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Bebop Spoken There

Bill Reglein (JJ Babbitt m/pieces): "We made this mouthpiece for Eddie Harris. He played tenor sax and trumpet. He played in some pretty rough bars. The story goes that he was afraid he'd get in a fight and get his teeth knocked out. He figured that if even that happened he could still play tenor. So, the request came in, 'Can I get a reed mouthpiece for my trumpet?' the company made exactly one." - (DownBeat October 2019).

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Saturday September 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see above).

Solitude - St John's Church, Grainger St., Newcastle NE1 5JG. 11:00am & 2:00pm. Free. Gabriele Heller’s audio play (40mins).

Jeff Barnhart’s Silent Film Festival: Reel 2 - St Augustine's Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington DL3 7TG. 12:30pm. £10.00. (under 16s free). Barnhart’s piano accompaniment to classic silent films.

Vieux Carré Jazzmen: River Tyne Jazz Cruise - Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Departing 1:00pm (boarding from 12:30pm) from o/s Pitcher & Piano, returning 4:00pm. Tickets: £25.00. (info 0191 252 9429/07710 528413). On board buffet & Tyne Bank Brewery bar.

Evening

Ronnie Scott's All Stars - Middlesbrough Theatre, The Avenue, Middlesbrough TS5 6SA. Tel: 01642 815181. 8:00pm. £22.50. (inc bf). Ronnie Scott's Story: 60th Anniversary Concert.

Nikki Iles, Karen Sharp & Friends - Queen's Hall Library, Queen's Hall Arts Centre, Beaumont Street, Hexham NE46 3LS. Tel: 01434 652477. 9:30pm. £15.00. A Hexham Abbey Festival of Music & Arts event.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Bullfrog Blues Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Friday, January 15, 2016

CD Review: Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia – The Last Fandango

Barbara Thompson – saxophone; Jon Hiseman – drums; Peter Lemer – keyboards; Billy Thompson – violin; Dave “Taif” Ball – Bass. + Shona Brown – Flute; Apollo Saxophone Quartet and Rachel Calaminus – violin and viola.
(Review by Hugh C.)
As regular listeners to Jazz Record Requests on BBC Radio 3 may have heard, one of my first introductions to jazz in my student years was Barbara Thompson and Paraphernalia.  I was delighted to find, then, that a new album has just been released.
Jazz lovers may be aware that Barbara Thompson was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1997.  She announced the first of several “farewell” tours in 2001.  Every three years or so as her condition deteriorated she thought she would not be able to go on, but with the continuing help of new medications and her dedicated team of carers she somehow continued writing and playing. 
The Last Fandango has been some ten years in the making and was recorded and mixed in Spring/Summer 2014 at Temple Music Studio.  The name (derived from the title of the fourth track) hints at the reality that this CD release may be last from Barbara Thompson as no real fix is in sight for her Parkinson's disease.
The CD comes in at just under 60 minutes and is vintage Paraphernalia and Barbara Thompson.  The line-up on the CD is the same as that on the Live'05 DVD - which was received to much acclaim.  Straitlaced and The Magic Carpet both have a Middle-Eastern quality with Barbara's signature saxophone style to the fore in the first track.  Jon Hiseman and Dave Ball provide a rhythmic introduction on the second track.  The agile violin playing of Billy Thompson (no relation) weaves through the whole album.  Bulletproof follows and is driven by Hiseman's rhythmic powerhouse, aided and abetted by Lemer on piano.  The track has a filmic quality and brings to mind the kind of vintage cop shows that can be viewed on selected TV channels.  The Last Fandango does what it says on the tin. 
Saxey demonstrates the versatile talents of the Apollo Saxophone Quartet – long-time collaborators with Barbara Thompson.  One for the Road features the flute playing of Shona Brown, together with a fine bass riff by Dave Ball against Billy Thompson's violin.  Spring Fever brings some Caribbean sunshine with an up-tempo dance rhythm (roll on Spring!).  The Smooch slows it down again – as might be expected.  Satsuma is a tasty little number, composed by Peter Lemer – all other compositions are by Barbara Thompson (Peter joined Barbara Thompson in the composition of Saxey) - and freshens the musical palate before the dessert.  The anthemic track The Unseen Way provides a fitting finale to the whole.  The CD insert features a gallery of individual and band photographs over the years.
As Jon Heisman says “there is sadly no prospect of a tour to promote the album, we are relying on word of mouth to help spread the word”.  The only way you will hear this music is to buy the CD!
The Last Fandango is available now from Temple Music (http://www.temple-music.com/new-album-from-barbara-thompsons-paraphernalia/ ) for the very reasonable price of £10.99 plus delivery.
Hugh

2 comments :

Jude Murphy (on F/b) said...

So exciting! Great to see she's still playing

Rachel said...

Looking forward to hearing the CD. Great review btw

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About this blog - contact details.

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.

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 all of them 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