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Bebop Spoken There

Danny Gatton: "I was tired of playing in beer joints. I wanted to do something tangible like building cars. But once you do music it gets into your blood. You can get away from it for awhile but sooner or later it comes back to you." - (Down Beat April 1991).

Tal Farlow: "There were times when I would stop [playing guitar] and do sign painting." - (Downbeat December 5, 1963)

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Today Wednesday August 23

Afternoon
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
New Orleans Jazz at the Village Hall - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.
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Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Billy's Acoustic Blues - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free (weekly).
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CD Review: Steve Heckman Quintet - Search For Peace.

Steve Heckman (ten/bar); Howard Alden (gtr); Matt Clark (B3); Marcus Shelby (bs); Akira Tana (dms).
(Review by Lance).
It's a couple of years now since I heard Howard Alden down at Boisdale. I was impressed then and I'm equally impressed hearing him on this disc particularly alongside his fellow travellers.
Heckman's a relatively new name to me but his modern/mainstream tenor (2 tracks on bari*) style gels perfectly with the ace guitarist.
How refreshing it is to hear players who can work the changes without resorting to histrionics - players who know a melody when they hear one.
And what melodies! Not Porter/Gershwin/Kern/Berlin etc but, with the exception of Vernon Duke's Autumn in New York* and Heckman's own Hangin' at Slugs, the other 7 pieces are all composed, not by Tin Pan Alley guys, but by jazzmen of great merit. Thus, we have Fungii Mama (Blue Mitchell); Grantstand (Grant Green); Search For Peace (McCoy Tyner); Pannonica (Monk); Hi-Fly* (Randy Weston);  Melody For C (Sonny Clark); Spiral (Coltrane).
All terrific heads that hook you from chorus one and in this respect Heckman's Hangin' at Slugs more than holds it own.
His playing has been paralleled with such as Dexter Gordon and Hank Mobley and I'll go along with that. His baritone playing on Autumn is sumptuous and luxuriant like a glass of vintage Madeira savoured alongside a Tiramisu dessert.
Alden has, of course, long been heralded as the natural successor to such as George Van Eps and his use of the 7 string guitar adds credence to this. (I'd be interested to hear from others on the merits of the extra string).
Matt Clark keeps pace on the good old Hammond B3, Shelby frees him from the pedals and Tana lives up to his reputation as someone who could swing the Dead March in Saul should the occasion demand it.
Steve Heckman Quintet - Search For Peace is available on Jazz Media JM 1069.
Lance.

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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