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Bebop Spoken There

Kathyrn Williams: “I got into Miles Davis when I was a teenager. But I’m nowhere near as knowledgeable as Anthony [Kerr]: he is an encyclopedia of jazz, with a real in-depth, academic knowledge. I’m just a fan.” – (Jazz Journal December 2017).

Christian McBride: "He [Horace Silver] was the whole package" – (Downbeat September 2014).

Today Wednesday January 17

Afternoon

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.

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Evening

Billy's Acoustic Blues - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free (weekly).

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. £1.00.

The Village Hall New Orleans Band - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm £3.00.

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

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Frank Morgan

I'm sure we all do it. You know what I mean, you decide to move CDs from one space to another then, midway through the operation, you stop and say to yourself, "I'd forgotten all about this guy" or, "How long have I had this album?" Sometimes you wonder why you'd bought it in the first place! Other times and today was such an occasion, it's like falling in love all over again.
Frank Morgan.
Alto saxophonist par excellence.
I should have picked up on Frank earlier - he was on Wardell Gray's last recording in 1955 and, with Wardell being a big idol of mine I should have latched on to Frank and maybe I would have had he not left the scene in familiar circumstances for the next 30 years. So my post-Parker alto adulation moved on to another flawed genius - Art Pepper.
Both musicians, despite (or maybe because of) their knife-edge lifestyle, proved, in retrospect, to be the outstanding altoists of their remaining years. Pepper died in 1982 whilst Morgan hung on until 2007.
In Pepper's later years his influence was Coltrane and he incorporated much of this into his own playing.
Those who saw him at a concert in Newcastle not long before his passing recall a fraught evening. Will he? Won't he? the answer was always a hesitant yes and we all breathed a sigh of relief when he came through. His clarinet playing almost stole the show from his alto numbers.
To get back to Frank Morgan, The CDs I discovered 'hiding' between Mooney, Joe, and Morgan, Lee were volumes 2 & 3 of a three-CD set recorded live at the Jazz Standard in NYC in November 2003.
The Parker flame still burns but Morgan [Frank] has fuelled it with some incendiary devices of his own.
I'd have loved to have been in Carnegie Hall on January 16, 1938, Massey Hall on that night in 1952 or maybe at Monk's legendary Town Hall concert but, most of all, I'd swap them for a ringside table at the Jazz Standard for Frank Morgan's gig.
Still, I've got the CDs - well two out of three - the search is on for volume one.
Apart from the alto playing, George Cables is on piano. Cables also had a long association with Art Pepper, Curtis Lundy supplies the basslines whilst Billy Hart, no stranger to Newcastle, is on drums.
Crime writer Michael Connelly and his character, cop Harry Bosch are both jazz people and the author is listed as the executive producer on The Sound of Redemption, a 2015 documentary about Frank Morgan.
There's also a fantastic concert on YouTube with Frank, Red Rodney, Monty Alexander, Rufus Reid and Roy Haynes recorded in Cannes, 1989.
A forgotten man? I can't think of anyone else I'd sooner remember and, you know what, I've just unearthed an LP - Mood Indigo. That's tomorrow night's listening taken care of!
Lance.

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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

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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