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COVID-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.

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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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

CD Review: Ira Wiggins - When Freedom Swings.

Ira Wiggins (ten/fl); Cyrus Chestnut (pno - 8 tracks); Ed Paulantonio (pno - 4 tracks); Baron Tymas (gtr 4 tracks); Joe Metzger (vbs/mar - 4 tracks); Alvester Garnett (dms - 7 tracks); Thomas Taylor (dms - 5 tracks); Herman Burney (bs); Mavis "Swan" Poole (vcl - 2 tracks).
(Review by Lance).
Ira Wiggins, Director of Jazz Studies at North Carolina Central University, has shared the stage with such luminaries as Jimmy Heath, Grady Tate, Fred Wesley, Louis Bellson, Nneenna Freelon and Branford Marsalis but, after 15 albums as soloist and sideman, this is his first outing on record as leader and he seizes the moment with both hands in the course of this most delightful double CD.
The first disc comprises mainly originals by Wiggins and displays his warm tenor sound.inspired, he claims, by Jimmy Heath as well as his Moody-like fluting. The two non-originals are the Stylistics' People Make the World Go Round and Joe Henderson's Inner Urge - the latter features Mavis "Swan" Poole doing a nifty vocalese. Mavis is also heard on the bluesy title track When Freedom Swings.. 
Disc 2 has Killer Joe, In a Sentimental Mood, Bloomdido, Cherokee, Christmastime is Here and Gene Ammons' Red Top. On all but the last number, Wiggins plays flute in a quartet setting where the influence of James Moody is ever present although he also acknowledges Hubert Laws along the way. which isn't a bad place to be. On Red Top  he displays a gutsy feel reminiscent of the composer.
Other moments to savour are Chestnut's piano work. In 2005 Time Magazine described him as "The best jazz pianist of his generation" - an accolade that still holds true.
In an age when so much contemporary jazz comes across as Anti-swing a disc like this restores my faith in the music. 
To quote from the booklet notes: "When Freedom Swings represents a philosophy asserting that jazz is a musical art form that perfectly describes the ideals of democracy. Many authorities agree that freedom is best expressed and realized within boundaries. Therefore, it may be noted that within the framework of a jazz piece, (melody, harmony and form), freedom is realized in the collective creative improvisational process of a group of musicians simultaneously contributing to the composition within the boundaries, or occasionally, expanding or stepping outside of a domain."
Ira Wiggins - When Freedom Swings was released on May 28 on IWIGGS Music, inc.
Lance.

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