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Bebop Spoken There

Ben Williams: "Jaco [Pastorius] is almost like the Charlie Parker of the bass." - (DownBeat November 2018).

Dana Hall: "My philosophy is that everyone in the band is a drummer." - (DownBeat November 2018.)

Today Saturday October 20

Afternoon

NYJO + Tees Valley Youth Big Band - Middlesbrough Town Hall, Albert Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2QJ. Tel: 01642 729729. 3:00pm. £12.00. Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender.

Evening

Big Chris Barber Band - Middlesbrough Town Hall, Albert Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2QJ. Tel: 01642 729729. 7:30pm. £15.00. Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender.

Dinosaur - Middlesbrough Town Hall, Albert Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2QJ. Tel: 01642 729729. 10:00pm. £12.00. Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender.

Smokin’ Spitfires - Scarth Hall, 5 South Green, Staindrop DL2 3LD. 7:30pm.

The Hookahs - 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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

CD Review: Alina Bzhezhinska - Inspiration.

Alina Bzhezhinska (harp); Tony Kofi (tenor/soprano); Larry Bartley (bass); Joel Prime (drums).
(Review by Lance)
There haven't been too many jazz harpists, in fact, I can only think of five: Caspar Reardon who recorded with Jack Teagarden and died in 1941; Bobby Maxwell, who composed Ebbtide, and died in 2012; Corky Hale, whom I heard at the North Sea Jazz Festival 35 years ago and is still active. Alice Coltrane, who died in 2007 and was perhaps better known as a pianist, and, now, Alina Bzhezhinska. Alina, originally from Ukraine/Poland and currently based in London, may have passed under my radar but this hasn't stopped her becoming internationally renowned and being nominated for Best Live Experience of the Year at this year's Jazz FM Awards where she lost out to the Ezra Collective.
In 2017, Alina led an Alice Coltrane celebration at various venues around the UK so it is no surprise that this album is dedicated to the Coltranes with four compositions by Alice, one by John, four of her own and a free improvisation - Following a Lovely Sky Boat.
I'm insufficiently savvy regarding harpology but, to my ears, virtuoso wouldn't be an incorrect noun to apply. With Kofi, I'm on safer ground having heard him several times over the years and knowing that he too has an affinity with the legacy left by either of the Coltranes. It is displayed on both tenor and soprano without the undue excesses JC was sometimes guilty of although I know that my guilty verdict will certainly be a get out of jail free card for others. 
Alina's original, Lemky, inspired by the music of a tribe from the Carpathian Mountains that was forced to leave its home, captures, totally, the sadness and the pathos behind the emotional content.
With Bartley and Prime adding their own individuality this is no ordinary us and them quartet but a musically integrated group of unique voices.
Bzhezhinska neatly sums up her own playing: "With my instrument, I don't try to fit into any kind of styles or trends in jazz. I try to be truthful and remember what Alice Coltrane said - 'In music, I don't think I have real preferences about the form...when you express your heart, it has to come from you' ".
Lance
Alina Bzhezhinska - Inspiration is available June 1 on Ubuntu Music UBU0008.
There is a launch concert at The Vortex on 15 June.
In August the band have a three-day Tour de Yorkshire:
August 17: Basement Jazz Club, York.
August 18: Ilkley Jazz Festival.
August 19: CB Inn, Arkengarthdale, Swaledale (not mentioned on her website).

2 comments :

Dave Brownlow said...

Bird used 2 different harpists in his 'Charlie Parker With Strings' albums and his live performances - i.e. Wallace McManus and Verley Mills.
I don't recall either of them taking an actual solo in these pieces, but Charlie's arrangers certainly used them with large flourishes and to dramatic effect.
Dave Brownlow.

Steve Andrews said...

Adele Girard, married to Joe Marsala, active with hubby on 52nd St. in the 1930's.

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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: 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.
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Lance