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Bebop Spoken There

Val Wilmer: "The festival [New York Musicians Festival], an impressive exercise in African-American self-reliance, had come about after the promoter George Wein had moved his annual Newport Jazz Festival to New York the previous year [1972], and paid scant attention to the avant garde." - (Wire 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, November 21, 2015

CD Review: Jacob Varmus Septet - Aegean.

Jacob Varmus (tpt/cor); Hashem Assadullahi (alt/sop); Pete McCann (gtr); Leonard Thompson (pno/keys); Broc Hempel (pno/keys); Sam Trapchak (bs); Christian Coleman (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Greek born, New York jazz educator Varmus, is equally at home in both a jazz and a classical setting having played Carnegie Hall wearing both hats (on different occasions).
No doubt about which hat he's wearing here. A jazzy fedora I guess! Although the music leans towards the more contemporary end of the spectrum, the trumpet player maintains a sense of lyricism even when Assadullahi is 'going off on one' as he does on occasion.  
All eleven tracks were composed by Varmus and the project funded by jazz superfan, the eminent Apostolos P. Georgopoulos, neuroscientist and occasional saxophonist. The compositions are  titled for a family member or close friend  of Mr Georgopoulos.
It's an impressive body of work. Subtitled For Three Generations of Jazz Lovers - an apt title as the music has sufficient scope and variety to snare all but the mouldiest of figges or the most far out of the Improv geezers. The compositions are strong, the soloists equally so. The 13 minutes plus of Apostolos and Stelios is exceptional even on a disc where the bar has already been set high. Recorded live at the Steinway Reformed Church in Queens, Varmus surpasses even himself! McCann too his on the money whilst Assadullahi retains his sanity on sopraano. New York in 2013, It's accessible and easy to see why it's getting rave reviews 'over there' and will surely do so 'over here' when the word gets around.
Lance.

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