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Bebop Spoken There

Nate Smith: "Record labels, booking agents, management, still can't imagine the drummer as bandleader" - (DownBeat January 2019).

Today Saturday December 15

Afternoon

Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra - Hatton Gallery, King's Road, Newcastle University NE1 7RU. Tel: 0191 277 8877. 12 noon. Free.

Jazz Attack - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 2:50pm. Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival. Concourse, free.

Jambone + Folkestra - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 4:00pm. Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival. Sage Two, free but ticketed.

Evening

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. Second night of two

Boys of Brass - George Washington Hotel, Stone Cellar Road, High Usworth, Washington NE37 1PH. Tel: 0191 402 9988. 7:00pm. Xmas party night.

Big Band Theory - Traveller's Rest, West Auckland Road, Darlington DL3 9ER. Tel: 01325 468177. 6:30pm. £5.00.

Phil Davids & the Good Times Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Horace Silverman & the White Gardenias - The Corner House, Heaton, Newcastle NE6 5RP. Tel: 0191 265 9602. 7:30pm. £7.50.

Baghdaddies - Cobalt Studios, Boyd St., Newcastle NE2 1AP. 8:30pm. £12.00. + £1.38. bf.

Strictly Speakeasy - St Mary’s Heritage Centre, Oakwellgate, Gateshead NE8 2AU. Tel: 0191 433 4699. 7:00pm. £20.00. Lindy jazz ‘Snow Ball.

Cozyjo - Washington Arts Centre, Biddick Lane, Washington NE38 8AB. Tel: 0191 561 3455. 7:00pm. £6.00. (£4.00. concs.). City of Sunderland Youth Jazz Orchestra (Cozyjo) Christmas Cracker.

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

Monday, March 05, 2018

CD Reviews: Carlos Vega - Bird's Ticket and Bird's Up.













(Review by Lance).
Two CDs recorded not quite 2 years apart by a modern-day hardbop quintet led by Florida born Vega who also composed all of the 20 tracks on both albums as well as blowing some paint stripping sax. It's a humdinger of a band, all strong soloists in their own right and, importantly, team players too. Although the albums were recorded in Chicago, there is often a Miami Latin feel to the music  -listen to the Cajon box* on Taurus and Virgo on Bird's Ticket! Garcia blows melodically, suggesting shades of Lee Morgan adding the fire when the occasion demands it which is often. Vega solos with both lyricism and freneticism taking the tenor into a harmonic world beyond the reach of many mere mortals.

Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, Mindeman, Ramos and Breaker prepare the ground for landing before taking off on their own musical adventures.

Two splendid albums, both available on the Origin label.
Which one to choose? 
Tough call. 
Personally, I think the boppier Bird's Up just gets the nod but it's a split decision with Garcia's solo on, On a Mission, certainly that of a man on a mission. Vega too is on a quest, a quest that should lead him to the higher echelons of the DownBeat Polls. The intriguingly titled - Untitled Waltz for the Wednesday Morning Prayer Meeting sees the quintet augmented by Cheryl Wilson's wordless vocal, some deft guitar-picking and a fatter ensemble with the added brass of Strand and Nelson.
At the end of the day, after listening to both again I came to the conclusion that the best bet would be to spin a coin or if you've got coin to spare, buy both.
Lance.
Buy/more details Bird's Ticket - Bird's Up.
Bird's Ticket
Carlos Vega (tenor/soprano); Victor Garcia (trumpet); Stu Mindeman (piano/Rhodes); Josh Ramos (bass); Xavier Breaker (drums); Juan Pastor (Cajon on 1 track).

Bird's Up
As above minus Pastor plus Cheryl Wilson (vocal); Scott Hesse (guitar); Steve Strand (flugel); Michael B. Nelson (trombone) - all on 1 track only.

*You don't need to go to Florida for a Cajon - there's a company in South Shields make and supply them!

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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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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 all of them 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