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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

Archives

Today Saturday September 23

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Day two of three.
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Evening
Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Rockafellas - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Tobie Carpenter Organ Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £10.
Thin Man + Jon Gordon - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. Free.
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Nikki Iles & Stan Sulzmann - Great Hall, Hexham Abbey, Hexham NE46 3NB. 10pm. £10/£8.
Pat McMahon Trio - Tannery, Gilesgate, Hexham NE46 3QD. 01434 605537. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

CD Review: The Mark Williams Trio - Last Bus to Bensham

Mark Williams (guitar), Paul Susans (bass) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell)
From Belfast to Gateshead, Mark Williams has made his home on Tyneside. A Newcastle College graduate, the Irishman has made a considerable contribution to the north of England’s jazz scene over the best part of two decades. A ‘first call’ sideman, Williams isn’t the type to shout the odds – more a self-deprecating, dry wit. Last Bus to Bensham is Williams’ second album as leader which comprises eight compositions written by the master guitarist.

Mike had a sense of humour!

The passing of Mike Carr (seen here with guitarist Willie Payne) reminded me of some emails we exchanged a few years ago. His friend Adrian had collated a lot of quotes which Mike hoped would make me laugh as much as they did him.
Well Mike, they certainly did - and still do. Thank You.
Lance.

"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them." Richard Strauss.
"One of the perks of being an unemployed musician is that you get to play much less bad music." Jack Daney.
"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." Aldous Huxley.
"Music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all. Music expresses itself. “Igor Stravinsky.

RIP Mike Carr

It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of organist Mike Carr. Mike, born in South Shields, was considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest jazz organists although, when I first encountered him he was playing piano and vibes with northeast band the Emcee Five. I spent quite a few heady evenings listening to the band at the old Down Beat Club in Newcastle. It was a stellar line-up with Mike’s brother Ian on trumpet and flugel, Gary Cox on tenor, Malcolm Cecil on bass and Ronnie Stephenson on drums.
Playing mainly originals in a style based on the Jazz Messengers there have been few better bands to have emerged from the northeast than the Emcee Five – as, according to legend, some members of the Basie Band found out when they dropped by after a City Hall concert.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Review: Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition - Agrima

Rudresh Mahanthappa (alto/comp/electronics); Rez Abbasi (guitar); Dan Weiss (kit/tabla).
(Review by Lance)
I don't claim to know a lot about Asian music - jazz or otherwise - however, I know good sax playing when I hear it and Mahanthappa blows good sax [alto]. Even when spiced up with a variety of devices that were once the exclusive property of guitarists he still delivers. At times it sounds almost like bebop bagpipes and I can detect an occasional suggestion of a highland fling. Mainly though, it's east Asian folk/jazz and none the worse for that. 

Courtney Pine: Black Notes from the Deep @ Sage Gateshead - September 21

Courtney Pine (tenor saxophone, bass flute & EWI), Robert Mitchell (piano & organ), Vidal Montgomery (double bass), Robert Fordjour (drums) & Omar (vocals)
(Review by Russell)
Courtney Pine made the journey north ahead of the release of his new album. Sage Gateshead’s jazz and soul fans turned out to hear what he and Omar have been getting up to in the studio.The former Jazz Warrior is currently playing tenor saxophone for the first time in ten years. Would this re-engage some of his long-time fans who were, perhaps, growing tired of his preoccupation with bass clarinet? A half hour delay to the advertised start time encouraged ticket holders to hang in the bar and have another one.

Digital Review: Ella Fitzgerald - Ella with the London Symphony Orchestra

Gregory Porter duetting with Ella Fitzgerald? It's true! Well, it's virtual truth thanks to modern technological sorcery. This being her centennial year, someone had the brilliant idea of taking some of Ella's late Decca/early Verve recordings and adding skilfully charted orchestral scores* played by the London Symphony Orchestra. 
It's all done seamlessly and inoffensively and whilst the originals sound jazzier (even though the vocal is the same!) I can live with both.
Porter teams up with Ella on People Will Say We're in Love and it is a match made in heaven (in Ella's case, literally). A duo album in real time would have been something! Originally it was just Ella with Ellis Larkins on piano.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

RIP Jake LaMotta

Former world middleweight champion Jake LaMotta passed away on Tuesday (Sept. 19) age 95. LaMotta, who was champ from 1949-51, fought in an era when the 160lb division contained some of the toughest fighters ever. LaMotta, Sugar Ray Robinson, Tony Zale, Marcel Cerdan, Rocky Graziano just some of the names that held the title. LaMotta achieved even greater recognition after he'd retired due to the award-winning film of his colourful life - Raging. Bull - with Robert De Niro as LaMotta.
"What's this got to do with jazz?" I hear you ask.
Well, er, actually, nothing...
...apart from this quote:
He and Robinson became the perfect foils for each other,” boxing historian Larry Merchant said. “The fact they fought six times says something about their styles as well as their abilities. One guy was a jazz pianist and the other was a drummer.”
Lance.

The Peter Fielding Story (continued)

The interest in former bandleader Peter Fielding continues via his grandson Miki Volpe. Miki, ex-Guildhall violin student and later a detective with The Met, sent us these two photos.
One is of his father, Mike Fielding, drummer and bandleader in his own right whilst the other is of Peter Fielding himself. Miki, from his home in Spain where he and his wife now live after they both retired from The Met, tells me he inherited and still has, the Gibson mandolin that his grandfather is pictured with.
If instruments could only talk, what fascinating tales they would tell...
Lance.

World Peace Day - Today!

Petroc Trelauney announced on Radio3's Breakfast programme this morning that today is World Peace Day (while not having any great hopes of this being acknowledged where it needs to be), and played Bill Evans Peace Piece. 6.45 minutes of brilliant, uplifting musicianship! For those (few?) who don't know the piece, here it is: Bill Evans "Peace Piece"
Brian Ebbatson.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CD Review: Brian Landrus Orchestra - Generations

Where does one begin? How does one classify such an ambitious undertaking? Generations crosses the genres in an unprecedented manner to the extent that it's undefinable.
Undefinable, and compelling. Where will it go next? As ambitious a work as I've heard from any of the composers who go in for this form of cross-fertilisation.
Landrus, needless to say, is at the core of things. The Jeru Concerto displays his undouubted virtuosity on baritone sax. A four movement composition dedicated to his son who, when Landrus first began writing the piece, had yet to be born. It was also inspired by another giant of the baritone - Gerry Jeru Mulligan. In between the first and second movements, there is an interlude where the composer really cuts loose with an unaccompanied solo that is, for want of a better word, breathtaking!

The Jazz Café All Stars - September 19

(Review/photos by Russell)
An acquaintance suggested it would be difficult, if not impossible, to convey just how good this one was. Newcastle’s Jazz Café has long since established itself as host to the premier jam session on Tyneside. A good session is all but guaranteed, attracting some of the finest musicians on the local scene and from further afield. The place was busy well before the eight o’clock start with more than a few big hitters among the early arrivals – this one had all the makings of a particularly good night.
Paul Edis led the session working with Paul Grainger and Russ Morgan. My Romance opened the set, followed by Michel Legrand’s Watch What Happens. What happened next prompted your front row reviewer to scribble GO HOME!!! Nothing could follow Edis’ show-stopping version of  Bye Bye Blackbird featuring blinding piano playing with bassist Grainger and drummer Morgan right up there in the stratosphere. It was early, the place was full, the cheering had to be heard to be believed.

Preview: Classic Swing @ Ashington Jazz Club - October 4

Ashington Jazz Club is back with another new band called Classic Swing featuring an entertaining program of classic swing, jazz, blues & vocals.
The quintet features international trumpet star Bob Wade with Jim McBriarty on reeds, pianist Malcolm Armstrong, Alan Rudd on bass and vocalist Olive Rudd.
The event is upstairs at the Elephant pub in Ashington on October 4th. Showtime is 8pm to 10pm. Admission is £6 on the door
The concert is part of Ashington Jazz Clubs 35th anniversary as well as Ashington Town’s 150th-anniversary celebrations
For further information and poster see the clubs updated website:-
John Taylor

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

2017 BJA Nominations announced - vote now

The British Jazz Awards are with us once more and the nominations, for this the 31st consecutive year, have been announced. To place your vote, follow the link below. There is, as you will see,  an excellent list of quality musicians in many different fields of jazz. There is also, should you disagree with the nominations, space for your own nomination. You can vote by following the link below (voting closes October 30).
Lance.

Emily Bacon’s Good Time Gang @ The Globe - September 17

Emily Bacon (piano, vocals); Liz Bacon (clarinet); Peter Wright (trumpet); Jeff Milner (trombone, vocals); Sarah Thatcher (banjo, tenor guitar); Spike Kennedy (bass); Paul Bacon (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
‘B flat’ said Paul Bacon as I entered the Globe for some lunchtime entertainment. The Old Spinning Wheel In The Parlour was played, good time, danceable, New Orleans music, vintage jazz straight from the jazz history books, but well worth listening to today for its irrepressible tunes and sheer sense of fun. Essay question for music students: ‘Discuss the differences between today’s performance and the bebop style jazz played by the Safe Sextet at the Globe on Thursday.’  Jazz indeed covers a wide spectrum. 

CD Review: Claudia Morris - Here's to Life

Claudia Morris (vocals); Liam Dunachie (piano/keys); Conor Chaplin (bass); David Ingamells (drums); Al Cherry (guitar); Alex Garnett (sax); George Hogg (trumpet/flugel); Laura Stanford, Penny Ainscow, David Lopez (violins 1,2,3); Daisy Spires (viola); Jessica Cox (cello); Claire Finley (backing vocals).
(Review by Lance)
I first encountered Claudia Morris back in 2011 on her album  Twelve O'Clock Tales. I was hooked.
Two years later, Ann Alex was equally impressed with Secret Love - Claudia's Doris Day celebration.
Now, the ball's back in my court with her latest - Here's to Life.
The standard hasn't dipped - far from it! The voice has mellowed, the theatrical approach has lessened without any loss of emotion and there is warmth exuding by the thermload.

Blog Archive

About this blog - contact details.

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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