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Bebop Spoken There

Artie Shaw: “I'm not interested in giving people what they want--I'm interested in making music.” – (DownBeat October 15, 1939).

Jason Marsalis: “There's so many places that this music can go and there's a lot yet to be discovered.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Sunday March 18


Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 12 noon. Free.

Jason Isaacs & the Ambassadors of Swing - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 5:30pm (doors 4:00pm). £16.00.

Revolutionaires - Tyne Bar, Maling St, Newcastle NE6 1LP. 3pm. Free.

Somethin’ Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 5:00pm. Tel: 01325 788564. Matt Case (saxophone) & Mike Hepple (guitar).


POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER! Zoë Gilby Quartet - Black Bull, Bridge Street, Blaydon NE21 4JJ. 8:00pm. £5.00. Rescheduled August 19.

Alter Ego - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00.

Bradley Johnston - The Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241. 6:00pm. Free. New weekly residency.

Gypsy Dave Smith - 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.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

CD Review: John Surman Trio - Invisible Threads

John Surman (baritone/soprano/bass clarinet); Nelson Ayres (piano); Rob Waring (vibes/marimba)
(Review by Lance).
Surman at his most lyrical. With like-minded piano and vibes (or marimba) the trio weaves a musical quilt of silver and gold. Almost classical in its concept, the music flows. Despite the absence of bass and drums the trio still retains a rhythmic feel. Not immediately obvious but it's there if you listen attentively.
The improvisations aren't solos in the generally accepted format but rather logical extensions of the theme to the extent that you feel any other choice of notes would be less than perfect. Surman's tone on soprano is perhaps the purest ever heard on the instrument. Equally, he also finds a resonance in his bass clarinet playing that few others have done.
Ayres, whom Surman first encountered on a trip to Brazil where the pianist is a major figure, is as close to perfect an accompanist as Surman could wish for. An accompanist and much more. A soloist and foil intertwining with soprano making it, at times, like a Bach or a Mozart fugue.
Waring, the third man, moves deftly between the other two ensuring that the whole thing is watertight.
Initially, I felt let down by the lack of baritone playing (only two tracks) but, upon repeated playing, much as I love his baritone playing, on this album, it is the soprano sax, and to a slightly lesser extent, the bass clarinet that makes this a minor masterpiece although, having said that, the title track on which Surman blows baritone is also a thing of beauty.
Not a party album but one to be taken seriously and listened to without distraction. If you don't, you will miss so much.
John Surman Trio - Invisible Threads is available on ECM 2588 6711317.

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.