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Bebop Spoken There

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

Thursday, January 14, 2016

CD Review: Stan Sulzman/Nikki Iles - Stardust.

Stan Sulzman (ten); Nikki Iles (pno)
(Review by Lance).
The jazz duo, a tradition began, I believe, with Earl Hines and Louis Armstrong and continued with, among others, Coleman Hawkins and Freddy Johnson, Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins until this present day when it has become the staple fare of Newcastle Jazz Café's Saturday program. Whether this is for artistic or economic reasons is immaterial - 9 times out of 10 it works and we've had some classic pairings.
This coupling between Sulzman and Iles bares comparison with any pairing from past or present!
Sulzman, never one to play a 100 notes when 50 or even 1 will do, is not afraid of being exposed. His take on Hawkins' Body and Soul shows respect for the original whilst adding his own stamp to it. I think Hawk would have raised a Cognac to this.
Asked why he was recording these tunes? Sulzman, composer and one time (delete 'one time') avant gardist replied, "I simply love to play these tunes". And why not? He does it better than most!
Nikki Iles is the perfect foil, such a sensitive accompanist and so creative a soloist. Nikki is another one who doesn't try to blind you with a cascade of notes, rather she will take the tune, the sequence, and extract every nuance from it - Bill Evans had a similar quality.
The repertoire: Nikki's Corner; Young and Foolish; Body and Soul; Nobody Else But Me; I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry; Under the Canopy; My Man's Gone Now; You'll Never Get to Heaven; Stardust.
Two originals, one each, amongst the gassers and I bet the guessers got it wrong!
Stan wrote Nikki's Corner and Nikki wrote Under the Canopy - but that's jazz for you, the Sound of surprise!
Lance
Stan Sulzman/Nikki Iles - Stardust released on Jellymouldjazz on Jan. 25.

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