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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sonny Simmons Quartet by John Moles and Russell Corbett

(I thought these two comments worthy of being featured - Lance)
I heard Sonny Simmons at the Bridge and was lucky enough to have a few words with him. His backing band, which actually played far more than he did and which he described as preferring to play outside, whereas he (presumably, now) preferred to play inside, was highly proficient. The general mode was high-intensity 'free', with some beatier stuff. For my taste, it is difficult nowadays to be distinctively good in this mode and the highly energetic trumpeter/trombonist seemed to me several notches below Simmons in general creativity (not sure, however, if this was the general audience reaction).
Simmons didn't just fragment phrases into fairly predictable shapes but employed a far wider melodic, harmonic and tonal range. In the time that I was there (had to leave early) he played one unaccompanied ballad associated with Coltrane (can't recall which), a brilliant performance in which one heard many of the great voices of the tradition (Coltrane, Hawkins,Rollins, Dolphy, Erwin, etc.) enhanced by his own beautiful intensity and melodic inventiveness.
I have always thought Simmons one of the great saxophonists. He is not now coasting but is clearly - and conscientiously - pacing himself. He is clearly a heroic human being. I think he is also still a very great musician.
I would recommend anyone to make an effort and go and hear him. I don't think, however, that this context is the best show-case for him
John Moles.
Sonny Simmons was superb.The Sheffield improvisers were up to the job,no question.A paint-stripping performance was punctuated with a couple of solo ballads from the great man.The upstairs room at the Bridge was packed-standing room only.A good number of students turned up.A great gig at a great venue with top-notch beers!
Russell.

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