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Bebop Spoken There

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11,740 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 880 of them this year alone and, so far, 17 this month (August 4).

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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

CD Review: Pete Mills - Sweet Shadow

Pete Mills (ten); Pete McCann (gtr); Erik Augis (pno); Martin Wind (bs); Matt Wilson (dms).
Jazz is a never ending voyage of discovery. You become complacent, blasé the old ennui takes over - you've heard it all before and then - Flash! Bang! Alakazam! Pete Mills segues by! From Canada, Toronto of all places. Toronto I ask you? Then you think back and recall that one of the greatest jazz concerts ever took place at Massey Hall in that very city. Bird, Diz, Bud, Mingus, Roach back in 1953. An autograph collected by Mills' father at that concert is reproduced among the album notes and it becomes obvious that the son has jazz genes inherited from his papa.
But, although the past has clearly channelled the talented tenorist in the right direction this is no mere attempt at a nostalgic update. This is today without jettisoning yesterday. A rich sound that delivers solos as welcoming to the ear as a delivered pizza is to the stomach. A mix of nine original compositions plus Roland Kirk's Serenade to a Cuckoo; The Star Crossed Lovers, the Duke, Strayhorn tribute to Romeo and Juliet from Such Sweet Thunder; Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend and a couple of free form outings that aren't too outré make for a disc that can hold it's own with almost anything I've heard lately.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't all Mills. McCann is another impressive soloist. Sweeping angular lines and chordal thrashes that stray into Rockland contrast with moments of rare delicacy and beauty - listen to Star Crossed Lovers and you'll get the picture.
From Columbus Ohio, Erik Augis is another talent deserving of wider recognition - with this disc he should get it.
Wilson and Wind (dig the bowed solo on Diamonds) are integral components providing the vital parts to make this an early contender.
Available from Amazon and all on-line retailers from January 14, 2014.
Lance.

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