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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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Monday, September 04, 2017

The Spirit Farm @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle – September 3

Christophe de Bezenac (alto sax); Adam Fairhall (keyboards); Corey Mwamba (vibes); Anton Hunter (guitar); Dave Kane (bass); Johnny Hunter (drums)
(Review by Steve H/Photo Ken Drew). 
On Sunday night, Jazz North East kicked off their new season and a near capacity crowd were treated to a right old humdinger of a gig. If Newcastle United could make signings like JNE then the Toon would soon be gracing the top of the Premier League.
Spirit Farm are the brainchild of keyboard player Adam Fairhall and the sextet are a kind of Northern based improvisers’ super group hailing from such ‘Northern’ outposts as Leeds, Manchester and Derby. To be honest it took me a few minutes to get into the action as the fairly introspective start took a while to latch on to but once I’d been hooked I was well and truly caught.

At times the music was truly explosive as the band cranked it up harder and harder yet there were moments of great subtlety and interplay between the group members in assorted combinations. During the interval, I told drummer Johnny Hunter how exciting the first set had been and he replied that he was worried that the band might have used up all their ideas such was the level of the improvisation. Luckily, the second set took off where the first left off and another brilliant and exhilarating set of improvised music ensued.
It would be impossible to single any player out as I thought they were all magnificent both in their solos and their ensemble playing. One or two people may have thought Corey Mwamba had gone a step too far when he attacked the vibes with his sandal but if that was what he felt was demanded at the time who am I to argue. Maybe we were lucky that no dead cat was lying around otherwise someone may have tried to improvise with that.
Joking aside, I absolutely marvel how these musicians were able to conjure up such exhilarating music clearly gaining inspiration from one another. The band’s own enjoyment of their performance was obvious to all and this enhanced further what had truly been a memorable evening.

Steve H.

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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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