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Bebop Spoken There

Dayna Stephens: "I always tell them [students] there will never be anyone who will play it [EWI] as technically proficient as this cat [Michael Brecker] did." - (JazzTimes June 2019).

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Today Tuesday June 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, 59 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free. Trio Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, May 27, 2013

CD Review: Moss Project: What Do You See When You Close Your Eyes?

Moss Freed (composer, bandleader, guitar); Ruth Goller (acoustic/electric bass); Alice Zawadzki (vocals/violin); Shabaka Hutchings (tenor sax/bass clarinet); Marek Dorcik (drums)
The writers: Naomi Alderman (The Bubble); Colum McCann (Anniversary); James Miller (What Do You See When You Close Your Eyes); Lawrence Norfolk (Caravans); Joe Dunthorne (Freud And Jung In The Tunnel Of Love); Hanan al-Shaykh (The Angel)
(Review by Ann Alex.)
This started out as a CD of original compositions which developed into a whole project which involves an attractive booklet with writing by distinguished modern authors and skilled evocative artwork by Aaron Munday.  To get the most enjoyment out of this work, it would be a good idea to set aside 2 hours to read the stories and poem, besides listening to the music.  Or why not do as I did, and listen to the music and readings at the same time?  LondonJazzNews was lucky enough to be at the launch on March 6, which involved a live performance – see www.mossfreed.com for an account of that, where you can also hear the writing read out by the authors.  Another listener that I consulted, who is an ardent jazz fan, said that he actually enjoyed reading the booklet more than the music, so it seems that you pays your money and you takes your choice!
The music is highly impressionistic and lies somewhere between jazz and contemporary folk, with lots of wordless sweet-voiced singing, skilled musicianship, (goes without saying).  The music doesn’t describe the stories exactly but is near enough to make sense of the two together.  You'll find lots of long sweeps of sound, percussive beats repeated by the voice, ethereal sounds, sometimes an intriguing ‘free’ jazz feel, an organised cacophony, with a few jazz solos as such.  Hard to describe, you must hear it for yourself.
The Bubble is an amusing tale of a woman with a bubble inside herself and the music is full of bouncy rhythm.  The author reads in a refreshing down to earth voice, none of that special ‘poetical’ voice adopted by some readers of poems. Anniversary is a more serious tale of a woman in church, and What Do You See When You Close Your Eyes is about a woman trying to get to sleep, but really much more than that. Caravans concerns pub quizzes and friendship, and I had difficulty in understanding the poem about Freud and Jung.  The Angel was definitely my favourite piece of writing, a heartwarming but unsentimental story about a heroin addict, with a surprise ending, well matched by the music.
An enjoyable multi-faceted experience, a CD which should probably be listened to more than once.
Released on the Babel Label, catalogue number BDV131114

Ann Alex 

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