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Bebop Spoken There

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11,644 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 779 of them this year alone and, so far, 43 this month (July 11).

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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.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

CD Review: Manhattan Brass - Manhattan Holiday

Wayne Du Maine, Lew Soloff (tpts); Michael Seltzer (tmb); David Taylor (bs tmb); R.J.Kelley or Ann Ellsworth (Fr. horn).
(Review by Lance).
Christmas isn't my favourite time of year - too much turkey, false bonhomie and hackneyed tunes. So when I unpacked this latest seasonal gift from across the sea the words "Bah Humbug" or possibly something even stronger may have passed my lips!
However, when you've got Carla Bley or Jack Walrath doing the arrangements, then you know that Santa ain't gonna get stuck in no chimney!
Most of the songs/carols here will pop up on a lot of Christmas albums that have been issued since time immemorial but I guarantee they won't sound like this. For example, God Rest You Merry Gentlemen has a distinctly Take Five feel to it.
No schmaltzy vocals, not even a drummer going "Ho! Ho! Ho!" during Jingle Bells. These are carefully crafted arrangements with the emphasis on the rich harmonies and the (mainly) trumpet solos. Lots of growling in the Ducal tradition but also some cool modern solos and clever intertwining lines.
It's not a Christmas party record but rather one to relax with after the guests have gone, you've swept up the broken glass, pacified the neighbours, pledged a contribution to a police charity and let it all hang out under the mistletoe. I'll rephrase that last sentence. A time to unwind and enjoy the music and whatever food and drink the departed "friends" have left you..
Lance.

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