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Bebop Spoken There

Michel Camilo: "That first year, believe it or not, to practice I drew a keyboard on a piece of cardboard, because I could hear in my head all the notes" - (JazzTimes, Feb. 2020).
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The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

Today Saturday February 29

Afternoon

Jazz

Great North Big Band Jazz Festival - Park View Community Centre, Church Chare, Chester le Street DH3 3PZ.. Tel: 07958 302745. 12:00 noon. Open Section (senior) competition. (Winners’ concert - 7:00pm). £15.00. weekend ticket, £12.00. day ticket, £5.00. under 16. Day 2/3.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - Hammer & Pincers, Preston Lane, Preston-le-Skerne, Newton Aycliffe DL5 6JH. Tel: 01325 314873. 1:00pm. £2.00.

Evening

Keith Nichols w New Century Ragtime Orchestra - Caedmon Hall, Gateshead Library, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead NE8 4LN. 7:30pm. Tickets £15.00 from 0191 281 4011. Line-up includes guests Keith Nichols (piano, vocals) & Nick Ward (drums).

Mike Lovatt w Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4461. 8:00pm. £14.70. Trumpet virtuoso w SSBB.

Mansion of Snakes - Cobalt Studios, Boyd St., Newcastle. 9:00pm. Donations. Cobalt’s Late Night Jazz Club. Band + DJ.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Red Hot Riot - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

CD Review: Fred Hersch - (open book)

Fred Hersch (piano)
(Review by Dave Brownlow)
(open book) is jazz piano-master Fred Hersch’s latest recording – his eleventh solo album – which finds him in a particularly reflective and lyrical mood. It is timed to coincide with the publishing of his memoir Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz which reveals his meteoric rise in jazz and his recognition as one of the most individual and expressive artists of his generation.
The music was recorded in a Seoul, South Korea, concert hall on a Hamburg/Steinway grand piano and Fred utilises all the magnificent sonorities throughout.
The Orb first appeared in Hersch’s recent music-theatre show My Coma Dreams and is an out-of tempo exploration of the theme with frequent re-harmonisations and daring phrases. I hear some of the chord-sequence of Stella by Starlight here and there…Benny Golson’s Whisper Not opens like a Bach Two-Part Invention, cleverly going straight into swinging improvisation in the same style with the theme stated only at the very end. I can see a parallel here with J S Bach himself playing keyboard in the court of Frederick The Great and hoping for his pay-cheque at the end of the month! (Bach was a great improviser!) Jobim’s Zingaro is transformed from a bossa-nova to a Chopin-like Nocturne in a minor key and is a graceful, fluid performance.
Next is the nineteen-and a-half minute Through the Forest which forms the centre-piece of the album. This was an unplanned, spontaneous piece where Fred allowed his improvisatory powers full rein in at times a surreal, abstract way. Hersch himself remarks “this is an example of improvising with no safety-net or pre-conceived ideas – I just went wherever it took me until it felt right to arrive at a musical and emotional destination.” I suggest that there are only a handful of musicians in the world today who are capable of a performance of this nature (Keith Jarrett is another) who have the musical knowledge and intelligence to carry it out successfully.
Following this tour-de-force is Plainsong another Hersch composition, a classical-flavoured piece somewhat like a folk-song, with theme and variations where the music meanders along in a melancholic mood. Fred always includes a Monk song in every recital – this one is a jaunty, buoyant effort – Eronel  co-written by Sadik Hakim (Argonne Thornton). Now there’s a name to conjure with! Argonne is believed to have played a small part on piano in the seminal 1945 Charlie Parker session which produced Now’s the Time and Billie’s Bounce! Finally, Billy Joel’s tender song And So It Goes brings the album to its conclusion. Here is a sensitive reading of this piece, beautifully harmonised in a gentle out-of–tempo style where the pianist extracts every bit of emotion from the fragile melody.
So, another in the series of successful albums from Fred Hersch which further enhances his status among today’s master-musicians.
Dave.
(open book) is on Palmetto PM2186 available on 8th September 2017 from:

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