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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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11,772 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 912 of them this year alone and, so far, 49 this month (August 13).

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August

Saturday 15: Anth Purdy - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Purdy’s solo ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’ show. Limited capacity.

Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, 27 Sunniside Rd., Gateshead NE16 5NA. 8:30pm.

Friday 21: Lindsay Hannon - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

CD Review: The Buck Clayton Legacy Band - Claytonia

Matthias Seuffert (clt/ten/co-leader); Alyn Shipton (bs/co-leader) Menno Daams/Ian Smith (tpt); Adrian Fry (tmb); Alan Barnes (alt/clt); Martin Litton (pno); Martin Wheatley (gtr); Norman Emberson (dms).
(Review by Lance)
When something like this drops through the letterbox amidst the plethora of boundary pushing CDs  that Joe the Postie usually brings from near and far it is like a cool breeze in a heatwave although Claytonia is neither cool nor hot. What it exudes is warmth.
All the arrangements are by the late Basie trumpet star Buck Clayton and bequeathed to bassist, BBC presenter and friend of Buck, Alyn Shipton. German reedman, and frequent visitor to the various Whitley Bay Jazz Parties and Festivals, Matthias Seuffert, adapted Clayton's charts for this ensemble . To further emphasise local connections, the CD was recorded live at the 2011 Gateshead International Jazz Festival at Sage Gateshead. For some reason I missed this in favour of Subway Moon in Hall One - boy did I call that one wrong! One who didn't get it wrong was Derrick Cogger - see his review as it happened. I even missed the broadcast that followed so this CD fills in a massive hole in my jazz listening life.
The music is beyond compare except perhaps by Clayton's own band but, as these compositions were never recorded, that is mere conjecture. What is certain is that few, if any, British bands have ever quite captured this sort of middle period swing. Humph and Kenny Baker probably came closest. Indeed the final track, Sir Humphrey, is dedicated to HL.
There are too many goodies to list. The trumpets do the great man justice, Fry slides around with the agility of Urbie Green and maybe just a suggestion of Vic Dickenson's wryness. Sueffert has the big sound associated with Bean, Chu or Frog. Man for all seasons Barnes is in a liquid, languid, mood stating the theme on a rather wonderful tune - I'll Make Believe - a tune I'd never heard before. Put words to it and the Gasbook would have been further enriched. A tremendous arrangement incorporating a snatch of Blue and Sentimental. Elsewhere Barnes incorporates his own phenomenal technique into some lines Benny Carter may have dreamed up.  Martins Wheatley and Litton slot into the rhythm section with ease and solo superbly. Shipton is not only an A list jazz broadcaster and author but he is also rock solid on bass. Emberson is that perfect drummer - a back seat driver.
Now I'm just going to play it again, and again and again, in case I've missed something.
As regards my CD of the year, at this point in time, all bets are off!
Lance.
Claytonia by the Buck Clayton Legacy Band is available on BCLB001
Checking it out on Amazon that amazoning site came up with Similar albums - Miles Davis: Bitches Brew! Trust me, they're further apart than Saatchi and Nigella!

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