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Bebop Spoken There

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

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Today Thursday December 12

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 12:00pm. Free.

Note earlier time for this week only!

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Evening

Jazz

Hot Club du Nord - Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Willerby Drive, Peterlee SR8 2RN. Tel: 0191 518 2000. 7:00pm. £10.00. (£5.00. under 18s). 'Jazz at the Lubetkin'.

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). ‘Gala Big Band Does Christmas’.

Durham University Big Band - Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. Tel: 0191 334 1777. Free. 7:30pm. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£2.00. student).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Blues/Soul/Funk/Etc.

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To the best 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.
Russell.
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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