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Bebop Spoken There

Craig Taborn: "Every sound you make is a choice, and it's a choice made in relation to everything happening around you" - (DownBeat, May 2019).


Today Thursday April 18



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



DJazz: Durham City Jazz Festival Launch - Courtyard Café, Palace Green Library, Palace Green, Durham DH1 3RN. 7:00pm. £5.00. Featuring Hand to Mouth: Lindsay Hannon & Bradley Johnston.

JR Trio - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. (£3.00. student). Line-up: James Romaine (alto sax); Asaph Tal (double bass); Kai Chareunsy (drums). Birmingham Conservatoire student trio. Gig replaces Francis Tulip Quintet (to be rescheduled).

Archipelago + Paul Taylor - Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192. 7:45pm. £8.00. (£6.00. concs). JNE.

Anth Purdy - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free. Tees Hot Club: Dormans Jazz Festival.

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

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

Joseph Carville Trio - Bar Loco, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle NE1 4PG. Tel: 0191 232 5871. 8:00pm. Free. Carville (piano), Allan Peat (double bass), Mark Rayner (drums).

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

Saturday, February 02, 2019

CD Review: Nick Hempton - Night Owl

Nick Hempton (saxes); Peter Bernstein (guitar); Kyle Koehler (Hammond B3); Fukushi Tainaka (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Recorded direct to tape at GB's Juke Joint in NYC on May 2 last year this does what the title implies - an imaginary walk on the wild side via the bars and clubs, the all-nighters, the shuffles and the boogaloos that have been the soundtrack of the city since the heyday of Lou Donaldson, Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack, Stanley Turrentine and many other legendary groove merchants.

Nick Hempton can hold his own in that exalted company. Gutsy tenor, soaring alto, six original compositions as well as individual takes on three gassers - After You've Gone bears comparison with Art Pepper, Sonny Stitt and other great alto players - whilst I'm a Fool to Want You has just enough edge to it cut it in any juke joint as this Long Island studio recording proves.

Apart from the occasional bravura flourish, this is meaningful playing. Like Dexter Gordon, Hempton makes every note count, and there are plenty of them. Bernstein is with him every inch of the way with his own solos matching those of the bossman. Bernstein is a fave of our boy Francis Tulip and I can see why. Koehler doesn't attack the B3 like so many organ grinders instead he caresses it with fingers and feet making the most of the many combinations of sound available. No need for a bassman when this guy's pedalling. On drums, Tainaka is discreet when discretion is called for and upfront when the heat is on. He's like the blast of air that lifted Monroe's skirt when she stood over the grating on the corner of Lexington & 52nd in the film The Seven Year Itch.

I thought I'd heard all the great Ellington ballads and now, maybe I have! It Shouldn't Happen to a Dream was recorded by "The Divine One" on her album Sarah Vaughan in Hi-Fi and featured Cannonball Adderley. This version may not have Sassy or Cannon but the four guys it does have more than make up for it - one of the all-time classic ballad performances.

Listen Hard, Speak Easy puts the boot in. Down home, greasy spoon, JD on the rocks, eggs over easy all visions that came to me as I lay in bed with the lights off imagining I was in a dive somewhere downtown. I may never get to New York again but, with this album, I'm halfway there.
Night Owl; I Remember Milady's; After You've Gone; I'm a Fool to Want You; 10th St. Turnaround; Corner Bistro; It Shouldn't Happen to a Dream; Listen Hard, Speak Easy; Macao Mood.

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