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Bebop Spoken There

John Medeski: "Like Mingus or Ellington, he [John Zorn] pulls people out of their zones and encourages them to do more than they would do on their own." - (DownBeat, December 2018).

Today Tuesday November 20

Afternoon

Classic Swing - The Ship, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.

Evening

?????

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

Thursday, September 13, 2018

ELT + Fairhall & Ward @ The Bridge Hotel September 9

ELT: Ingebjørg Loe Bjørnstad (vocals); Tom Challenger (saxophones); Kit Downes (harmonium/cello).
Fairhall & Ward: Tom Ward (reeds); Adam Fairhall (keyboards).
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew) 
On entering the upstairs room at The Bridge on Sunday I was somewhat discombobulated as the performance space had been turned through 90 degrees so that the musicians were set up in front of the bay window(I shouldn’t have been that surprised, the last time Downes and Challenger played here they turned things through 180 degrees with the audience facing the back of the room). To wet the appetite even further on the makeshift stage was a whole cornucopia of fascinating looking keyboards.

Fairhall and Ward kicked off the first half of the evening. The opening number saw Fairhall play on the Dulictone a piano style instrument of about 100 years with a fascinating sound. This, coupled with Ward on alto, got us off to a flying start. The keyboards kept on changing; an Azerbaijani accordion, an Indian harmonium and a toy piano were all incorporated by Fairhall into the duo's set and, not to be outdone, he was accompanied by Ward on sax, flute, bass clarinet (quite beautifully) and, finally, on Tambien - an African pipe. A fascinating and stimulating performance enjoyed by all of the not unsubstantial audience.  

The second half of the evening saw the familiar pairing of Tom Challenger and Kit Downes joined by Norwegian vocalist Ingebjørg Loe Bjørnstad. Now Bjørnstad isn’t your average jazz singer and has a unique sound using all kinds of vocal techniques which are literally breathtaking. Even when singing lyrics in her own Norwegian dialect things are made more interesting by her removing vowels from the words (I know this not because I have a vast knowledge of Norwegian dialects but the singer ever so kindly took the trouble of explaining this before the first number). So screams, deep breaths and lyrics full of consonants were improvised perfectly with the sax harmonium/cello combinations to produce fascinating and invigorating sounds. I am sure the skeptics amongst you will probably think this is all nonsense but having actually experienced it live I can assure you (and I am confident that everyone else there on the night would agree) that this was as marvellous and uplifting a performance as anyone could hope for.

So, a great evening at The Bridge my only gripe being that I would have liked to have heard so much more from both bands. Hopefully, the opportunity to do so will come our way sooner rather than later.
Steve H

1 comment :

Ann Alex said...

Ann said, 'Lance, how about that. Summertime sung without the vowels!

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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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