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Bebop Spoken There

Val Wilmer: "The festival [New York Musicians Festival], an impressive exercise in African-American self-reliance, had come about after the promoter George Wein had moved his annual Newport Jazz Festival to New York the previous year [1972], and paid scant attention to the avant garde." - (Wire June 2020)

Dave Rempis:Ten years from now, I can see musicians streaming concerts in real time and charging a minimal amount for people to watch.” - (DownBeat September 2013)

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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, January 30, 2013

Walter Smith III @ The Sage

Walter Smith III (ten); Matt Stevens (gtr); Michael Janisch (bs); Jeremiah Williams (dms).
(Review by Lance).
The gathering was well-attended by those who chose to forego the charms of, was it Danny and Ben?, from Thunder (Google it, I had to!)
D and B were in Hall 2 whereas WS III  was in the Northern Rock Foundation Hall - and there weren't many empty seats for this Jazz North East presentation.
JNE don't always pick the winners but when they do you can bet your life it's a Derby winner. Tonight was just such a classic performance that I felt everyone in the world should be here. They weren't, but that's their misfortune. There were enough to encourage more of the same. By The Same I mean modern jazz that has advanced beyond earlier conceptions but keeps the music within a framework and avoids the Fire in a Pet Shop syndrome.
Smith is simply a wonderful tenor player, I don't know anything about Smiths I and II but this third generation guy can play. A Getzian sound combined with a Rollins-like aggression makes for fine tenor playing.
And hows about guitarist Stevens? So laid back and yet he expertly mixed single note lines with chordal interjections building up his solos to near perfection. On second thoughts, delete near.
Michael Janisch, like the other three, is American (I think Stevens is actually Canadian but I suppose that's still American in a sense) Janisch is currently resident in London. He provides  the pulse and delivers some of the most melodic bass playing in jazz.
Williams was mainly hidden from my view by his ride cymbal but, when I did catch a glimpse, it revealed a drummer with a smile that even Steve Brown would be envious of! His technique was awesome. Using just a basic set-up he drove the band at Formula One speed and soloed like there was no tomorrow.
Needless to say, the crowd demanded more and they got it.
Sans Stevens, Smith, Janisch and Williams delivered, arguably, the best Body and Soul since Coleman Hawkins set the benchmark 70 plus years ago.
This was pure magic.
A gig of the year contender already!
Lance.

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