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Bebop Spoken There

Curtis Stigers: “I’m a jazz singer. I’m not a saxophonist. When I stand in front of a band like the Danish Radio Big Band or Ronnie Scott’s, I usually tend to leave the instrument on the stand.” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Tamsin Austin, Director of Performance Programme, Sage Gateshead: “SummerTyne is our largest festival and we absolutely love it!” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Today Friday July 21

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
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SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017 - Sage Gateshead. Day 0ne of three. Details. From 12 noon all day.
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Ruth Lambert Quartet - The Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SE. 1pm. £5.
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Alice Grace Trio - Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1pm. £5.
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Evening
Belinda Voshtina & James Harrison - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. Free.
Washboard Resonators - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, August 12, 2016

CD Review: Euan Stevenson & Konrad Wiszniewski – New Focus On Song

(Review by Russell).
New Focus is an ongoing collaboration between pianist Euan Stevenson and fellow Scot, saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski. On Song is their second album on Michael Janisch’s Whirlwind Recordings label. The majority of the thirteen tracks were composed by Euan Stevenson, the format similar to New Focus’ first CD, incorporating jazz quartet, string quartet and harp.

Air in D Minor would suggest classical connotations. This is the opening to the album. A brace of folk-inspired numbers follow – Green Park and Destination Unknown – making it abundantly clear this isn’t a straight ahead jazz album. No one said it was. It is what it is. The strings are members of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Sophia’s Song is an amalgam of Wiszniewski blowing, the strings attempting a riff and Alyn Cosker’s superb ‘big band’ drumming.
Stevenson has sought to incorporate disparate elements; French impressionism and Celtic folk melodies, small group jazz and solo piano episodes. The jazz ear was taken by Corea Change; scorching jazz quartet (think Tubby Hayes or Johnny Griffin), Cosker in Buddy Rich mode, Stevenson’s dazzling jazz piano. The strings enter late on and give as good as they get. This is the ‘jazz’ of the album. There is more jazz on Fourths Ostinato. Cosker is once again at the centre of things with an outstanding, high-octane workout as Konrad Wiszniewski’s soprano tirade scales the heights.  
Jazz and strings, jazz with strings or music with strings. From a jazz perspective, On Song is an album for those with a penchant for a ‘jazz plus’ offering.      
New Focus On Song on Whirlwind Recordings (WR4690) is released on August 19. The album launch, as part of the Edinburgh Fringe, is at the Jazz Bar on August 20.            
Russell.

Euan Stevenson (piano), Konrad Wiszniewski (tenor & soprano saxophones, clarinet, low D whistle), Andrew Robb (double bass), Alyn Cosker (drums & percussion);  the Glasgow String Quartet: William Chandler (violin), Lorna Rough (violin), Ian Budd (viola), Betsy Taylor (cello); Nicola Wiszniewski (flute) & Alina Bzhezhinska (harp)

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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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