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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

Archives

Today Saturday September 23

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Day two of three.
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Evening
Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Rockafellas - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Tobie Carpenter Organ Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £10.
Thin Man + Jon Gordon - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. Free.
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Nikki Iles & Stan Sulzmann - Great Hall, Hexham Abbey, Hexham NE46 3NB. 10pm. £10/£8.
Pat McMahon Trio - Tannery, Gilesgate, Hexham NE46 3QD. 01434 605537. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

CD Review: Kayle Brecher - This Is Life

(Review by Ann Alex).
There isn’t much biographical information included with this CD, except to say that the musicians have various music qualifications, eg  Sutin has a degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and the high standard of playing is obvious to the listener anyway. The basic idea of the disc was to convey a sense of intimacy, with a mixture of original songs, standards, and what are labelled as ‘re-envisioning’ of numbers such as Freddie Hubbard’s Red Clay’ (Brecher has added lyrics); Herbie Hancock’s Dolphin Dance (this has become Sea Of Dolphins with lyrics added); and a scatted arrangement of Egberto Gismonti’s Moon Dreams. 
I enjoyed especially hearing the harp as a jazz instrument, trilling out jazz sounds wonderfully, and I mean the harp with strings, as in Wales, not another name for the mouthorgan. Brecher’s  voice is fine, with a ‘cute ‘ sound for lighter pieces and more depth when serious, and she gives lots of space in which the instruments can do their stuff.
However, I had mixed feelings about the disc as a whole, as much of the material has been improvised and it has gone a bit too far out for my taste. The voice and the band seemed to be at odds sometimes, eg Back To The Red Clay sounds ‘messy’ at the beginning, with too much scat, too few meaningful lyrics, then a rock feel which didn’t seem to fit, and the piece was a bit too long.  In fact on some of the tracks, I’d have preferred no singing at all as the instruments conveyed the music well without any additions. 
On the track Life Is Just Rhythm, for voice and drums only, there simply wasn’t enough actual rhythm and the lyrics were too complex to be effective as a song. Some tracks were better, such as the exciting Not Alone (good harp, guitar solo, ‘cute’ vocal quality) and Wild Child (wildish music, random sounding, voice used as an instrument with call and response with the other instruments). The titles of the rest of the tracks were: African Dream; Torch To Hand; and The Gift.
The CD is currently available on Penchant Four Records
Ann Alex.
Kayle Brecher (vocals); Ratzo Harris (bass); Frank Butrey (guitar); Grant Calvin Weston (drums); Brandee A Younger (harp); Gloria Galante (harp on other tracks); Benjamin Sutin (violin); Dave Dzubinski (piano); Matt Cappy (trumpet) Not all instruments play on all tracks.

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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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