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Bebop Spoken There

Guy Barker: "You have to play it [the trumpet] every day or you just won't be match-fit." - (Jazz Rag, Winter 2019.)

Archive

Today Friday December 13

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux CarréJazzmen - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. ‘Christmas Jazz Lunch’. Details from 0191 252 9429).

Dean Stockdale Trio - The Merry Monk, 30 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1:00pm. £5.00.

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

Evening.

Jazz

‘An Evening of Swing & Sparkle’ - National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0GL. Tel: 0191 515 5555. 7:30pm. £35.00. Rat Pack evening inc. 4-course meal.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. First night of two.

Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Orchestra - Yarm School, Stockton TS15 9EJ. Tel: 01642 786023. 7:30pm (6:30pm doors). £18.00. + £1.80. bf (£15.00. + £1.50. bf). 'Mistletoe & Miller'.

Blues, Funk/Soul etc.

Baghdaddies - Cobalt Studios, Boyd Street, NewcastleNE2 1AP. £10.68 (inc. bf). ‘Big Xmas Knees Up’.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

George Shovlin & the Acoustic Radars feat. Pat Rafferty + George Pallas & John Wilkins - Whitburn Cricket Club, East Street, Whitburn SR6 7BZ. Tel: 0191 529 3187. 7:30pm (7:00pm doors). £7.50. admission by ticket only (from www.wegottickets.com). 'The Bents Road Sessions'.

Dead Skunk Skiffle & Blues Orchestra + Stetson Five - Station East, Hills Street, Gateshead NE8 2AN. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

CD Review: Chris Potter Underground Orchestra – Imaginary Cities

Chris Potter (tenor & soprano saxophones, bass clarinet), Adam Rogers (guitar), Craig Taborn (piano), Steve Nelson (vibraphone & marimba), Fima Ephron (bass guitar), Scott Colley (double bass), Nate Smith (drums), Mark Feldman (violin), Joyce Hammann (violin), Lois Martin (viola) & David Eggar (cello)
(Review by Russell).
Chris Potter has augmented his regular quartet – Adam Rogers, Craig Taborn and Nate Smith – with two bassists, a string quartet and former sparring partner Steve Nelson on vibes and marimba to record Imaginary Cities. The CD comprises a four part suite (the title composition) and four other pieces.
Lincoln Center, New York, invited Potter to write new music with a view to performing it at the prestigious venue. Initially, Potter had his working band in mind but in time the project grew to incorporate parts for the other musicians featured on this ECM recording.
Potter’s writing evolved from ‘a non-specific utopian idea of how the modern city could be better.’ The first of eight tracks (Lament) opens with strings, bass guitar and Smith’s languid drum patterns laying the groundwork for Potter’s searching tenor saxophone.
Imaginary Cities is divided into four parts – Compassion, Dualities, Disintegration then Rebuilding. The first part hears more of Potter’s accomplished tenor playing followed by Adam Rogers’ ever-excellent guitar playing. Smith drives Dualities, lifting Potter to ever greater heights, Nelson’s vibes break away from the strings’ secure foundation seeking to emulate the bandleader’s sense of adventure. Craig Taborn plays acoustic piano on the album and sketches a delicate opening to the impressionistic Disintegration ahead of Potter’s floating soprano above a field of decaying strings. Smith’s sparkling drum part revitalises the ensemble’s optimism on the suite’s end piece, Rebuilding.
Firefly burns brightly; Fima Ephron’s lithe bass pattern, urgent tenor, guitar and strings chase the melody, then vibes, Smith again pivotal. Shadow Self  suggests an ‘out’ string quartet piece, politely discordant. The final track, Sky, dazzles briefly (Taborn and once more Smith) and it is down to Potter to conclude matters. Imaginary Cities is released on January 19 on ECM (catalogue no. 470 4075). Chris Potter’s Underground Quartet (on this occasion Potter, Adam Rogers, Fima Ephron and Nate Smith) can be heard at Ronnie Scott’s, London, February 16 and 17.  
Russell.

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