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Bebop Spoken There

Davina Lozier: "So many people never settle into who they really are. They just do what they want to do because they want to be Oscar Peterson or Muddy Waters or Britney Spears. But I am what I am: a chubby, 40-year-old woman who's still doing it." - (DownBeat, December 2019).


Today Monday November 11



Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 3:40pm. Stanley Nelson's 2019 documentary film.


Soft Machine - Cluny, Lime St., Newcastle NE1 2PQ. Tel 0191 230 4474. 7:30pm. £17.50.

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cluny Double Bill a Game of Two Halves

Alister Spence Trio: Alister Spence (pno/electronics), Joe Williamson (bs), Tony Buck (dms).
Bevan, Morris, Lash and Buck: Tony Bevan (sop/ten/bs sax), Joe Morris (gtr), Dom Lash (bs), Tony Buck (dms).
Driving home, Art Pepper was playing on the car stereo - "Fascinating Rhythm". It was so relaxing after what had gone before at the Cluny that it was difficult to reconcile the fact that the both came under the heading of music.
Perhaps that is what is so wonderful about music - its sheer diversity.
Take tonight; two bands almost as far from each other as they were from Art Pepper yet still sailing under a flag of convenience called jazz.
First up to the plate was the Alister Spence Trio. Aussie Alister writes music for the movies and the impression gained was that tonight's program was ultimately aimed at a big(gish) screen soundtrack. One could almost say, that this is the love scene, this is the car chase, this is the fight, the guy falling off a cliff etc.
Spence is a talented pianist - no doubt. He has been likened to Paul Bley but there was some Cecil Taylor in there too. I think he's still evolving. That his direction isn't my direction is as much a criticism of myself as it is of Alister. Williamson on bass had some clever tricks with the bow which I've seen Andy Champion do better but when he did get around to a semblance of normality he was okay.
Drummer Buck played with both bands - more...
Bevan, Morris, Lash & Buck were a different teapot of turbot. When Bevan tuned up I was impressed - some bands forget although I suspect that, with this outfit it doesn't matter too much.
They went for the jugular from the off blowing an opening number that lasted over half an hour.
Bevan stretched out on tenor, curved soprano and bass sax. He has an incredible techique although in situations like this it is a licence to blow unhindered by chord progressions and other obstacles. At times he made the big instrument sound like a piccolo - at other times a wind-powered musical buzzsaw.
The ensembles were Bedlamic - if the leader of the previous band ever has to do a soundtrack for a film called "Nutcase Convention" he could well find his inspiration here - after a few minutes I was ready to audition for the lead role.
Why do contemporary bands take so much of their material from the sounds of the farmyard?
Buck had no problem in being passed from one band to the other giving the skins the thrashing of a lifetime. Lash too had some frenetic moments that rocked the boat yet through it all one man stood alone withstanding the slings and arrows around him - Joe Morris on guitar.
Joe, from Connecticut, mixed it in the meleé and emerged unscathed and able to play some of the most musical, nay even lyrical, solos of the session.
I left slightly shell-shocked yet, I must confess, there were moments of excitement that are still circulating the adrenalin around a couple of hours later.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

We were at the Cluny to see the double bill,and laying fault with my musical taste and uneducated ear after over 40 years of going to jazz concerts,count me out after this one!.Someone making a cacophany of electronic sounds and making the sound of a saxophone unrecognisable and calling it music is beyond me.Where has harmony,rhythm,and melody gone?
If musicions want to self indulge in music? sounds! like we heard that evening,it would be preferable if they did it in there own front room and didn't ask me to pay money for the dis-pleasure of goimg to listen to it under the guise of a)Music and b)Jazz

As a consequence we left the Cluny early that night alongside one or two others. Numbers of which the Cluny can ill afford!

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.

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