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Bebop Spoken There

Dick Katz: "Carmen [McRae] would say some pretty caustic things but, so what? There aren't any people who don't talk caustically to each other at some time unless they're Mother Teresa." - (Lesley Gourse: Carmen McRae Miss Jazz - Billboard Books 2001, 2020)

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11,772 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 912 of them this year alone and, so far, 49 this month (August 13).

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August

Saturday 15: Anth Purdy - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Purdy’s solo ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’ show. Limited capacity.

Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, 27 Sunniside Rd., Gateshead NE16 5NA. 8:30pm. Free.

Friday 21: Lindsay Hannon - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity.

Monday, September 07, 2015

CD Review: Durham University Big Band – overDUBB

(Review by Russell)
A collector’s item. This line-up is unlikely to be heard ever again on CD or any other format. A band comprising classicists, scientists and other disciplines, these guys will,   in a year or two, go their separate ways (some graduated this year, they’re out of here)     establishing careers here in Britain and across the globe. University bands come and go. The Durham University Big Band of 2015 vintage is one of the very best.
Tristan Bacon, the band’s president, Charles Price, band manager and MD Chris Jones should be congratulated on documenting the array of talent heard on overDUBB. It is a band with an enviable track record – winning awards at the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival has become routine! – and the eight selections on this CD are a mixture of  the standard big band repertoire and the new. The Oscar-winning film Whiplash hit British cinema screens in time to have a winning impact on the band, so it’s great that the then-tune-of-the-moment Overture (Whiplash) makes the cut. Drummer Tristan Bacon sets a tempo and Matthew Jacobs (keyboards) and Matt McKernan (tenor) contribute bang-on solos. The band’s alto man Dan Garel composed and arranged Of Wood and Water. The aforementioned Bacon and Jacobs are heard to good effect, as is Sam Clark (trumpet).
Star vocalist Laura Paul sings on Do Better. Star vocalist? You bet! Heard live, Ms Paul projects flawless vocals a la Norma Winstone, a neo-soul/hip hop approach of which the great Soweto Kinch would no doubt approve. From the hip to the hip…Sammy Nestico. Hayburner presents the band, the full ensemble. Sections at work, Basie-ites should have few complaints. The awards in the band’s trophy cabinet include the Durham Distillery Composition Prize 2014 for JJ Wheeler’s Homage. Contemporary, sprawling, sketching across a big band canvas, Dan Garel’s alto solo the focal point, award-winning guitarist Ollie Farley takes it home. To be listened to again, and again.
The soulful Laura Paul comes in after Farley’s chorded intro to Mind, a Hoochie Coochie girl if ever there was one. J Dilla’s Fall in Love keeps the vibe going and keeps Ms Paul on the stand. Garel features once more as the band changes tempo at will, ne’er a hip-hop beat dropped. Scott Chapman’s Barcarolle closes the album. Brass and reeds excel (Chris Jones, trombone), Bacon’s drumming holds it all together, McKernan’s tenor blows again and a final trumpet salvo from Sam Clark stills the orchestra.
Durham University Big Band – overDubb is a Jazz Plus Productions release available by contacting the band. www.uni.bigband@durham.ac.uk The quality of the recording is of a very high standard. overDUBB is highly recommended. Hearing the band live (check Bebop Spoken Here’s listings) cannot fail to impress. Go hear them!
Russell.
Durham University Big Band: Daniel Garel (alto saxophone), Felicity Evans (alto saxophone), Matt McKernan (tenor saxophone), John Somerton (tenor saxophone), Naomi Tansey (baritone saxophone), Noah Lawrence (trumpet), Sam Clark (trumpet), Rasmus Borowski (trumpet), Charles Price (trumpet), Nathaniel Jackson (trombone), Chris Jones (trombone), Joshua Harper (trombone), Luke Bentley (trombone), Matthew Jacobs (keyboards), Ollie Farley (guitar), Jonathan Berry (bass), Tristan Bacon (drums) & Laura Paul (vocals)               

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