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Bebop Spoken There

Guy Barker: "You have to play it [the trumpet] every day or you just won't be match-fit." - (Jazz Rag, Winter 2019.)

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Today Friday December 13

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux CarréJazzmen - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. ‘Christmas Jazz Lunch’. Details from 0191 252 9429).

Dean Stockdale Trio - The Merry Monk, 30 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening.

Jazz

‘An Evening of Swing & Sparkle’ - National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0GL. Tel: 0191 515 5555. 7:30pm. £35.00. Rat Pack evening inc. 4-course meal.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. First night of two.

Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Orchestra - Yarm School, Stockton TS15 9EJ. Tel: 01642 786023. 7:30pm (6:30pm doors). £18.00. + £1.80. bf (£15.00. + £1.50. bf). 'Mistletoe & Miller'.

Blues, Funk/Soul etc.

Baghdaddies - Cobalt Studios, Boyd Street, NewcastleNE2 1AP. £10.68 (inc. bf). ‘Big Xmas Knees Up’.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

George Shovlin & the Acoustic Radars feat. Pat Rafferty + George Pallas & John Wilkins - Whitburn Cricket Club, East Street, Whitburn SR6 7BZ. Tel: 0191 529 3187. 7:30pm (7:00pm doors). £7.50. admission by ticket only (from www.wegottickets.com). 'The Bents Road Sessions'.

Dead Skunk Skiffle & Blues Orchestra + Stetson Five - Station East, Hills Street, Gateshead NE8 2AN. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Sunday, August 26, 2012

CD Review: Seth MacFarlane - Music is Better Than Words. - RELEASED TOMORROW!

Move over Bublé and the other keepers of the Gasbook flame - there's a new kid on the block.
Well, not exactly a new kid as Seth MacFarlane is described in the blurb as "Multi Emmy winning Family Guy creator."
Furthermore, the creative force behind Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show, a franchise with an estimated worth of $2 billion, who has garnered four Emmys and seven nominations and is also an actor and film director goes for the full set by releasing his début vocal album on Decca.
This raises the question, would Decca have put their corporate weight behind a guy working - say Forest Hall Club - as opposed to a guy with a lot of bucks behind him?
Whatever, those issues aside, this is an excellent disc well sung with great arrangements. Inevitably, as with everyone who travels this well trodden path, the influence of Francis Albert is never far away and that is acceptable - it's only a suggestion of Old Blue Eyes after all. In actual fact the album was recorded in the Capital studio where Sinatra recorded so many of his classic tracks and indeed the recording mic - the legendary microphone nicknamed "The Frank" - was borrowed from The Smithsonian Institute for the session.
The songs are great and not at all hackneyed - my favourite lyric is the Love Won't Let You Get Away by Jimmy Van Heuson and Sammy Cahn. Lots of quadruple rhymes! 
I'll find an area,
More remote than Bavaria,
I'll still get in the hair of ya
In Bavaria 
Or Bombay.
This is what makes the Gasbook so special - Lloyd Webber couldn't get within a mile of that!
Sarah Bareilles duetted with Seth on this latter track and, earlier, Norah  Jones helped him out beautifully on Two Sleepy People. Not that he needs help. MacFarlane is a fine singer irrespective of his other talents and deserves to be heard.
The arrangements are by conductor Joel McNeeley who leads the Riddle style orchestra which includes Peter Erskine on drums, Alan Broadbent, piano, Pete Christlieb on tenor and a host of other studio names.
Other tracks are It's Anybody's Spring, the title track - Music is Better Than Words - Anytime Anywhere, The Night They Invented Champagne, You're The Cream in my Coffee, Something Good, Meredith Wilson's wonderful The Sadder But Wiser Girl For Me, It's Easy to Remember, Laura - ok so Frank wins that one but it's a split decision. She's Wonderful Too - an original by MacFarlane and McNeeley - proves that the Gasbook is still open and this is a worthy addition that deserves to be added to any perceptive singers's repertoire.
Verdict? If I were a Belle I'd be swooning... 
Seth MacFarlane: Music is Better Than Words Released by Decca August 27.
Seth MacFarlane also performs in The Broadway Sound at the Royal Albert Hall as part of The Proms on the above date and plays Ronnie Scott's on August 30.
Lance.

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