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Wynton Marsalis: "We haven't had anything like this [The Late Late Show] in New York for over 20 years. " - (Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club , January/February 2020)

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Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Today Wednesday January 29

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Blues/Soul/Funk etc.

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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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