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Bebop Spoken There

Jimmy Vaughan: "I don't just want to turn out stuff because I'm supposed to. I'm not a plumber. I don't want it to be just a job" - (Downbeat, August 2019)


Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Monday July 22



Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (See above).

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



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

Friday, April 13, 2012

CD Review: "Frequent Flyer" – Lorenzo Feliciati.

I first saw and heard Italy’s Lorenzo Feliciati at UK Bassday 2007 in Manchester. On the bill that day were the likes of Laurence Cottle, Jeff Berlin and Hadrien Feraud. A truly impressive line-up, with Lorenzo Feliciati, who must be one of the most underrated electric bass players in Europe, proving a match for the best on that day.

This latest prog-jazz-rock album entitled "Frequent Flyer" (RareNoise Records) includes fine contributions from some of the best players around including trumpeter Cuong Vu (who has worked with Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny), Bob Mintzer and King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto. An ultra modern touch is added to 4 of the tracks by turntable master DJ Skizo. The album contains a host of players from the Italian progressive scene, and their influence can clearly be heard throughout the CD. This album will hopefully put paid to him being described as one the "best kept secrets" of the European music scene and propel him to the success he deserves.
"Frequent Flyer" opens with the dark, even ominous, “The Fastwing Park Rules” featuring a beautifully haunting solo soprano sax line and some frenetic tenor playing from Bob Mintzer over a heavy synth motif with a slow rhythmic and drum dominated support. Feliciati displays his technical ability with some tasteful chordal and virtuoso soloing before Mintzer takes over again demonstrating his prowess before playing the track out on soprano (the track reminded me of a heavy version of the "Touch Of Frost" TV series theme tune.)
"Groove First" is Feliciati's "signature" number, and really shows off his chops. A fast number with minimal backing, Feliciati is supported by British UK jazz keyboardist Roy Powell on Fender Rhodes and Moog, with some great percussion and particularly conga work from Paulo La Rosa. I would guess from some of the solo figures, that Jaco Pastorius has been a major influence on Lorenzo Feliciati.
"93" is predominantly a slow triple meter number with a few odd time signatures thrown in for good measure to accentuate the synth, Wurlitzer and strings on this track. Adrian Zammit (Wurlitzer) and Pat Mastelotto (drums) feature strongly behind another strong melodic bass line. The main melody wouldn't be out of place in a David Lynch film - eery and evocative.
"Riding The Orient Express" opens with another haunting motif with some tasteful percussion and drum work with a heavy guitar line (Phil Brown guests on this one) that wouldn't be out of place in a 90's rock power ballad. Feliciati tastefully introduces the main melody on the upper registers of his bass that evolves into some heavy electronics and another backing guitar riff, the track then decrescendos to a recurring musical figure that reminds me of the reverse tape procedure used in "psychedelic" 60's and 70's media. Strong drum patterns strengthen the riff until the tension is released by the resumption of the very clean and memorable upper register bass melody.
"Footprints" with three drummers! Feliciati's take on this Wayne Shorter classic is very different. Again, restricting the number of instruments to just bass and afro-cuban style drums gives him the chance to showcase his fretless bass pyrotechnics. An extended bass synth riff before the final theme gives the drummers a chance to demonstrate their brilliant cross-rhythmic skills. If you don't find yourself foot tapping to this one - sell your sound system.
"Never Forget" - Cuong Vu (trumpet), DJ Skizo (turntables), Pier Paolo Ferroni (drums). Heavily reverbed and masterful use of the full range of his instrument, Cuong Vu adds an extra dimension to this rather mournful and enigmatic but calming electronic soundscape. Feliciati's contribution comes by way of an electric upright bass, no pyrotechnics here, just a solid foundation to underpin the mural created by his fellow musicians. I grew to like it more on every listening.
"Gabus & Ganabes" - In total contrast to the previous track, this one opens with a bang, chordal harmonics on bass with some nifty high hat and bass drum playing supported by a jangling guitar line that sets the atmosphere for what is to follow. A frenetic and dark theme is introduced by the bass and echoed second time around by violinist Andrea Di Cesare with some serious percussion playing giving this section a great latin feel. This fast and hard grooving number is a showcase for violinist Andrea Di Cesare whose soaring and elegant style adds another tonal dimension to the Feliciati composition. Again, Feliciati's bass excellence is displayed throughout, and he withdraws in the final section with a final solo played over a bassless backing played by Patrick Djivas.
"Perceptions" is another soundscape this time featuring DJ Skizo and Pier Paolo Ferroni on drums. Pleasantly relaxing with no surprises, this slow and hypnotic composition is definitely a stress-buster.
"The White Shadow Story" features Daniele Gottardo on guitar. Opening with a slow funk groove, Gottardo's guitar sets the mood as his first few bars of quasi-blues sound bursts through the heavy electronics and synth background. His playing, as limited as it is on this track, is superb. I do feel however that the contribution of DJ Skizo is over done and should have been used more sparingly with more from Gottardo. The track launches into a double time rock feel towards the end with some stunning guitar work.
"Law and Order" opens with a great drum and percussion pattern from Daniele Pomo and leads to a Hammond organ and bass odd meter theme reminiscent of Emerson Lake and Palmer. When the melody comes to an abrupt halt, in comes the Hammond again and this time we get some slow organ chords from Jose Fiorillo a la Jon Lord of Deep Purple played over a background of some eery yet atmospheric synth sounds and then to the main theme that escalates into a brief drum solo before ending on a crashing tutti glissando.
"Thula Hun Ginjeet" - well they have (in my opinion) left the best until last! This Asian/Indian sounding track originally penned by King Crimson (this title is an anagram of heat in the jungle - a slang reference to crime in the city) has it all. Opening with a bell-like chord using bass harmonics and a strong drum and percussion medium paced cuban-like rhythm that has you foot tapping from the outset, breaking into a ripping bass ostinato pattern played at pace. This is the highlight of the album for me. Vocals on this track come from Guido Block and Roberto Gualdi on drums make this comparable, if not better (myself being a prejudiced bassist) than the Adrian Belew/Crimson verson of the 80's. The bass tone is immense, and his playing is about as good as it gets for this genre.

Robert Laing.

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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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