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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).

On This Day: December 14

2009: Jim Birkett Trio w. Sue Ferris @ The Cherry Tree.

Today Friday December 14

Afternoon

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free. Xmas party with Gavin Lee added to line-up.

Swing Manouche - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Evening

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

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

Danny Reed - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE33 1ES. Tel: 0191 454 1234. 7:00pm. £19.95. Xmas swing with Danny Reed.

Classic Swing - Gateshead Fell Cricket Club, Eastwood Gardens, Low Fell NE9 5UB. Tel: 0191 420 0160. 8:00pm. £5.00.

Mike Sanchez & the Portions + Groove-a-matics - The Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £18.00.

Will Howard Trio - Traveller’s Rest, West Auckland Road, Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. Tel: 01642 468177. 8:30pm. £10.00.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Thursday, May 10, 2018

CD Review: Fred Farell - Distant Song

Fred Farell (vocals, lyrics); Dave Liebman (sop and ten sax, wooden recorder); Richie Beirach (piano).
(Review by Ann Alex).
In 1971 Fred Farell had his first singing engagement in a jazz club in Lakewood, New Jersey, and he later studied with pianist Richie Beirach in New York, singing in various NYC clubs and also writing lyrics. After experiencing a dramatic conversion to Christianity in 1978, by June 1980 he had decided to leave the jazz community. However in 2013 he looked again at the lyrics that he had written for the musical compositions by Liebman and Beirach, and decided to record the music and lyrics, and this CD is the result of that project.
The lyrics have a deeply spiritual ‘feel’ but are not at all preachy or directly religious. For example, take “Do you hear? Everywhere/A resonance so haunting/A song that’s been Alive/Since the Dawn of Sound” (Distant Song). The singing is not particularly jazz-like and the songs come in verses, rather than the usual AABA form of jazz songs, and there is often an instrumental break before the singing of the last 4 lines, which are sometimes spoken. On a first hearing I was inclined to dismiss the lyrics as too loose and ‘wandering’, but I listened again and came to the conclusion that this was best regarded as a concept album (remember them from the 1970’s?) because of the linking spiritual ‘feel’ and the similarity of the tunes. The instruments supply the jazz element in abundance, with superb playing, rippling piano, lively saxes, and the sweetness of the recorder. The sax sounds are unusual, burbling, calming, with effective ‘Eastern’ riffs on one track.

The tracks Broken Wing; Leaving; Sunday Song; Mitsuku; and the instrumental Zal were composed by Beirach, who gives us fine piano, with some long flowing introductions. Liebman contributes  Lonnie’s Song; Tomorrow’s Expectations: Places; Distant Song; and the instrumental Forgotten Fantasies, with lots of musical comments and sounds that I didn’t think saxes could make.
‘Wonderful music and wonderful lyrics by a fantastic singer’ is quoted by no less than Sheila Jordan, so I won’t argue with that.
The CD is available on iTunes and amazon.com
Ann Alex 

1 comment :

Fred Farell said...

ATTN: ANN ALEX
I wanted to thank YOU for Your Review of my Distant Song Project!
And for including some of my history preceding the actual Recording.
Solid information for the Listener.
Overall, I do believe that both Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton in their
Quotes said it best, for which I am most grateful.
"Keep Up the Good Work", ANN!
GOD BLESS YOU and YOURS...
FRED FARELL

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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