Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Frank Sinatra: "Who is the worst living American? Jake LaMotta. He dumped the fight against Billy Fox, and never told his father, who bet his life savings on Jake. Lower than whale shit." - (John Brady: Frank & Ava In Love and War - Thomas Dunne Books 2015). A 1970 quote from a Pete Hamill interview.

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)

Archive.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

Postage

11,644 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 779 of them this year alone and, so far, 43 this month (July 11).

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.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

What I Did in the New Year Holidays by Ann Alex

Reminds you of stuff the teacher made you write in the junior school, doesn't it ?  This blog truly does include many types of writing!  Anyway, I stayed at Brecon in mid-Wales, on a leisure activities holiday, organised by a firm that I travel with regularly.  The subject was The Joy of Music and the tutor was one, Chris Howes, jazz pianist, teacher of adults and skilled raconteur.  Jazzers I've spoken to seem recall the name but not many details.  I think Chris would be amused by this.  Brecon Jazz Festival perhaps?  Anyway, many types of music were explored, with excellent powerpoint presentations.  This tutor is something of an expert on the slave song origins of blues and jazz, so I learned lots. 
Other information conveyed included an analysis of a typical 32 bar song (Blue Moon); a run-down of what was happening musically between Stan Getz (tenor sax) and Kenny Barron (piano) in East of the Sun; then came Frank Sinatra with How Deep is the Ocean, to illustrate Sammy Cahn’s statement that it’s not possible to sing such a song without becoming involved with the meaning of the words.  The song-writing partnership of Rodgers and Hart was interesting.  Apparently Rodgers was quite dour but Hart was an emotional type, and he had the ability to come up with instant rhythmic, rhymed lines as if it was part of normal conversation.  Hart did the words first and Rodgers produced the music later.  Their partnership was far longer than that of Rodgers and Hammerstein.  We were told that jazz musicians find the songs written by Hart much more satisfying to play.  Now I think of it, you don’t hear many jazz musicians playing songs from such shows as Oklahoma, do you?
We learned that pianist Ellis Larkins produced his unusually mellow tone by having the damper pedal on the piano actually tied down, to save having to keep it depressed by foot all the time, as illustrated by his accompaniment for Ella Fitzgerald on You Turned the Tables on Me.  And did you know that Irving Berlin couldn't speak a word of English when he arrived in the States, yet his song-writing shows a good grasp of everyday speech?  And he never really learned to play an instrument properly and played the piano on the black notes only.
Other music we heard included Gil Evans arrangement for the wonderful trumpet version of  the Rodriguez Guitar Concerto by Miles, and Half the Fun from Duke Ellington’s Shakespearean Suite Such Sweet Thunder.  This is the bit about Antony and Cleopatra, and it had a definite Egyptian feel, with an insistent rhythm and excellent percussion.  Apparently the last long sax note has to be done with circular breathing, which isn’t recommended by doctors, we were told.
A good time was had by all – apart from the sad text I received….
Ann Alex.

No comments :

Blog Archive