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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Harvey: "The exciting day arrived and we [as under age school boys] snuck into the [pub's] rehearsal room, sat awkwardly to attention on hard chairs in a row facing the band and heard our first - very loud - live jazz. What an occasion that was - we even drank beer because we understood that's what jazz people did and that's what the band were drinking." - (Just Jazz June 2020)

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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.

Friday, April 28, 2017

CD Review: Mark Lewandowski - Waller.

Mark Lewandowski (bass); Liam Noble (piano); Paul Clarvis (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Liam Noble playing Fats Waller? Nah! Chalk and Cheese.
Then I played the album and, afterwards, ate a chalk and cheese sandwich followed by a portion of humble pie.
The CD is much more palatable.
Three musicians, closer to the cutting edge of jazz, have successfully brought Fats Waller’s 1930’s classics into the twenty first century without, I would suggest, alienating purists or pathfinders. In his day, of course, Waller was indeed a pathfinder himself.
This isn’t a lip service tribute – how could it be? These guys were born long after Fats died on that train! No it’s a case of bringing Fats’ music to a present day audience and doing this without the mugging and sometimes hammy vocals that distracted the listener from the wonderful piano playing on the originals.
Lewandowski’s bass is sonorous – listen to his intro to I’ll be Glad When You’re Dead which merges into Suzannah where Noble strays from Waller to Bach as perhaps Waller also may have done.
Blue Because of You: A lovely tune that seems to share the same middle eight as Jimmy Van Heusen’s Oh You Crazy Moon – opinions please. Some fine brushwork by Clarvis on this one.
Noble’s explorative takes on Fair and Square in Love and Cinders reveal just how sensitive a musician he is.
There’s also interpretations of some of Waller’s Lollipops – as Sir Thomas Beecham used to refer to the classical warhorses. In this case, the ‘pops are; It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie cleverly fused, with I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter; Jitterbug Waltz; Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Honeysuckle Rose.
Lewandowski sets his stall out with an impressive solo rendition of Have a Little Dream of me and gives us a Surprise Ending – no spoilers from me!
An absolutely delightful album and one which can be heard live at The Globe, Newcastle, on Thursday May 11.
Available on Whirlwind WR4703.
Lance.

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