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Erin Davis: "I knew he [Miles Davis] was a famous musician, but didn't quite understand how famous." - (The Observer Magazine 29 March 2020)

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COFID- 19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

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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