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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 Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

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

Blues

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

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Nothing Like A Dame

I have to admit it took me a long time to fall in love with Dame Cleo; about 50 years to be precise. Maybe longer. I enjoyed hearing her with the Johnny Dankworth Seven back in the days of Sunday night concerts at Newcastle Odeon as well as at later gigs with the Dankworth big band. It was when Johnny became John (John conveniently forgetting that, as Johnny, he once played with Freddy Mirfield's Garbage Men) that Cleo suddenly became an upmarket personality and her voice took on all those irritating mannerisms. Sarah Vaughan too had a lot of mannerisms but somehow her's only irritated occasionally.

There were moments when I forgave her; her "Shakespeare And All That Jazz" recorded in 1964 was, probably still is, the defining mix of jazz and the written/spoken word. Something few would dare to deny. However, one swallow doesn't make a supper and I heard little else to enjoy.

As recently as this merry month of May, with a hey and a ho and a hey nonny no I opted to drive to Darlington to catch Scott Hamilton and Steve Fishwick rather than go up the road to the Sage and listen to Lord and Lady Dankworth of Wavendon.

Then I heard "Quality Time".

A good friend and contributer to this site raved about Cleo singing "Quality Time". I shrugged it off; I knew "Quality Time" as a clever Dave Frishberg song that Susannah McCorkle had recorded but couldn't quite equate it with the sentiments Liz was attributing to it so, as I had picked up Cleo's CD of same somewhere along the way, I decided to listen to it - don't ask me why I hadn't done so before; built in conceptions guess.

Let me tell you this is one helluva CD. Gone are the mannerisms to be replaced by a feeling of sensuality akin to a Julie London or a Jeri Southern. "Quality Time", the song, is not the Frishberg fol de rol but a beatutiful piece written by tenor saxist Duncan Lamont and drummer, the late Allan Ganley. Apart from the originals (Cleo and Sir John also penned some) there are several well chosen standards and, in particular, a goose pimpling version of "Wee Small Hours" that gets within sight of the Sinatra version.

It was recorded in 2002 which would make her 75 at the time...

1 comment :

liz said...

I feel good knowing that you feel good about "Quality time" It certainly left an impression on me Lance. I think I must buy it. I do agree about Cleo mellowing somewhat, it's easier on the ear. Why mess with lyrics when they are as beautifully written as this, thankfully she doesn't.

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