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Bebop Spoken There

Jazzmeia Horn: "Sometimes my grandmother visits me in my dreams when I feel like I want to give up or I'm too tired, just for inspiration and encouragement." - (Jazzwise, Dec., Jan., 2019/20).

Archive

Today Thursday December 5

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

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

Tees Hot Club w. Middlesbrough Jazz & Blues Orchestra - 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.

Jools Holland’s R&B Orchestra - Newcastle City Hall, Northumberland Road, Newcastle NE1 8SF. Tel: 0844 8112121. 7:30pm. £47.50. & £34.00. Second night of two.

Chris Farlowe & the Norman Beaker Band + Teresa Watson Band - Newcastle Labour Club, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle NE1 4PF. Tel: 0191 232 8049. 7:45pm (doors). £22.00. (£19.00. adv.).

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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