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Bebop Spoken There

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

Archive

Today Thursday December 12

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 12:00pm. Free.

Note earlier time for this week only!

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Evening

Jazz

Hot Club du Nord - Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Willerby Drive, Peterlee SR8 2RN. Tel: 0191 518 2000. 7:00pm. £10.00. (£5.00. under 18s). 'Jazz at the Lubetkin'.

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). ‘Gala Big Band Does Christmas’.

Durham University Big Band - Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. Tel: 0191 334 1777. Free. 7:30pm. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£2.00. student).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Blues/Soul/Funk/Etc.

?????

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

Friday, July 27, 2012

CD Review: Ellington Saxophone Encounters. Mark Masters' Ensemble

Gary Foster, Don Shelton (alt/clt); Gene Cipriano, Pete Christlieb (ten); Gary Smulyan (bar); Bill Cunliffe (pno); Tom Warrington (bs); John La Barbera (dms).
(Review by Lance).
The idea was to take compositions by five of Ellington's major sax players - Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Ben Webster, Jimmy Hamilton and Harry Carney and arrange them for a sax section comprising of five of today's leading players. The result, to put it mildly, is sensational!
The opening Esquire Swank (Hodges/Ellington) hit me right between the eyes! What a sax section sound and what solos! Down Beat Poll Winner Smulyan who co-lead the project with arranger/composer Mark Masters opens up the batting with a blistering, yet melodic, baritone solo with Christlieb on tenor stripping a bit more paint from the ceiling! In between, Cuncliffe plays some Ducal piano and the bar had been set for what was to follow.
With the exception of Rockin' in Rhythm and Jeeps Blues, this isn't the normal well-used Ellington fare but instead a choice selection by the above mentioned sidemen.
Smulyan is heavily featured in the Harry Carney role bringing a feeling of modernity to the veteran anchorman's work. We're in Love Again is a particularly sumptuous rendition and, surprisingly, Hodges' Jeeps Blues is also a baritone feature - it works beautifully. 
Christlieb is a monster of a tenor player covering both Webster and Gonsalves with authority and originality as does Cipriano who comes across as having a definite affinity to Gonsalves particularly on Peaches (Hodges).. Foster blows cool sounding alto that blends well and Shelton's clarinet echoes Jimmy Hamilton without cloning.
The saxes may have got the gold medals but listen to Bill Cunliffe's piano - like Duke - an inspiration throughout
And of course the whole thing couldn't have worked without Mark Masters' arrangements and his, pardon the pun, masterly direction of the ensemble.
The rhythm section is worthy of any Ellington Orchestra and, although it is barely August, I think this will be well in the running for my record of the year.
Ellington Saxophone Encounters by Mark Masters Ensemble. The American Jazz Institute/Capri Records. Release date August 21, 2012.
Lance.

2 comments :

Russell said...

I've got to hear this one.

Steve Owen said...

This looks brilliant, can't wait to hear this