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Bebop Spoken There

Joey Calderazzo: "Playing the standard repertoire is a pretty good barometer of where one is as a jazz musician" - (DownBeat January 2019).

Today Wednesday December 19

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Jools Holland’s R&B Orchestra - Newcastle City Hall, Northumberland Road, Newcastle NE1 8SF. Tel: 0844 811 2121. 7:30pm. £45.50. & £34.00. First night of two.

Community Hall New Orleans Band - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm £3.00.

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson Street, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

George Shovlin & The Radars - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Friday, October 05, 2018

CD Review: Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble – The Lullaby Project.

(Review by Dave Brownlow).
I begin by quoting from the CD notes of this album which clearly states its objectives far better than any re-write of my own:
“The LULLABY PROJECT is an extended work in five movements for jazz orchestra. This is the debut recording of the Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble, an 18 piece jazz orchestra that combines Brazilian, Latin-American, and classical influences. It is a suite of pieces which are all ‘through-composed’ and feature jazz solos from different member of the various sections.”
The music ranges from lyrical to highly-charged, from simplicity to complexity and from peace to anarchy. The other three tracks are tango-inspired pieces which point to the leader’s deep connection with the Argentinian style of music and the influence of famous composer Astor Piazzolla. The music, Salles explains, draws inspiration from traditional Brazilian lullabies and the impact they have had on generations. The style of writing is uniquely Salles’ own but it’s very clear that it follows in the lineage of Gil Evans/Bob Brookmeyer/Maria Schneider at the highest level in jazz today. The tracks are all extended, ranging from 7mins 34 sec to 11mins 13sec and provide ample room for first-rate soloists to contribute, where it’s possible for traditional and contemporary musical elements to meet and co-exist.

Lullaby 1: A dramatic start introduced by a three-note motif developed throughout the piece by sudden interjections from unexpected sections of the band. Short tenor and trumpet solos build up tension and maintain focus leading to a satisfying conclusion.

Lullaby 2: The longest track (11:13) opens with a single piano note developed first in the bass clef, then chordally. Gradually, instruments interject with beautiful, gentle woodwind, then brass, segments. A loud ‘Kentonesque’ section incorporating a frantic trombone solo cushioned by brass leads to a quiet “classical” flutes/clarinet interlude and a powerful guitar sequence spurred on by manic drums and building into a climax similar to some of Brookmeyer’s orchestral output.

Lullaby 3: A ‘stately’ theme from the soprano sax with an ‘Eastern’ flavour (sounds more like an oboe). Floating, shimmering vibes over lively rhythm section lead into exceptionally difficult-to-play orchestral manoeuvres which are built then dismantled, ending with a charming and unexpected conclusion.

Lullaby 4: An incessant, driving, piano-led, 4-note ostinato as its foundation and a gorgeous melody. Over the 9mins 43sec various sections emerge and disappear energetically and where Tyler Burchfield on baritone and Eric Smith on trumpet solo in ‘contemporary style’ lead to a full-throated orchestral finale Gil Evans would have enjoyed.

Lullaby 5: A tense start with a ‘Spanish’ feel featuring Michelin on melodica then on piano (very Tyner-ish) and Jonathan Ball on alto (slightly ‘Cannonball’ in style then very ‘free’.) This brings us to shouty, climactic, brass figures leading to a quiet, atmospheric, concluding passage from melodica and vibes.

Odd Tango: The first of the three tango-inspired pieces and possibly named because of its unusual time-signature (sounds like seven-four to me). A strong tenor solo from Caudill and an astonishing, tightly-muted and close mic trombone solo from Hendrix bring us to the tempo increasing finale.

Astor Square: A dedication to Astor Piazzolla who revolutionised the tango to include elements of both jazz and classical music. Garcia features on soprano sax, then the faster section builds and fades.

Carla’s Tango: Typically Argentinian. A graceful piece, full of musically dramatic moments that inspire the dancers (contestants?) to entwine themselves throughout. Sinuous lines of exotic minor key melodies are intertwined. Muted brass supports Salles himself in his only solo on soprano sax. He also uses unusual combinations of instruments - ie flutes, muted trumpets, soprano sax, clarinets as Gil Evans did. This constantly alerts the listener for the next surprise!

Felipe Salles is currently Associate Professor of Jazz and Afro-American Music Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amhurst. He can be justifiably proud this album which requires repeated listenings even to begin to follow and enjoy all the detailed work which has gone into the project and the care with which his musicians have brought the charts to life. A CD well worth hearing for all lovers of large contemporary jazz orchestras and those with open minds and ears for music which blends classical, African, Argentinian and jazz influences.
Dave B.
The Lullaby Project  76028-2 is available now from :  www.sallesjazz.com   

 Richard Garcia, Jonathan Ball, Mike Caudill, Jacob Shulman, Tyler Burchfield (reeds); Jeff Holmes, Yuta Yamaguchi, Eric Smith, Doug Olsen (trumpets); Joel Yennior, Clayton DeWalt, Dan Hendrix, Randy Pingrey, Angel Subero (trombones); Nando Michelin (piano/melodica); Kevin Grudecki (guitar); Ryan Fedak (vibes); Keala Kaumeheiwa (bass); Bertram Lehmann (drums).

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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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