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Bebop Spoken There

Grant Green Jr.: "One thing that most people--especially jazz cats--don't realise is that all of your jazz standards were once pop standards" - DownBeat July 2018).

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Bobby Sanabria: "Tito Puente was not a very tall man, but when he played the timbales he was a giant among men." - DownBeat July 2018).

Posting a comment

If you experience any problems posting a comment, as I understand some readers are, then email it to me direct, stating which post your comment relates to - lanceliddle@gmail.com. Alternatively, try the Anonymous button but please sign your name!
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Youre Vote is Important

Voting is now taking place for Nominations in the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Please take this opportunity to vote in the various categories including MEDIA where a vote for Bebop Spoken Here would be much appreciated.

Today Wednesday June 20

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. £1.00.

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Cancelled!

Francis Tulip Quartet - Sage Gateshead, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. 6:30pm. Concourse gig.

Cancelled!

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Emma Fisk & James Birkett + Hot Club du Nord - Sage Gateshead Sage Gateshead, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4666. 8:00pm. £15.30.

Steve Glendinning & Paul Grainger - Dun Cow, Brandling Village, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 4RS. 8pm. Free.

Community Hall New Orleans Band - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm £3.00.

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson Street, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Friday, July 14, 2017

Benny Benack III - A guy worth checking out.

(After reading this press release of Benny Benack III, I was curious to discover more - and I'm pleased that I did. Singing or blowing trumpet this young man proves that all of the young talents don't come out of Newcastle. Some even come from across the pond in New York. Check him out here. - Lance.)
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(Press release)
Benny Benack III, a young and multi-talented Pittsburgh native and denizen of the New York jazz scene. He is never one to limit himself. He is both an affable and expressive jazz singer and a formidable, modern-minded trumpeter, and these elements of his musical self are deeply and effortlessly intertwined. On One of a Kind, his debut release, Benack also reveals himself to be a wry and expressive songwriter and lyricist, bringing his boundless musical gifts together in a program that’s steeped in tradition but every bit as restlessly individual as his album title suggests.
Benack teams with two players he calls his “musical brothers,” pianist Emmet Cohen and bassist Alex Claffy, as well as a key mentor, drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. “Ulysses was really the first musician that took me under his wing and gave me a shot and brought me on the road,” Benack says. “To have him here on my first album means the world.” Saxophonist Joel Frahm and guitarist Yotam Silberstein, masters on their respective instruments, make vital contributions as well.
Presenting eight Benack originals (four vocal, four instrumental), one by Emmet Cohen, vibrant covers of Burt Bacharach and Harry Warren/Al Dubin classics, and a closing killer novelty song by Eddie Jefferson, Benack paints a self-portrait in sound, honoring a legacy that stretches back to Benny Benack, Sr., his trumpeter/bandleader grandfather. Having grown up playing gigs with his father Benny, Jr., and absorbing influences from his musical theater vocalist mother Claudia, Benny III became the kind of player, writer and interpreter we hear today on One of a Kind: “I gravitated first to the legends of Tin Pan Alley. I find myself identifying not only with their timeless harmonic and melodic sensibilities but also the whimsical charms of their musings on romance and melancholy. I would love for my songs to capture the essence of that magical Golden Era.”
Benack continues: “The lyric aspect of my composing didn’t develop until much later. As I became more comfortable with my voice maturing into a focal point, it was only natural that I would gain inspiration to write from my personal experiences. For that to occur I needed a certain amount of romance and heartbreak, along with successes and setbacks. When those came to be, I found the music and words flowing out of me faster than I could write them down.”

The history of singing trumpeters goes back of course to the very foundation of jazz, which is Louis Armstrong. It goes forward to encompass Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Chet Baker, Kenny Dorham and more. “Anyone who steps onstage and sings while holding a trumpet owes a debt to all of them,” says Benack. “Because the trumpet is such an intimately vocal instrument, I believe it attracts musicians who hold lyricism and humanity in the highest regard. While my singing style is more out of the classic crooner continuum of Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Harry Connick, Jr., I relate the most to people like Dizzy and Louis, who showed the world that virtuosity and artistry didn’t have to be packaged in a demure and ‘serious’ way, that it was perfectly OK to laugh and smile while playing on the highest level.”

That upbeat sentiment is there from the first bars of the robust mid-tempo swing opener and title track “One of a Kind.” It’s a song about youthful love and exuberance, says Benack, and as a vocal-and-trumpet number it’s “the perfect summation of who I am as an artist.” Then after the Jobim-inspired, guitar-driven “Kiss Me Slowly” comes the tightly orchestrated and drum-centric “I Found You,” followed by Cohen’s “You Already Know,” which the pianist wrote with Benack in mind “as a piece that would feature my strengths: fiery excitement, whirring harmony & spirited fun!”
Benack recalls “Looking for Love” as “the first ballad I ever wrote,” while the fiery hard-bop of “Jumpstart” is his “homage to the ‘Young Lion’ movement of the ’90s, when my contemporary trumpet heroes burst onto the scene. I tried to imagine Nicholas Payton or Roy Hargrove slicing through these chord changes, and I hope I did them justice.”

Silberstein returns on acoustic guitar in fine form for the romantic Latin instrumental “When Midnight Comes.” Benack plays flugelhorn, joined by Frahm on soprano, on the Ahmad Jamal-inspired “Londontowne,” while “Guh Guh Guh” (with Frahm on tenor) is a suitably frenetic set-closer featuring the full band. “The title comes from how I hear the song’s first three notes,” says Benack. “The pace builds and builds until the ending explodes like a comet in flight….”

The remarkable arrangements of “Close to You” and “I Only Have Eyes for You” are full of surprises and a fun, grooving vibe that evokes the best of the historical intermingling of jazz and pop. And “Benny’s from Heaven,” which Benack first heard James Moody sing at a jazz camp years ago, was destined to become an irreverent staple in his repertoire. “After Eddie Jefferson’s lyrics, I composed the vocalese myself with my own solo as a framework, trying to channel the powers of such a wordsmith.”
Throughout One of a Kind, on the horn and the mic, Benack brings it all together with stirring swing and a unity of aesthetic intent, in the spirit of his role models. “My ultimate aspiration,” he says, “is to have each side of my artistry complement the other, to give my voice and trumpet space to shine.” And shine they do.
For further information, visit: www.bennybenackjazz.com
CD release show:
September 21st, 2017 at Birdland Jazz Club in New York City
6pm performance/ Doors open at 5PM
Birdland Jazz Club
315 West 44th St.
New York, NY 10036

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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 them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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Lance

About this blog - contact details.

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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