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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.

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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