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Bebop Spoken There

Dayna Stephens: "I always tell them [students] there will never be anyone who will play it [EWI] as technically proficient as this cat [Michael Brecker] did." - (JazzTimes June 2019).

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Today Tuesday June 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, 59 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free. Trio Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

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

Sunday, June 12, 2016

CD Review: Michika Fukumori - Quality Time

Michika Fukumori (pno); Aidan O’Donnell (bs); Billy Drummond (dms)
(Review by Lance).
A quite delightful CD by a cosmopolitan trio. Fukumori left Japan to study jazz piano in New York, O’Donnell arrived in New York from Glasgow via Birmingham Conservatoire where he obtained a BMus (Hons) in 2002, while Virginian born Drummond’s CV includes stints with Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver and JJ Johnson.
This is no crash, bang, wallop affair but a relaxing exploration of eight standards and four original compositions. Upon first hearing the name that crossed my mind was Bill Evans, Fukumori has a similar introspective approach. Reflective, probing, discovering unexplored depths to otherwise familiar tunes that had me hanging on to her every note. Repeated listening didn't dispel my initial reaction but it did tell me that she was also very much her own woman. 
As a composer, her music is as intriguing as the titles. The Story I Want to Tell You – a waltz reflecting deep feelings for her homeland; Luz – means light and was written as a prayer for Japan after the Tohoku Earthquake; Cat Walk – a slinky blues dedicated to her feline friends; Quality Time – a medium swinger in 6/8 and an apt title for the album.
Looking Back is a piece by her mentor and tutor Steve Kuhn who also produced the album. Kuhn has done a great job in both roles.
The remaining tracks are: Make Someone Happy; Jobim’s Someone to Light up my Life; Solitude (this not only has the pianist at her most tender but shows O’Donnell to be totally simpatico as, indeed, he is throughout - the Birmingham Conservatoire did a grand job!); Velas; a couple by Bernstein – Lucky to be Me and Somewhere finishing off with That’s All.
Drummond is discreet and effective as befits the nature of the album.
Quality Time? You betcha!
Lance.
Available Summit Records.

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