Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Hugh Masekela: “I advise every kid to check out their past because without a past you are in limbo.” (Songlines December 2017)

Leo Richardson: “I think your image is really important. You look at those old Blue Note recordings and you look at the liner note, the booklet and they’re in the studio and they’re wearing shirt and ties. They used to wear suits all the time.” – (Jazzwise December 2017/January 2018)

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

Today Friday December 15

Afternoon

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz Café Christmas Party - Jazz Café. 8:00pm. Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law (8:00pm), Mo Scott Band (9:00pm). £10.00. (£8.00. advance).

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regent Farm Road, Gosforth NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 258 4111. 7:30pm. First night of two. A guaranteed sellout.

Kentucky Cowtippers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Ray Dales - Traveller’s Rest, West Auckland Road, Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. 8:30pm. £8.00.

The Standards - Bar Loco, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle NE1 4PG. 7:00pm. Free. South American band playing a Greenpeace benefit.

CoSYJO - Washington Arts Centre, Biddick Lane, Fatfield, Washington NE38 8AB. Tel: 0191 561 3455. 7:00pm. £6.00. (£4.00. concs.). CoSYJO (City of Sunderland Youth Jazz Orchestra).

Smokin’ Spitfires - Platform 1, Station Street, Bedlington NE22 7JW. Tel: 01670 828808. 7:00pm. £5.50. Enhanced line-up (The Mighty Smokin’ Spitfires) with David Blakey (trumpet) & Lloyd Howell (drums).

Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.

Sophie Armstrong: Jazz at Christmas - Maltings Theatre & Cinema, Eastern Lane, Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1AJ. Tel: 01289 330999. 7:30pm. £13.00.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

CD Review: Michael Mantler – The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update

Nouvelle Cuisine Big Band (Conductor: Christoph Cech) – soloists: Michael Mantler (trumpet), Harry Sokal (tenor saxophone).
radio.string.quartet.vienna: Bernie Mallinger (violin), Igmar Jenner (violin), Cynthia Liao (viola), Asja Valcic (cello) + Bjarne Roupé (guitar), Wolfgang Puschnig (alto saxophone), David Helbock (piano)
(Review by Hugh C.)
Vienna born composer-trumpeter Michael Mantler recorded The Jazz Composer's Orchestra in 1968. First released on the orchestra's own label, this was later reissued by ECM. The album featured Mantler conducting a large jazz orchestra which included some of the luminaries of the time including: Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Roswell Rudd, Pharoah Saunders, Larry Coryell and Gato Barbieri.
In the process of digitising his catalogue, Mantler reacquainted himself with early scores, eventually envisioning fresh performances of not only this vintage material, but also including new versions of material from that period never previously recorded.
In The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update Mantler has re-imagined his 1960s music for the 21st century, with the amplified radio.string.quartet.vienna added to the instrumentation along with the prominent electric guitar of Bjarne Roupé. They and the Nouvelle Cuisine Big Band were recorded live at Vienna's Porgy and Bess club in 2013.
The CD comes in at just under 55 minutes and comprises ten tracks, all composed by Mantler: Updates One, Eight, Nine, Eleven, Five, Six, Ten and Twelve – parts 1, 2 and 3.
I am not familiar with any of the original album and so come to this with fresh ears. You will have to be a lover of free improvisation to like this CD. I will nail my colours firmly to the mast – I am not! The sleeve notes contain an in depth interview with Michael Mantler. In response to the question: “Has the ratio of composition to improvisation changed from the original album to the new one” he replies: “Very much so. Even though the original idea was, even then, to control and somewhat limit what were, in my opinion, the excesses of free improvisation...” well I think we can agree there! His aim, in the new realisation was to “create a continuity that melds improvisation and composition into one homogeneous work”.
I think he has achieved this aim. There are periods of (composed) breathtaking beauty for both small ensemble and big band, interspersed with raucous cacophony. The CD probably needs to be listened to as a whole, end to end, rather than selectively. The track breaks are hardly noticeable if one is not watching the CD player display.
Overall then, I think this release will fill a niche and will probably appeal to those with an interest in Mantler's previous work (including the 1968 original). The jazz enthusiast with a liking for the big band sound, but with a more experimental twist, is also likely to be rewarded.
The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update is available on the ECM Label Catalogue Number 379 0789.
Hugh C.

No comments :

Blog Archive

About this blog - contact details.

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.

Subscribe!