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Bebop Spoken There

Aubrey Logan: "I chose trombone because trombone just kicks my ass, and I needed to do something that was hard" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Thursday May 23

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Elina Duni + Trio FCT - Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £10.00. & £8.00.

Tees Hot Club w. Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

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

Friday, January 25, 2019

CD Review: Ran Blake & Jeanne Lee - The Newest Sound You Never Heard

Ran Blake (piano); Jeanne Lee (vocal)
(Review by Lance).

It's argued that the GASbook has run its course. That just about every song from the masters that was worthwhile has been played, backward, forwards and just about every which way but loose by the good, the bad and the ugly and the only thing left is for original compositions by today's young Turks. 

Not something I personally go along with, there is life in the old book yet. However, I can understand today's breed of jazz musician not being totally au fait with the grand tradition why should they? "Who's this Kern fellow? He died before I was born. I wrote my next number sitting on the bus..."

I can understand both points but, an original number is not going to draw older people in just as a number by Carmichael, H, isn't going to mean a lot to the younger audience.

There is an in-between area where both extremes can meet.
Pop music!

Back in the sixties, jazzers either viewed the beat group boom with disdain - we'll squash these upstarts just like we did the Nazis and the Japs - or else they adopted the 'if we can't beat 'em join them attitude'. Neither worked. The invaders didn't retreat into the sea  and Basie's Beatle Bag, or Ella singing Hard Day's Night was, like some of Sinatra's attempts (Everybody's Twistin'), embarrassing and did nothing to bridge the ever-increasing divide. Paradoxically, in later years, they, the popsters, were queuing up to record the music they so arrogantly dismissed in their puberty years. Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and quite a few others discovered that Porter, Kern, Gershwin etc. weren't so bad after all!

Then, more recently, singers in particular, discovered a magic formula. A mix of standards, chart hits and an occasional original = all bases covered.

Enter Blake and Lee.
They worked the above recipe out over 50 years ago as this album shows.

A double CD, recorded live in Europe back in 1966/67 featuring two of jazz's most mystical figures. A singer with a smoky laid back voice that takes you down paths few others have done. Shirley Horn, Sheila Jordan, Blossom Dearie, Norma Winstone have walked these late night streets and Jeanne Lee has done too. Alone, camaraderie in spirit only.

She improvises, sometimes swingingly, sometimes stark and uncompromising. Not much scatting but, when she does, I'm reminded of our best gal Zoë Gilby - uncanny.

Pianist Blake, Lee's collaborator until her death in 2000, is one of the relatively unsung heroes of jazz piano despite a career spanning nearly 6 decades and a worldwide following. His name should be on everyone's lips alongside Monk, Peterson, Garner and all the other great names.

The material is true to the formula and needs to be listened to again and again to appreciate the magic that they draw from each other.
Lance

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