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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

CD Review: Newport All Stars - Tribute to Duke.

George Wein (piano); Ruby Braff (cornet); Joe Venuti (violin); Red Norvo (vibes); Barney Kessel/Kenny Burrell (guitars); Larry Ridley (bass); Don Lamond (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Recorded live in Basel, Switzerland, a George Wein led group of handpicked mainstreamers pays tribute to Duke Ellington. 
Don Lamond, perhaps best remembered as a big band drummer kickstarts Sweet Georgia Brown with an explosion that would have launched the Third Herd on a trip to Mars let alone Joe Venuti who meets fire with fire with an incendiary solo of his own.
Venuti gets further into his stride on Undecided before handing over to Kessel who plays as tasteful as ever then passes the ball back to Venuti who takes it for a chordal ride-out. Venuti remains centre stage for Sophisticated Lady. He really was an outstanding player and it's good that our local 'Josephine' Venuti - Emma Fisk - keeps his memory alive.

Kessel is featured on Daydream. Totally unaccompanied, Barney displays his artistry with as tasteful a piece of guitar playing as I've heard since the last time I heard him. Was it at the Peoples Theatre, the University Theatre or Gosforth Civic Hall? Thanks to his friendship with Maurice Summerfield the guitar maestro was a frequent, and most welcome, visitor to Newcastle.
Ruby Braff steps up to the plate for I've Got it Bad which serves to remind us of those halcyon days when the greats had an easily identifiable style. With recent Blaydon Jazz Club visitor George Wein on piano and more Kessel chording, this is just about unbeatable.
More solo guitar but, this time, it's KB rather than BK on Just-a-Sittin' and a-Rockin'. Burrell gives an equally impressive performance - a heavier blues-based style that offered contrast to Barney's lighter, more nimble approach. Deed I Do  had solos all-round including Norvo on vibes whilst Braff put his inimitable brand on If I Could be With You. Ridley also solos and the bassist has his own moment of glory on Things Ain't What They Used to be.
The album draws to a close with a spirited rendition by les tout ensemble on Rose Room. Following Wein's intro, Braff is at his most fiery before making way for Kessel, Norvo and Wein to take it out. Not sure where Venuti was on this final number - perhaps he'd left to buy a cuckoo clock.
Highly recommended.
Lance.
Released digitally on December 30 by MPS.

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