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Bebop Spoken There

Sting: "It was great. They [the River City Jazzmen] all wore blue suits. The band had been together for about twenty years, which was the same age as the suits." - (Melody Maker Sept. 22, 1979).

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Monday October 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see centre column).

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 3:00pm/5:30pm. Screening of Stanley Nelson's documentary film (2019, cert. 15, 1hr 55mins).

Evening

?????

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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

CD Review: Jimmy O'Connell Sixtet – Arrhythmia

Jimmy O'Connell – trombone; Andrew Gould - alto and soprano sax; Tim Basom – guitar; Tuomo Uusitalo – piano; Peter Slavov – bass; Jimmy MacBride (drums).
(Review by Hugh)
Jimmy O'Connell moved to New York City from his native Detroit in 2009.  Since that time he has become firmly established as an in-demand trombonist on the scene, sharing the stage with the likes of Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Paquito D'Rivera and Randy Brecker.  O'Connell has assembled the “Sixtet” from among those who have made a big impact on him, both as a musician and a person.
Arrhythmia, O’Connell’s debut recording, brings together the many influences experienced during his sojourn in NYC.  The opening track, O'Connell's take on trombonist JJ Johnson's Lament, contains lyrical solos from each of the musicians, gently supported by their colleagues.  This approach is maintained throughout the album, O'Connell allowing sufficient space for each constituent musician to solo, but in the context of the musical development of each track.  

Although a studio recording, it has a distinct “live” feel - as I listened, I heard imaginary audience applause after each solo. 
Gray Matter, the first of O'Connell's own compositions, commences with a bass ostinato, setting a framework for each of the soloists to improvise over.  Cedar Walton's Bolivia follows on, maintaining the pace set by the two previous tracks.
The title track, Arrythmia (apparently so named after O'Connell's lifelong heart condition), starts with a bass solo from Peter Slavov, the other instruments joining in sequentially – the bass line forming the “heartbeat” of the piece.  Arrhythmia is slightly less frenetic than the preceding tracks and a bit more laid back.  The class musicianship of this sextet, particularly evident here, is present throughout the album.  This is the longest track coming in at just over nine and one half minutes.
In the Wee Small Hours (David Mann) is the only other “standard” on the album, all the other items being original O'Connell compositions.  This ballad gives musicians and listener a well-earned rest before the pace hots up again with the playfully swinging Millie (named after O'Connell's dog). 
Crayons (the only writing implement available to O'Connell when he finally had the tune he wanted!) follows next. 
Solidarity was originally composed as a closer for the live set, a groove over which O'Connell would speak to the audience, but he liked playing it so much he stuck it at the end of the album too - no talking on this one – but my review copy gave up half way through this track and all I heard was a set of clicks from then on... (a quick clean sorted that).

When presented with CDs to review by BSH, I find they generally fall into one of three categories:  thoroughly enjoy on first listening; unsure on first listening, but the music grows on you, not over-impressed on first or subsequent listening – Arrythmia resoundingly falls in to the first of these categories.  This album is a cracking debut and a pleasure to listen too.  All the members of the sextet achieve a beautiful tone on their individual instruments (yes even the drums – drum solos are muted, but exquisite!).

Arrythmia is out now, released by Outside in Music as a digital download or limited edition (300) CD. 
http://outsideinmusic.bandcamp.com/album/arrhythmia

Hugh.

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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.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance