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Bebop Spoken There

Val Wilmer: "The festival [New York Musicians Festival], an impressive exercise in African-American self-reliance, had come about after the promoter George Wein had moved his annual Newport Jazz Festival to New York the previous year [1972], and paid scant attention to the avant garde." - (Wire June 2020)

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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.

Monday, August 23, 2010

JC says...

Having just come back from holiday, I want to add some comments on three gigs I saw before I went away as they were all memorable in different ways. Each was presenting different styles of jazz, in three different venues, organised by three different groups and they were all great.
Firstly, the Ayanna gig was sensational and well done to Schmazz for taking a chance on putting it on in August. The combination of her voice (which seemed to me more Cassandra Wilson / Mahalia Jackson than Joni Mitchell) and the constantly interesting variety of the musical accompaniment created something that was unique. I don’t think I’ve heard a mixture of uileann pipes, low whistle and plucked cello in a jazz context before. Her songs were wonderfully constructed and presented. I could have happily sat through another whole show. You can find the beast in many places, but such beauty is rare.
Another was the Jo Harrop session at the Cherry Tree restaurant, which was a wonderful presentation of the jazz singer’s art (with a great band as well). Did she sing ‘Give me a pigfoot and a bottle of beer’, Lance, or was that the menu? I think it’s worth saying that the Cherry Tree has now become the place to go for jazz on a Monday night – it’s like Pizza Express in London, except with much better food.
The third was, of course, the tribute to Chris Yates in the Corner House, which was an incredible collection of jazz musicians. As you have described, the place was packed and buzzing. The last group was particularly electrifying and when they were urging each other further and further in the choruses of Anthropology, it was a bit like the scenes Jack Kerouac described in his books of the atmosphere in New York jazz clubs when Bird and Dizzy were playing:
‘...hearing a wild tenorman bawling horn across the way, going ‘EE-YAH! EE-YAH! EE-YAH!’ and hands clapping to the beat and folks yelling ‘Go, go, go!’....the tenorman was blowing at the peak of a wonderfully satisfactory free idea, a rising and falling riff that went from ‘ee-yah!’ to a crazier ‘ee-de-lee-yah!’ and blasted along to the rolling crash of butt-scarred drums...
“On the Road".’
All fantastic stuff!
JC

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