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Bebop Spoken There

Val Wilmer: "The festival [New York Musicians Festival], an impressive exercise in African-American self-reliance, had come about after the promoter George Wein had moved his annual Newport Jazz Festival to New York the previous year [1972], and paid scant attention to the avant garde." - (Wire June 2020)

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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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Darlington Jazz Festival. Sunday Afternoon Part Two. April 27

(Review by Russell (AKA Tolstoy).
Djangologie. Is there anything left to say about bassist Mick Shoulder’s Hot Club combo? Low maintenance virtuosi. Professional, on stage bang on time, the musicianship exemplary. A beer tent crowd can be problematic -ie noisy. In no time the band had them (Djangologists or not) listening to every nuanced turn. Minor Swing, Shoulder’s waltz Beautiful Till 3, one tune after another, all enthralling, totally engrossing. 
Rhythm guitar meister Giles Strong held court, those near the stage taking mental notes, to his right, the purveyor of the (impossible) perfectly constructed guitar solo, Dr James Birkett. Those taking instructional notes gave up, tore them up, opting to simply listen. Dr Birkett played the impossible on Dark Eyes (the applause deafening) and fellow star soloist Emma Fisk (violin) never played a wrong note (she never has done). Fisk possesses a wonderful tone, a swinging sense of time and plays solos to die for. Djangologie won an encore (the bet of the weekend) and went out on Douce Ambience. Note to Monsieur Shoulder - let’s have a Django festival.
Time for some bop. Alter Ego turned up in good time. Good to see the band listening to and appreciating Djangologie’s set. Drummer David ‘Blakey’ Francis drove the band from the traps in tandem with double bassist Tony Abell. A band composition - Boudini -  got things underway, the ensemble work always to the fore. Keith Robinson (alto), Dave Hignett (trumpet) and Andy Hawking (piano) stepped up on In Walked Horace and then a new band number - Odyssey – showcased the writing talents within the ranks. Bobby Watson’s mesmeric Wheel Within a Wheel heard the best of Hawking with the ensemble at its very best (Niall Armstrong impressive throughout the set on tenor, baritone and flute). Alter Ego went out on Hit and Run. Bop Lives!
Russell.

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