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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 December 14

Afternoon

Interim Recitals (Final Year Music Students) - Recital Room, Armstrong Building, Newcastle University NE1 7RU. Inc. Ben Richardson (jazz piano) 10:00am.

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Christmas Swing w Danny Reed - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE33 1ES. 7:00pm. £18.95.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter’s Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE. Tel: 0191 488 8068. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. guests - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

Durham University Big Band - Riverside Bar, Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. 8:30pm (doors 8:00pm). Free admission. The band’s ‘Jazzy Christmas 5’.

WCEA Big Band - Whitburn Church of England Academy, Whitburn SR6 7EF. Tel: 0191 529 3712. 7:00-9:30pm. £4.00. (£10.00. family of three). Tickets must be purchased in advance by December 8th. ‘Christmas Swing-a-long’ to include school choir. Whitburn Academy competes regularly at the annual Great North Big Band Jazz Festival.

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

Thursday, September 10, 2015

CD Review: Don Laka - Afro Chopin

(Review by Ann Alex)
Don Laka, internationally renowned jazz musician, composer, accomplished classical guitarist, self-taught pianist and also a well-known, innovative, multi-platinum selling artist in South Africa working with musicians such as Hugh Masekela, Afro Chopin is regarded as his most exciting and challenging project to date. Chopin is Laka’s favourite composer, and his music has been skilfully fused with the multi-instrumentalist's Kwaii jazz style, South African jazz chords and the rhythms of Marabi and Kwela music.
But the best way to enjoy this fine CD is to simply listen; you’ll recognise many of the Chopin pieces, but you’ll hear them with new ears, Chopin literally off beat, with African drum rhythms, long piano solos with riffs which could have come straight from a township band, strong loud sax and a hint of steel pan samples.  A great CD for parties but also for close listening.  Impress your friends with your classy choice of jazz albums!
For those of you who know your Chopin, I’ll list the tracks, which all have evocative and sometimes amusing subtitles:-
Etude No. 3 (Big Mountain) - an arresting opening with drumbeats, effective keys, and hints of Caribbean steel pan.
Prelude No. 20 (Izulu).
Waltz in A flat Major (I Sing For You)   - a slinky waltz with good use of cymbals.
Prelude No. 1 (Hope) - listen for an exciting, fast keys solo.
Nocturne in F Minor   (Oh Such a Beautiful Place).
Prelude No. 3 in G Major (Ramasedi).
Mazurka No. 1 in A Minor (Imbazo)  - samples of African voices repeating the title in the background are quite moving.
Prelude No.15 in D Flat Major (My Heart Sings).
Waltz in C Major (Pretty Shades Eyes) - a beautiful slow, meditative waltz.
Mazurka in F Sharp Minor (Dusty Streets) - with beat box samples and jazzy riffs, what would Chopin have made of this?  Probably he’d have loved it once he became used to the sounds of the modern world.
Prelude 7 in A Major (Take A Short Left) - the title fits the tune. Lyrics anyone?
Enjoy! The CD is currently available and will be released worldwide on October 30 on Bokone Music.  
Ann Alex
Don Laka (piano, keyboard, samples, also string bass, percussion on some tracks, arrangements, production, mixing); Pat Mokoka (5 string bass); Oupa Makhubela (guitar); Rob Watson (drums on all tracks); Sello Montoedi (drums); Aiyo Solanke (ten/sop sax on all tracks); Percy Mbonani (ten sax); Julius Nkuna (percussion).

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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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