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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Harvey: "The exciting day arrived and we [as under age school boys] snuck into the [pub's] rehearsal room, sat awkwardly to attention on hard chairs in a row facing the band and heard our first - very loud - live jazz. What an occasion that was - we even drank beer because we understood that's what jazz people did and that's what the band were drinking." - (Just Jazz 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.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

CD Review: Matt Owens - The Aviators’ Ball

(Review by Russell)
Matt Owens’ CD The Aviators’ Ball is an ambitious project; large in scale, multi-genre in concept and realisation. The album is the bassist’s debut as a leader and he has assembled some of the north west’s finest musicians to assist him in his endeavours. Leftfield, indie, alt folk, string and wind ensembles, much of the music was written as a commission from the Manchester Jazz Festival.
On a visit to Prague during the city’s ball season Owens found himself, as one does, at an aviators’ ball, hence the title of the album. The CD’s cover artwork features a photograph taken in 1905 on the rooftop garden of the Midland Hotel, Manchester. Grainy, evocative of a bygone era, the image illustrates the retro aspect of Owens’ compositions. Retro, yes, yet of the moment too, with the composer’s interest in contemporary music developments and the art of the moving image (film and television credits). The musicians contributing to the project are drawn from across the spectrum. Bassoon introduces the opening track – Raindrops on Our Rooftop – and it could be straight from Peter and the Wolf. Trumpet ace Neil Yates (a bona fide jazz player) is heard on tin whistle, percussion (Rick Weedon and Danny Ward excellent throughout) references the folk music scene and the strings of the Vintage String Quartet suggest the filmic qualities found in the writing of Philip Glass and others.
So, is The Aviators’ Ball of interest to readers of Bebop Spoken Here? Should the album receive a recommendation? The jazz content is, at best, minimal, the music excellent. A worthwhile purchase, but switch off your jazz antenna. Matt Owens’ Aviators’ Ball will be released on Monday May 18 on All Made Up Records AMU0007 and on the night Owens will be playing the music at St Werburgh’s Church, Chorlton, Manchester during the Chorlton Arts Festival. Seven o’clock start, admission £5.00..    Russell.                            
Matt Owens (double bass), Neil Yates (trumpet & tin whistle), Steve Chadwick (trumpet & cornet), John Ellis (piano & organ), Edward Barnwell (piano), Tom Davies (guitar & vocals), Billy Buckley (guitar & lap steel), Zoe Kyoti (guitar & vocals), Kirsty Almeida (vocals), Rosa Campos Fernandez (vocals), Rioghnach Connolly (vocals), Orli Nyles (vocals), Cara Robinson (vocals), Caroline Sheehan (vocals), Simon Davies (bassoon), Jill Allen (clarinet), Rosa Campos Fernandez (clarinet), Amina Hussain (clarinet), Atholl Ransome (alto flute), Philip Howarth (cor anglais), Sophie Hastings (glockenspiel, marimba & vibes), Rick Weedon (drums, percussion & vibes) Danny Ward (drums), Souza Wind Quintet: Carla Souza (flute), Daniel Benfield (oboe), Lucy Rugman (clarinet & bass clarinet), Lucy Keyes (bassoon) & Jon Harris (French horn), Vintage String Quartet: Naomi Koop (violin), Alison Williams (violin), Aimée Johnson (viola) & Semay Wu (cello).     

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