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Bebop Spoken There

Frank Zappa: "There was so much acid during the '60s that it was very easy for large numbers of people to think they had seen God as soon as the Beatles went boom, boom, boom, you know?." - (DownBeat May 18, 1978). – (DownBeat May 18, 1978).

Ryan Keberle: “Don't be easy on yourself when it comes to playing with perfect intonation. All other instruments will be playing with close-to-perfect intonation; the same should be expected of trombonists.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Saturday March 24


Dave Donohoe Band - St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington DL3 7TG. 12:30pm.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - Hardwick Arms Hotel, 1 North End, Sedgefield TS21 2AZ. Tel: 01740 622305. 1:30pm. Free.


Ladies of Midnight Blue - Live Theatre, Broad Chare, Newcastle NE1 3DQ. Tel: 0191 232 1232. 8:00pm. £12.00. (advance). Hannabiell, Yilis & co. Jumpin’ Hot Club gig.

Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra -Scarth Memorial Hall, Staindrop, Co Durham DL2 3JL. Tel: 01388 660786. 8:00pm. £9.00., £5.00. child.

Tyne Valley Big Band - TORCH Centre, Corbridge Road, Hexham NE46 1QS. 7:30pm.

Billy Bootleggers All Star Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Saturday, July 22, 2017

CD Review: Gavin Barras – The Family Tree

Gavin Barras (double bass); Jeff Guntren (tenor); Jim Faulkner (guitar); Dave Walsh (drums) + (on 2 tracks) Gavin Barras (acoustic guitar); Rhiannon James (viola); Margit van der Zwan (cello).
(Review by Lance).
“Best known for his work with trumpeter Matthew Halsall” says the blurb. And it’s true. Barras has appeared with Halsall in the locality [NE UK] over recent years. However, the bassist/composer’s most recent visit was as part of the Dean Stockdale Trio with whom he excelled.
He excels here too performing his own compositions all of which have family connections in one form or another.
Perhaps the strongest family connection is the instrument Barras is playing – a double bass crafted by his father, luthier Steve Barras. Not surprisingly, the album is dedicated to Steve.

The opening track is also a family affair; Swingin’ Charlie is inspired by Gavin’s new born baby and, after a protracted opening, all four players show their mettle before cooling down with a lyrical closure.
Waltz for my Wife positively exudes love and I’m sure Mrs Barras wasn’t embarrassed by this musical portrait. More lyricism.
Sunnyside has Gavin on acoustic guitar (an instrument also fashioned by dad back in 1967) along with Rhiannon James and Margit van der Zwan on viola and cello respectively (those instruments were probably made by some upstart in Cremona). Despite the title, it’s a rather melancholy piece that could have ran longer than its 1:15 to be fully appreciated.
CBGB has lots of Crash, Bang, Wallop from Walsh – very effective CBW I hasten to add - whilst the composer provides the musical maypole for Guntren and Faulkner to dance merrily around.
More dancing, or to be more precise, collective improvisation on The Family Tree and the impression is that the whole family are in there having a ball.
Steve’s Song, a jaunty ska-like opus that may have been inspired by a trip to Barbados or thereabouts with dad, has a bass opener that sees Walsh enter in Caribbean mode whilst Guntren and Faulkner limbo over and under the bar. Guntren’s one of the more interesting tenor players around and Faulkner the perfect foil.
Lowdown (in the Lowlands) has a Mingusian minor feel to it that doesn’t do it any harm at all.
Mossy Lea’s a ballad described as an ode to the area of The Peak District where the composer lives and, from what I can recall of a cycling holiday I spent around Glossop some years back, Barras and his boys do it justice. Walsh, in particular being very sympathetic to the mood.
The second guitar, viola and cello opus is 35 Years Later. An enigmatic title that, like the first trio track is very short (1.51) yet not without charm.
Finally, Last Thing (for Ed K), has a floating rhythm rather as if The Train and the River had been recorded 50 years later.
Well worth checking out for those on the inside who like to take a peep at the outside. Do it, it won’t hurt.
Available on ASC Records.

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.