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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (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.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Angela's Special Edition

When it comes to jazz and poetry all wrapped up in one package I usually show more than a soupcon of suspicion. This dates back to a lunchtime jam session at the Corner House one Christmas Eve and local poet Keith Armstrong reading an epic about the closing of the Derwenthaugh Coke Works. Coming, as it did, after "C Jam Blues" and "Indiana" it could have been subtitled "The Party's Over".
Since then jazz and poetry, with the exception of Mingus' "The Clown", have been kept at ear's length.
However, along came Angela J.Elliott whom I've referred to in previous posts and my position has changed. Angela has kindly sent me a demo of a forthcoming album which contains several of her poems, all jazz based in both content and accompaniment, that get to the very heart of the jazz existance.
Original words - set to music by Coltrane, Miles, Horace Silver, Duke Jordan and Lee Morgan - are interspersed with Angela J's personal take on standards and a nerve tingling interpretation of Jon Hendricks' setting for Monk's "Ask Me Now".
Behind all this, the guys of Special Edition; Louis Cennano (bs), Barry Parfitt (kbds), Graham Pike (tpt/flug/harmonica/vocal) and John Salter (dms), provide enough musical Benzedrene to keep Angela flying. Click here.
Love it.
(Keith Armstrong, referred to above, has added his comments and included his own moving item in memory of Chet Baker; "Chet - From a Window".
So that it doesn't get overlooked I've moved the thread back up the pecking order.)

5 comments :

Angela J Elliott said...

Many thanks Lance for the wonderful review of the album. It makes all the difference to have words of encouragement. Are we big in Newcastle or what!
Angela

keith armstrong said...

actually derwentaugh was written and performed by graeme rigby - though i had a few lines to read out as part of it!

never mind!

hope you enjoy this! not too sad for you i hope!

CHET - FROM A WINDOW

(in memory of Chet Baker 1929 -1988)

The constant onslaught of Amsterdam
surged through Zeedijk
on that hot night
when a full moon
dragged you
flying to your death.
In your room,
in the Prins Hendrik Hotel,
your clothes lay
neatly folded
in your suitcase,
with your body
a foetus on the street below.
Great white hope
fallen
offstage,
a love for heroin never shaken.
Sorrow was your stuff,
a plaintive,
lyrical anguish,
an excess of gloom
and charm.

This undernourished and parched body,
a singing corpse,
searching for an uncollapsed vein,
an expert driver hating the road
and the bleak hotel of his doom.
Such a foolish love.

Oklahoma farmboy on a golden trumpet,
his teeth knocked out in San Francisco,
become chained to an album a day
for a thousand dollars in cash.

And the Italian you learned in a Lucca jail,
your spirit surviving its deportation,
a lonely and melancholy master drifter
whose pianissimo
touched the soul.

Friday 13th May 1988,
Chet’s heart stopped
and his horn
lost its tongue.



KEITH ARMSTRONG

Lance said...

All is forgiven! My apologies to Graham Rigby and yourself.
The Chet piece was so moving, evocative and, yes, sad. That sadness, tempered with the memory of his music,is all there in your poem and, as such, I no longer feel quite so sad.

Angela J Elliott said...

Beautiful writing. I wish I could hear it with music. My own personal take on much jazz poetry is that when it's 'performed' the 'readers' often do just that - read, with no inflection, no emotion, just lifeless reading. I've tried to get away from that kind of delivery.

Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic story of Chet Baker. He's one I've so far overlooked.
Angela

keith armstrong said...

many thanks.
see you at a gig soon i hope.

keit armstrong aka the jingling geordie!

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