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Bebop Spoken There

Frank Zappa: "There was so much acid during the '60s that it was very easy for large numbers of people to think they had seen God as soon as the Beatles went boom, boom, boom, you know?." - (DownBeat May 18, 1978). – (DownBeat May 18, 1978).

Ryan Keberle: “Don't be easy on yourself when it comes to playing with perfect intonation. All other instruments will be playing with close-to-perfect intonation; the same should be expected of trombonists.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Saturday March 24


Dave Donohoe Band - St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington DL3 7TG. 12:30pm.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - Hardwick Arms Hotel, 1 North End, Sedgefield TS21 2AZ. Tel: 01740 622305. 1:30pm. Free.


Ladies of Midnight Blue - Live Theatre, Broad Chare, Newcastle NE1 3DQ. Tel: 0191 232 1232. 8:00pm. £12.00. (advance). Hannabiell, Yilis & co. Jumpin’ Hot Club gig.

Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra -Scarth Memorial Hall, Staindrop, Co Durham DL2 3JL. Tel: 01388 660786. 8:00pm. £9.00., £5.00. child.

Tyne Valley Big Band - TORCH Centre, Corbridge Road, Hexham NE46 1QS. 7:30pm.

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

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

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

CD Review: Delta Saxophone Quartet with Gwilym Simcock – Crimson!

Gwilym Simcock (pianoforte), Graeme Blevins (soprano saxophone), Pete Whyman (alto saxophone), Tim Holmes (tenor saxophone) & Chris Caldwell (baritone saxophone)
(Review by Russell)
The saxophone quartet is a familiar unit to both a classical audience and a jazz audience. A classical enthusiast will listen to a Haydn string quartet at home or in the concert hall without looking around for the jazz fan’s rhythm section comfort blanket. On this Basho Records’ CD the Delta Saxophone Quartet’s approach was to commission a cross-genre work from Gwilym Simcock to arrange for strings and pianoforte.
The ‘prog rock’ band King Crimson provided the source material and a musical link. An earlier association with Bill Bruford’s Earthworks gave Simcock an insight to a world of extended rock (frequently jazz-rock inflected) pieces, with drummer Bruford an alumnus of a late incarnation of King Crimson. This beautifully recorded new release comes in at just under forty-five minutes. Six tracks, the first of them – A Kind of Red – is a Simcock composition, the others a reworking of King Crimson’s output spanning twenty years or more.
The Deltas’ jazz credentials are secure with the participation of the likes of Pete Whyman (alto) having worked with Mike Westbrook and Simcock’s upbringing in classical music make for an empathetic meeting of minds. Whyman’s soprano on the opening track hears Simcock’s pianoforte (‘pianoforte’, one for the classical buffs) comping and meeting the saxophonist at the other end. VROOM/Coda: Marine 475 from King Crimson’s THRAK (1995) – a prog rock title if ever there was one! – veers from an urgent rock pulse via the tenor saxophone of Tim Holmes to filmic minimalism.
The Night Watch from 1974’s Starless and Bible Black incorporates everything. Yes, that well-known prog rock gumbo; collective expressionism (Lark Ascending stuff), anthemic glory, elegant tenor, ruminating piano, a sustained final chord brilliantly recorded by the band’s soprano saxophonist Graeme Blevins doubling up as recording engineer. THRAK yields another tune (all prog rock ten minutes and fifty-nine seconds of it); Dinosaur. An open invitation awaits…Dinosaur…prog rock…nuff said. Much going on here, a bluesy pianoforte, Whyman prominent, great urgency.
The closing number – The Great Deceiver from Starless and Bible Black – showcases the jazz chops of all concerned; flying reeds, arresting voicings, a Blevins and Whyman dual.
Crimson! by the Delta Saxophone Quartet is available now on Basho Records SRCD 50-2. The album’s accompanying notes includes an informative essay by Sid Smith from Whitley Bay.

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.