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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Dee: "I feel my generation had one advantage over today's players in that we were not musically educated in colleges, so we all sounded different. I could tell who it was just by the sound." - (Jazz Rag, Summer 2020).

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

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SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

SUNDAY 20

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. Tel: 0191 691 7090. 12 noon. Free.

Riviera Quartet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. A limited number of seats are available which MUST be bought in advance online. £7:50 or £5:45 live stream only.

THURSDAY 24

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

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

Friday, August 22, 2014

CD Review: Blue-Eyed Hawk – Under the Moon

Lauren Kinsella (voice), Alex Roth (guitar, effects, synth, voice), Laura Jurd (trumpet, synth, voice), Corrie Dick (drums, percussion, harmonium, piano, voice).
(Review by Hugh Cochrane)
Blue-Eyed Hawk are a London-based band who take their name from a line in a W.B. Yeats poem Under the Moon. This their debut album, titled after the same poem.
The album is a record sellers nightmare, as it defies classification by genre. While there are certainly elements of jazz in what is offered, it would probably not be out of place any of the conventional categories.
Writing is shared between all four musicians, each contributing in more or less equal measure across the album. Kinsella and Jurd also wrote some of the lyrics with acknowledgements of inspiration to W.B. Yeats, Seamus Heaney, and Armand Silvestre.
In the studio, the electronic artistry of Leafcutter John and production skills of Tom Herbert  enhanced the spectrum of sounds that were recorded over 4 days in April in Giant Wafer Studios – deep in the heart of the mid Wales countryside.
The first track Oyster Trails commences with electronic effects worthy of the BBC Radiophonic workshop and Dr Who. The melody, provided by Kinsella's vocals and Jurd's trumpet gradually develops.
Somewhere is way, way Over the Rainbow, man, as you have never heard it before and is punctuated with a heavy guitar riff that would not be out of place on my metal-loving, teenage daughter's ipod. This track then segues through a recording of birdsong (Bluebirds – geddit?) into the balladic Aurora Sam, stripped down to acoustic basics.
Spiderton is an upbeat number with a jaunty, rhythmic feel driven by the percussive input of Corrie Dick. O Do Not Love Too Long slows things down again with long, haunting chords underneath , supported by almost skeletal percussion and overlain with beautiful drawn out trumpet from Jurd.
The minimalist Reflections in the Spiral keeps things in a contemplative groove before things (perhaps predictably) hot up for Living in the Fast Lane.
Intro (For Fathers) puts us back in a more reflective mood before the rhythmic and beautiful For Tom and Everything. Try to Turn Back is primarily basic vocals and piano, where the purity of Kinsella's vocal line is perhaps best appreciated. Valediction does what it says on the tin and closes the show.
All in all then, this is not jazz, but certainly has something of interest for the die hard jazzer. This is perhaps likely to appeal to a much wider audience than the customary jazz crowd. It is, as the record company website has it, “a genre defying and boundless approach to music making”.
There is a prominent quote at the head of the record company publicity:
So brilliant. Everyone in the room was spellbound – BBC Radio 3. I would wager a fiver this would be Jez on 3 (Jazz on 3 – hosted by Jez Nelson), this album is seriously melodic compared with some of the usual fare.
Under the Moon is released by Edition Records on September 15. Catalogue No. EDN1054
Blue-Eyed Hawk will be on tour in the Autumn of 2014 and play Splinter at The Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne on October 5.
Hugh C.

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