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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.)

Archive

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.

?????

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

Saturday, August 27, 2016

CD Review:Alexander Stewart - I Thought About You

Alexander Stewart (vcl) w. big band inc. Rob Barron (pno); Rob Anstey (bs); Andy Chapman (dms); Freddy Gavita (tpt); Andy Panayi (alt); Callum Au, Alistair White (tmb) as well as the City of Prague Philharmonic on 7 tracks.
(Review by Lance).
I've been a fan of Alexander Stewart since that night back in 2009 when I first heard him at London's The Spice of Life. I was knocked out then and I've been increasingly impressed by his progress.
This new CD - perhaps his most ambitious yet - rubberstamps my early judgement.
Yes, he's still a crooner, but he's today's crooner, albeit one who still looks over his shoulder and says, "If it was good enough then, then it's good enough now - if I do it my way!"
Stevie Wonder's Part Time Lover kicks things off with a wonderful Au trombone solo slotting in between the vocal choruses.
Willie Dixon's I Just Want to Make Love to You swings like Sinatra/Basie may have done on this one.
I Thought About You is rapidly becoming another Summertime but, with a difference, it's a tune you never get tired of hearing and, dare I say it? Jimmy Van Heusen was, with all due respect, more hip than either of the Gershwins. People forget, or don't realise,  the Gershwin songs we hear today are far removed from the composer's original intent which was schmaltzy Broadway show tunes. Jazz musicians and singers took them to a higher level. Freddy Gavita blows trumpet here and the symphony squad from Prague saw effectively away in the background.
Brother Can You Spare a Dime? - a Yip Harburg tune, written in the post World War I depression days - may seem a strange choice (apart from being a great song) but in today's turbulent times who knows that it won't become appropriate once more? Hopefully not, but this is the best version since Bing!
Human, the first of 4 originals by the singer, shows that he's no slouch as a composer/lyricist - Gavita pours some flugelhorn icing on the cake.
The Look of Love tends to slot into the easy listening genre (like most Bacharach/David) until Andy Panayi blows cool sax.
How Glad I Am brings back memories of listening to pirate radio stations in the 1960's and feeling as though I was part of a revolution even though the nearest they got to jazz was Kenny Ball!
Speed of Darkness, another original by Stewart, in conjunction with longtime collaborator Alex Webb. Tommy Emmerton provides the guitar blast.
The Sweetest Feeling, a Jackie Wilson classic hits the spot.
Fragments, another original, has a Gregory Porter feeling about it and Stewart doesn't need a funny hat! Listen to the string writing!
Suitcase of Dreams. A superb, relaxed original with Stewart floating above piano, bass, guitar and drums. A love song worthy of the GASbook or it's British equivalent. Superb!
A House is Not a Home. More Bacharach/David - they can play this in my lift anytime.
Alexander Stewart is a voice to be reckoned with. and an album that will certainly figure in my Vocal Discs of the Year 2016.
Lance.
Released Sept. 9 - pre-order.

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