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Bebop Spoken There

Tony Fisher: In the heyday of that scene [the1960s] there were about 120 musicians in London who did everything and of course, if you made a mistake you were never called again." - (Jazz Journal online, 19 September 2019).

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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.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

CD Review: Soweto Kinch - The Legend of Mike Smith


Soweto Kinch (rap vocals, alto & tenor saxophones, Fender Rhodes, all beats & programming), Shabaka Hutchings (tenor saxophone & clarinet), Jay Phelps (trumpet), Karl Rasheed-Abel (all live double bass), Graham Godfrey (all live drums), Julian Joseph (piano), Cleveland Watkiss (vocals), Eska Mtungwazi (vocals), Rachel Maby (vocals, all interludes)
(Review by Russell).
Soweto Kinch - urban musician, Oxford graduate in Modern History - has produced an ambitious work with the release of The Legend of Mike Smith
A double CD featuring a core band of musicians and a cast of characters tells the story of an aspiring rap artist in a world of ‘corporate suits’ seeking to exploit the underground talent of the eponymous hero is one facet of a project developed over several years in conjunction with Jonzi D. The scale of the work is impressive incorporating dance, design, jazz, hip-hop and visual art. Kinch sees the work as being in development, evolving as it is seen and heard in performance and on CD over the coming weeks and months. 
The work is based around the Seven Deadly Sins with MC Smith portrayed by a double narrator (Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins incorporated the device); Kinch narrates Smith’s inner thoughts, brother Toyin Omari-Kinch is the voice of the protagonist. Kinch the rapper drives the narrative, programmed beats (drum ’n’ bass) and Bach chorales (!) infuse the entire work and the ‘live’ jazz element is of the highest order. 
MC Smith takes The Phone Call from the cynical industry professional offering him riches and the dye is cast. Our hero sets off in  search of a mic (The Golden Mic) and encounters numerous obstacles as he takes his first frustrating (and at times amusing) steps in the music business (Kinch has previously spoken of his War in a Rack - a struggle against the industry’s pigeon-holing of his music). Road Block showcases the band’s blistering jazz credentials, Shabaka Hutchings (a BBC Radio 3 New Generation artist) plays big tenor on Tube Delays and Traffic Lights scream blindingly as altoist Kinch picks up the tenor. Trumpeter Jay Phelps and Julian Joseph (piano) shine on the ballad Vacuum and Joseph contributes to the tumultuous Sweeping Changes (stellar drumming from Graham Godfrey, Kinch on alto). Austerity, pizza chains, fat cats, the voiceless Palestinians, finance agreements, peddled cheap credit and the wealth gap are just some of the subjects referenced in a brilliant exposition on Avaritia. Will our hero resist? No matter, the band tear it up on Slam (put it on the iPod). Better Off Alone features Kinch rapping and playing tenor as Eska Mtungwazi’s excellent vocals -I’ll go my own way - suggest Smith should do it his way. Then more wonderfully dark, inventive lyrics on Superbia and The Dark Warrior Lord. Highlights are many; the tight combo playing on D’Urge is simply sublime drawing on American free jazz, Braxton, Dolphy and so much more. MC Smith survives Man’s Darkest Hour, experiences an Epiphany resulting in the joyous The Healing and The Bounce.
 Russell.
The Cast: Mike Smith: Toyin Omari-Kinch, Mike’s inner thoughts: Soweto Kinch, The Sage: Jonathan Owen, Kate Advo (A+R): Tessa Walker, Muse 1: Yvette Harris, Muse 2: Jonzi D, The Choir: Rachel Maby, Buzzy Sparxx: Dominic ‘Silverchet’ Davids, Taxi Driver: Joel Cottrell, Police Man in ‘Pressure’: Tony Platt, Bajan Tube Announcer: Jonzi D, Concierge: David Timothy, Waitress: Iza Coesak, Jada: Terri Facey, Jenni: Mimi Fresh, Dark Angel: Tyrone Huggins, Amusement Arcade Worker: Jonzi D, Koos: Tony ‘Jamo’ Morrison, Cynthia: Janine Small, Razor Sharp: Daniel Anderson.
Photography: Ben Amure, Album Design: D237, Illustrations: Daniel Isles, Soapbox Design. Producer: Tony Platt.
Soweto Kinch The Legend of Mike Smith is available on Soweto Kinch Recordings SKP003CD
Soweto Kinch will tour the project in collaboration with choreographer Jonzi D with a full staging of the work at the re-opening of Birmingham Rep on 12 September 2013. Kinch’s new trio - Shaney Forbes (drums) and bassist Karl Rasheed-Abel - will perform the music at this year’s Gateshead International Jazz Festival on Friday 5 April. A major event, be there.                  
                            


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