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Bebop Spoken There

Sting: "It was great. They [the River City Jazzmen] all wore blue suits. The band had been together for about twenty years, which was the same age as the suits." - (Melody Maker Sept. 22, 1979).

Archive

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 October 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see centre column).

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

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 3:00pm/5:30pm. Screening of Stanley Nelson's documentary film (2019, cert. 15, 1hr 55mins).

Evening

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

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

CD Review: Ran Blake/Sara Serpa - Aurora

Ran Blake (piano); Sara Serpa (voice)
(Review by Ann Alex)
This CD is a very unusual take on some lesser-played jazz standards, with some original material.  It was described to me as a CD of ‘Jazz Lieder’, which is quite a good explanation of what to expect.  It reminded me of Stephen Sondheim, free jazz, Portuguese fado, cabaret, all rolled into a package with some humour added.
Sara Serpa has a pleasing sweet and soulful voice and Ran Blake is highly skilled and experienced.  His career spans six decades and he is involved in improvised music and education.  Serpa is a relative newcomer and this is their second album together.  I liked some of the tracks, found some a bit far out for my taste, but it seemed that these two are genuinely trying something new.  I’d recommend this to lovers of free jazz.
The most entertaining track is Moonride, an amusing narrative about a meeting with a moonman and the most obscure number is probably Mahler Noir, written by Blake himself, a melancholy semi-classical instrumental with references to American show tunes.  In fact the album has a melancholy feel which is intriguing, with tracks following each other without much of a break between.  Saturday is bleak and meaningful; Dr Mabuse is sung with vocalise alternating with piano; Strange Fruit is sung unaccompanied with sensitivity, but becomes a little too operatic towards the end. 
The Band Played On is done lightly with humour; Fine And Dandy is dissonant, and the pace varies.
This CD probably deserves to be played more than once if the listener isn’t sure about it the first time.
Issued on Clean Feed CF 264
Ann Alex   

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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: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance