicings, jaunty tempos and buoyant timbral mixes have a friendly monster feel that achieves a bittersweet and elegiac mood of orchestral grandeur.’ 
Lance had earmarked the album for my attention, as it concerns the life and doings of Nellie Bly (real name Elizabeth Cochran), an American feminist, civil rights activist, and journalist, who lived from 1864 to 1922. A fascinating woman who wrote a book about the abuse suffered by mental health patients which led to reforms in the USA; she also travelled the world in order to challenge the fictional accounts of Jules Verne. Ms. Bly is also casually mentioned in the song Frankie And Johnnie but I don’t think that that has any bearing on her actual life.

The CD consists of 4 tracks, each one illustrating an aspect of her work. Expositions opens with a strong bass clarinet and concerns Bly’s statement that a true woman is ‘innocent, unaffected and frank’, which is sung chant-like over a rhythmic bass. The voice is joined by another, singing that ‘energy, rightly applied, can accomplish anything.’ The ensemble illustrates all this with energetic driving rhythms and repeated riffs.
Track 2, which I liked best, After One Is In Trouble, is all about Bly’s undercover assignment for the New York World newspaper, in which she feigned insanity so that she could investigate alleged brutality at a women’s lunatic asylum. This was illustrated by pounding persistent drumming, a crying, wailing trumpet, and a final mash up of madness by the whole band. This was not always easy to listen to, but I admired it as the music was true to the subject being explored.
Track 3 was on the happier theme of 72 Days, telling us about Bly’s attempt at going round the world in less time than it took Jules Verne in his fictional account. Bly had to fight hard to even be allowed to take this journey, which was by railroad and steamship, as shown by the rhythms and sounds of drums, bass clarinet and cymbals. Bly’s words are constantly repeated: ‘It’s only a matter of twenty-eight thousand miles... I shall be back again’ and ‘I would rather go in dead and successful than alive and behind time.’
The final track is Legacy, summing up Bly’s hope that things can be changed, with effective ensemble playing, then a final lone trumpet, which I reckon was Nellie Bly’s final plea for more justice in the world.
The CD was released on August 18, 2017, on the label Artists Recording Collective
 UPC-A 8-93682-00277-2
Ann Alex

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