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Bebop Spoken There

Oscar Peterson: "I find most pianists use too many notes in a chord. They double up an awful lot" - (Crescendo May 1963).

Benny Green (British): "...there was a whole race of men who used to stand in front of their bands, waving their arms, pretending to conduct ... Many of the bandleaders we had worked for had been either crooks or imposters ... " - (Crescendo March 1963).

Today Friday September 21

Afternoon

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

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

Ladies of Midnight Blue - Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books, Lime Street, Newcastle NE1 2PQ. Tel: 03000 3301095. 11:00am. £5.00.

Paul Edis - The Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192. 1:00pm. £5.00. Edis, solo piano.

Evening

Ronnie Scott's All Stars - Middlesbrough Theatre, The Avenue, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough TS5 6SA. Tel: 01642 815181. 8:00pm. £22.50.

Groove-a-matics - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

George Shovlin & the Radars + Broken Levee - The Peacock, High St West, Sunderland SR1 3ES. Tel: 0191 511 1451. 7:00pm. £10.00. (+ £1.00. b/f). New blues venue.

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

CD Review: One O'Clock Lab Band - Lab 2018: The Rhythm of the Road.

The North Texas One O 'Clock Lab Band was perhaps the first American college big band to make a worldwide impact on the jazz scene. Although the University of North Texas' music department can be traced back to the 1920's, maybe even earlier, it was in 1940, at the height of the big band era, that it first came to the notice of a wider public other than friends, parents and fellow students. Just as most American Universities cossetted their track and field stars, North Texas, I guess, nurtured their instrumental students. I recall hearing the band on Willis Conover's VOA shows some years later and being knocked out thinking this was maybe Kenton or Herman.
Fast forward to today and blindfold test someone with a Kenton or a Herman record and they'd probably say, "North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band".
School, college, university bands have multiplied in numbers and ability but I doubt if any have surpassed this current intake. They know how to swing, to solo and to put the boot in.
Wow!
Tremendous solos, Nathman and Newman, who are also the two youngest members set the benchmark on the opening Hey, It's me You're Talkin' to.
They blow up a storm. Giving these two the first solos is like giving Man City a 2 goal start.

Having said that, the other soloists are far from being Huddersfield Town!* Woodbury's trombone on the title track is blistering without blasting, Kazunori Tanaka's plunger solo on Blues for Kazu is worthy of Cootie/Bubber or any of the other Ellington plumbers, dare I say it, even better?

A Flower is a Lovesome Thing, imaginatively arranged by Kyle Gordon and winsomely sung by Marion Powers. It also has some effective piano by Paul Lees.
I could wax eloquent about all the soloists but, you've probably got the message by now that this Train (track 3) don't carry no passengers least of all Powers whose voice is once again woven into the tapestry. Arranged by Moore, he also plays a very lyrical tenor solo on the tune composed by Chris Potter.

Birds of a Feather has Bellaire sizzling on soprano; Without a Doubt, a tricky arrangement but, without a doubt, Sam Cousineau on alto and Brett Lamel sail through it individually before having a four-bar joust to the death.

Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 was arranged by Woodbury but he unselfishly cues in the trombone solo for section-mate DJ Rice. Bass player Reyes is also prominent.
After the Rain, by 'Trane, arranged by Moore, features Wilkins on flute drawing a comment from MD Blaylock - "In almost 25 years in front of big bands I've never heard a flute sound as gorgeous as Brendon's". He could have said the same about Newman's flugelhorn solo.

A rhythm section that sparkles and an arranging team that provides charts that only the very best can handle make this one of the best big band albums around.
Lance.

Available from Sept. 26 via the usual suspects.
Alan Blaylock (MD); Kyle Bellaire, Sam Cousineau, Brandon Moore, Will Nathman, Brendon Wilkins (reeds); Nick Owsik, Adam Horne, Huang-Hsiang Chang, Kazunori Tanaka, Gregory Newman (trumpets); Brian Woodbury, DJ Rice, Brett Lamel, Tommy Barttels, Kenny Davis (trombones); Paul Lees (piano/keys); Daniel Pinilla (guitar); Raul Reyes (bass); John Sturino (drums); Marion Powers (voice).
*Manchester City had just beaten Huddersfield Town 6-1 at the time of writing.

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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.
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Lance