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Bebop Spoken There

Jennifer Wharton: "People forget that the trombone is so glorious. It can be like going to church, or getting ready for battle. It can be a lot of things....For a longtime I was the only female trombonist in New York," - (DownBeat May 2021)

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13,218 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 637 of them this year alone and, so far, 45 this month (May 11).

2021 APPJAG (All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group)

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May 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (weather, unfortunately, not permitting). CANCELLED!

May 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (Indoors!)
May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 21: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).
June 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).

Friday, July 22, 2016

CD Review: Jazz-Philosophy Fusion - Continuum Of Selves

Jessica Radcliffe (vocals); Sonja Morgenstern (conceptual vocals); James Tartaglia (composer, tenor sax); Gareth Fowler (guitar); Steve Tromans (piano); David Hilton (electric bass);
Tymoteusz Jozwiak (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
First, an appeal to Mr Blogmaster to supply each of us humble (?) reviewers with a large magnifying glass: both CD’s I’m covering this week have inserts with microscopic print. At least in former vinyl days we had record sleeves with large print, even if the sound wasn’t so good. I’m always somewhat wary of ‘fusions’ with other disciplines, as jazz stands up well on its own, and the fusion in this case sort of works ok and is entertaining, but the jazz is indeed good enough on its own, and as I’ve said the print was a bit too small to read much about the ideas behind the CD anyway.
James Tartaglia is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Keele University, a much-published author, a previous soloist winner of Young Jazz Musician of The Year (Daily Telegraph 1991); he has studied in the USA and this is his third album.
Ms Radcliffe gives us word-rich rhyming lyrics about various philosophical ideas and Ms Morgenstern provides spoken word explanations of concepts, both performing to a modern, sometimes boppy jazz background which illustrates the ideas mentioned.  For instance, the track named Teletransportation explains how your body can be scanned, destroyed, then conveyed to another place and reassembled. The music thrusts us along with lengthy improvisations on piano, sax then bass, lively lyrics, then a mock-posh voice to explain the concepts, more travelling music, and words about death given in a amusingly cheerful voice. In fact the whole album has many thoughts about being and non-being, with track titles including Animalism; Dream, Death and the Self; Email Persona; No-Self (Onion); Spicy Crab; Me For You and You For Me; The Transcendental Ego; Philosopher Blues.
I hope I haven’t given the impression that the CD is pretentious as this is not the case and this is avoided by the use of humour, especially on Philosopher Blues, which lists various philosophers, such as Plato ‘get outta yer cave’ and Kant ‘when you gonna learn to smile’.
Reviewing this album has probably happened at the wrong time for me, as I’m still joyful from hearing the Zhenya Strigalev band at the Globe last week, a wonderful performance of highly original jazz, which was perhaps more philosophical in its way than Continuum of Selves, as for me ZS questioned the very nature of music without a word being spoken. Nevertheless, Continuum of Selves is good jazz with very thoughtful words.
The CD was released in May 2016, CTM001. See www.jazzphilosophyfusion.com
Ann Alex     

1 comment :

Russell said...

'former vinyl days...' it's never gone away!

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