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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Gelly: “From 1 January 1920, when prohibition was imposed in the US, people didn’t stop drinking, they just stopped drinking legally.” – (Jazz Journal October 2017).

Regina Carter: “When I was a teenager, I would daydream about going out on a date and dancing to Ella’s music.” (Down Beat October 2017).

Today Thursday November 23

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter’s Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE.

Group Theory - The Globe. 7:30pm. £5.00. Superb Durham University quartet. Dan Garel (alto), Tom Burgess (guitar), Dylan Purches (double bass) & Tristan Bacon (drums).

BABMUS - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. £3.00. (£2.00. concs.).

TBA – Railway, Wellington St., Gateshead. 8pm.

Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland (trumpet); Josh Bentham (sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. 9:00pm. Free.

Skidoo 52: The Joint Is Jumpin’ - Boldron Village Hall, County Durham DL12 9RN. 01833 638210. 7:30pm. £9.00. adult, £20.00. family.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.01642 678129.

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

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

CD Review: Jason 'El Rubio' McGuire - Terceto Kali

Jason McGuire (Guitar); Paul Martin Sounder (Bass); Marlon Aldana (Drums).
(Review by Steve T)
It's probably a man-thing but we've been seeding guitarists like tennis players since Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds fearing they were starting to sound like the Beatles. Known at the time as God, everything was about to change with the arrival on the scene of a certain Jimi. In truth, we had very little to go on, but I wonder what we would have made of Jason McGuire aka El Rubio?
Whenever anyone asks me who is the world’s greatest guitarist, which happens more often than you would think, I always propose it's likely some unknown Spaniard in his thirties. El Rubio is, in fact, a Texan with Irish roots (the band hail from the Bay Area) who cut his chops listening to Hendrix and the British 'blues' guitarists; presumably Eric and other Yardbirds’ and Bluesbreakers’ alumni: Peter Green, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.
However, it was on hearing Paco DeLucia that everything changed for him. Paco is largely responsible for spreading flamenco music worldwide and is equally revered in Jazz, Jazz-rock and Gypsy Jazz circles and I must concur, he's the most mind-bogglingly magnificent guitarist I've ever heard.
Virtuoso guitarists of the calibre of Paco and El Rubio often struggle to remain on the side of good taste, straying into performing circus tricks; impressive but meaningless in a musical context. Paco’s musicality is perennially intact and El Rubio more or less pulls it off too. 
While there are distinct features of each, the album serves up a superb fusion of flamenco and the Jazz guitar trio format. Although I have very little knowledge of flamenco, with over fifty distinct styles, it seems to me that it isn't just one with elements, textures and characteristics of the other, but a seamless conflation of the two.
This is evident on the album opener Zardoz, featuring flamenco guitar stylings assimilated into a basic Jazz guitar trio, which is disrupted after the four-minute mark by a short cante from guest vocalist Jose Cortes, further reminding the listener that it's also flamenco. 
Kali also has a flamenco style song-form featuring Jose Cortes, and A Liberty and Contratempio sound, to these untrained ears, like fairly straightforward flamenco.  
In contrast, Zap is reminiscent of Birds of Fire by the Mahavishnu Orchestra but on acoustic guitar and, while Rick Laird never used a bowed double bass, it was a prominent feature of both Miroslav Vitous and Stanley Clarke, enhancing the evocation of Jazz-rock, but retaining a flamenco sensibility.
The final track, Motivation is perhaps the most interesting from a Jazz perspective; at almost ten minutes it's free throughout with no repetitive rhythm and each musician taking the lead in turn. 
Romance is one of two songs on the album written for his wife, flamenco dancer Yaelisa, and he demonstrates a tenderness often lacking in guitarists who specialise in godzillions of notes per nanosecond.
For once, I'm encouraged there could be a market for a CD. Flamenco has a broad cross-cultural appeal and enjoys popularity around the world' and I hear no reason why the Jazz content would detract from this. Furthermore, there is much here to appeal to anybody who appreciates Jazz guitar, particularly anyone bored by the constant recycling of formulaic clichés, or Jazz more broadly.
Out now and recommended.
Steve T.

1 comment :

Steven T said...

For anybody interested in flamenco, or guitar geniuses more generally, Paco Pena, arguably the finest exponent of the style since the death of Paco De Lucia, returns to the Sage on July 18th.

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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.

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