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Bebop Spoken There

Anat Cohen: "With the tenor, it's so iconic with jazz. With the clarinet, I can improvise, but it doesn't have to be called jazz." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Tuesday June 18

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Lickety Split - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 813983 (info). 8:00pm. £5.00. (inc raffle). Line-up inc special guest Don Fairley (trombone).

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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