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Bebop Spoken There

Marc Myers: " If the original group with Baker was Dover sole, the group with Brookmeyer was beef stew." - (JazzWax, December 7, 2019).

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Today Tuesday December 10

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jam session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Mark Williams, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

Tyne Valley Big Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

Blues/Soul/Folk etc.

?????

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

Sunday, September 22, 2013

CD Review: Empirical Tabula Rasa

Nathaniel Facey (alto saxophone), Shaney Forbes (drums), Tom Farmer (double bass) & Lewis Wright (vibes) 
(Review by Russell)
Tabula Rasa is Empirical’s fourth CD. The listener is encouraged to approach the album without preconceptions, a blank slate (Tabula Rasa). Ears open, mind receptive. A two disc CD, Empirical work with the Benyounes String Quartet, having first  encountered them at Trinity Laban, London. All four members of Empirical have written for the album (fourteen tracks in total).
Keen to emphasise that the recording isn’t simply jazz quartet with the addition of strings, the opening track - The Simple Light Shines Brightest (comp. Facey) - begins with the Benyounes and Shaney Forbes’ sensitive percussion, then Lewis Wright’s vibes, with altoist Nathaniel Facey heard latterly. The contemporary jazz feel for which the band has become known is perhaps best represented by Empiricism (comp. Forbes) and Studies in Time (comp. Farmer). Forbes’ Where Wisdom is Found closes the first CD with a distinct ‘jazz with strings’ format. A lush string arrangement rather than ‘outside’ playing, without preconceptions this came as something of a surprise!
One for ‘Bones’ (comp. Facey) opens the second CD with the composer’s incisive, bullet-point alto encased in Wright’s ethereal  vibes until Forbes breaks it up with some sharp drumming. Wright’s The World in His Mind, a mid tempo piece, offers space to all; Forbes’ roams across the kit, playful alto dances this way then that and strings take it out. Facey’s bop-inspired Scoffie (The Moody One) lets Farmer take it for a walk as the quartet presses the accelerator. Contemporary classical, contemporary composition, call it what you will, Forbes’ Repentance signals another change of direction. Dark strings, urgent vibes (right out of 1960s French New Wave cinema), finally resolved in a pastoral stillness.
Empirical can be heard in concert with the Benyounes String Quartet at the Purcell Room, London on October 16.
Tabula Rasa is available now on Naim Jazz Records (naimcd 193).           
Russell.     

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