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Bebop Spoken There

Andrew Hadro: "It seems to me that everybody just puts out an album, they go through the motions, spend the money and they just sort of throw it out there into the sea of CDs and hope something comes back" - (DownBeat June 2018).

Jonnathan Blake (Blindfold Test): “Maybe it's someone from New Orleans who has lived in New York for a minute.” (DownBeat June 2018).

Today Wednesday May 23

Afternoon

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

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. £1.00. (Upstairs).

Jam Session - Dun Cow, Brandling Village, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 4RS. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson Street, 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, February 20, 2018

CD Review: Andy Sheppard Quartet – Romaria

Andy Sheppard – tenor and soprano saxophones; Eivind Aarset – guitar; Michel Benita – double bass; Sebastian Rochford – drums
(Review by Hugh C) 
There was something of the theatrical about my encounter, at the Alphabetti theatre, with a diminutive, smartly dressed gentleman during the interval of the recent Strictly Smokin'/Paul Booth gig.  “I'm glad I met you, I have something for you”, he said, reaching into one of the voluminous inner pockets of his coat.  Producing a sheaf of review CDs, Lance proceeded to sort through them in the dimly lit auditorium.  “Andy Sheppard?” he said handing me a CD still in its shrink-wrap and then searching for another for me to deliver to a BSH colleague.

On the majority of occasions, a review CD from Lance will come wrapped in one or more A4 sheets of printed press release held in place by an elastic band.  This information is often duplicated on the CD case insert or the record label website.  I find these sources useful in providing a skeleton on which to hang my words.  In this case, there were no attached printed sheets, bare minimum track and personnel details on the insert and limited information on the ECM website (actually there was no mention of this CD when I first looked!). This review is therefore not influenced by any external sources and based purely on my listening and personal prejudices (Lance knows I like Andy Sheppard's output).

The CD was recorded in the spacious acoustic of Auditorio Stelio Molo in Lugano – home of the acclaimed Orchestra Della Svizzera Italiana.  With the exception of the title track, these are all Sheppard's compositions.  This is very much an extension of the explorative process the quartet started with their previous release, Surrounded by Sea - previously reviewed on BSH.  
Track 1, And a Day opens with a few seconds silence followed by a slow rhythmic beat on Rochford's drums, gradually joined by the other musicians.  The gentle pace of Rochford's spacious percussion is maintained throughout, overlain by melodic interplay.  Sheppard's signature tenor sound and motifs are identifiable from the start.  
Thirteen, in complete contrast, commences with rapid-fire cymbals.  Sheppard, on soprano this time, adds a middle-Eastern flavour.  The hurried pace is maintained for thfirst-halflf reducing to a more sedate pace for a while before picking up speed gradually towards the end.  
The title track, Romaria (a small municipality in Brazil) is by Brazilian singer/songwriter Renato Teixeira.  In this track, as in the majority on this album, there is complex interplay between saxophone, guitar and bass – very much a melodic participant throughout the album.  
Pop sees the laid back drumming of Rochford very much to the fore, but by no means to the exclusion of the other members of the quartet.  
They Come From The North features (perhaps not unexpectedly) the Norwegian Aarset's haunting electronically enhanced guitar chords – evoking an empty Arctic scene and the Northern Lights on the horizon. 
With Every Flower That Falls really brings Benita's bass out of the “rhythm section” and right into the melodic fold.  
All Becomes Again commences with a rhythmic bass solo, slowly picked up on the drums later joined by guitar and tenor.  
The CD goes out on a high in Forever with Sheppard's melodic tenor against Aarset's extended guitar chords.
Romaria was released on February 16 and is available on CD or LP.  ECM catalogue number: ECM 2577.
In the UK the Quartet may be seen live at St. George's, Bristol on May 3 and will also be at the 2018 Cheltenham Jazz Festival on May 6.
Hugh.

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Submissions for review

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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