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Bebop Spoken There

Art Hirahara: "Playing with people is the most important thing to me, and not playing with people is torture." - (DownBeat August, 2020)

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11,763 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 903 of them this year alone and, so far, 40 this month (August 10).

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August

Tuesday 11: Happy Birthday Dave Hignett & Peter King (80).

Thursday 13: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

GIJF Day 3: Way in to the Way Out

(Review by Russell)
Why do musicians do what they do? Why do some musicians take the hard road? The life of an improvising musician, particularly those on the free scene, is hardly the road to riches. As someone once said: No turn left unstoned. Pianist Alexander Hawkins and Corey Mwamba (vibes) are two such musicians; youthful, spirited, keen students of the history of the music.
A keen crowd gathered in the Music Education Centre in the bowels of the Sage to listen to the duo talk about their formative influences, first gigs and the attraction of being On the Outside. Hawkins spoke of his love of Fletcher Henderson, his interest in stride piano and the socio-political aspects of jazz in America focusing on the migration north of black musicians from New Orleans, to Chicago and on to New York seeking freedom from the discrimination prevalent in the Deep South.
Mwamba talked about his first gigging experiences playing in New Orleans/Dixieland and swing bands. He borrowed recordings from his local library, he discovered Lionel Hampton and Red Norvo and admitted to something of a blind spot with regard to Bird. He certainly knows his instrument, not just musically but in terms of the history of the design and build mechanics of the vibraphone. Tracing developments in the jazz lineage through bebop to hard bop to the free pioneers (Ornette, Dolphy and Joe Harriott) Hawkins and Mwamba condensed a big subject into ninety entertaining minutes.    
Russell.                     

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