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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Newton: "Having got my Grade 8 pretty early, it was only then that the piano was taking over. But this was happening outside of school really, as the music teacher at this particular school didn't like me or the kind of music I liked." (Jazzwise February 2019).

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Today Tuesday January 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jam session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Mark Williams, Paul Grainger, Russ Morgan.

Alter Ego - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB. Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Friday, January 04, 2019

CD Review: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra - Peter and the Wolf.

(Review by Lance)
There was a time when "Jazzin' the Classics" was regarded with a degree of scorn or at the very best, condescension. My late mother, herself an accomplished pianist with letters after her name would shudder when I played Art Tatum's version of Dvorak's Humoresque, albeit admiring his technique. 

Since then, attitudes have become more tolerant and I'm sure, were she alive today, she'd have appreciated the jazzified classical pieces that have entered the jazz canon such as The Nutcracker Suite, Peer Gynt and The Planets. 

What do they all have in common? - Ellington.

Tchaikovsky, Greig, and Holst composed the originals but, thanks to Ellington they have, over time, achieved recognition as major jazz suites.

Duke recorded the first two, Pete Long scored the third for the Echoes of Ellington Orchestra and now SNJO supremo, Tommy Smith OBE has arranged and orchestrated Prokofieff's [sic] Peter and the Wolf, whilst still retaining an overall Ducal feeling. 

It's an intriguing, at times dramatic piece, beautifully arranged and with some impressive piano moments from Makoto Ozone.

Recorded live at the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, The whole thing is held together by Tam Dean Burn's reading of the respected Scottish poet and playwright Liz Lochhead's adaptation of the original text. Burn's narration is done in broad Scot's dialect that even I - but a few miles south of Hadrian's Wall - struggled at times to fully comprehend. However, repeated listenings soon overcame the language barrier and before long I was chuckling away as well as enjoying the absolutely superb arrangements by jazz's latest OBE. No extended solos but, apart from Ozone, we had trillings from Yvonne Lockwood and clarinet cat characterisations from Martin Kershaw.

In time, it will surely and deservedly rank alongside the great works mentioned earlier although I'm not sure how the Americans (and the Londoners) will cope with the broad Scottish brogue!
First 5 star review of the year!
Lance
Available January 25 on Spartacus Records.

Conductor Tommy Smith
Narrator Tam Dean Burn
Piano Makoto Ozone
Text Adapted by Liz Lochhead
Flute Yvonne Robertson
Saxophones Martin Kershaw, Paul Towndrow, Konrad Wiszniewski, Bill Fleming
Trumpets James Davison, Sean Gibbs, Tom MacNiven, Lorne Cowieson
Trombones Chris Greive, Liam Shortall, Michael Owers
Bass Calum Gourlay
Drums Alyn Cosker
Music & Text commissioned by the SNJO 2017
Recorded live on 24 February 2018 at Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
Mixed and Mastered at Castlesound Studios by Stuart Hamilton 3 + 4 March 2018

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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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Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance