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Bebop Spoken There

Hugh Masekela: “I advise every kid to check out their past because without a past you are in limbo.” (Songlines December 2017)

Leo Richardson: “I think your image is really important. You look at those old Blue Note recordings and you look at the liner note, the booklet and they’re in the studio and they’re wearing shirt and ties. They used to wear suits all the time.” – (Jazzwise December 2017/January 2018)

Submissions for review

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.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

Today Friday December 15

Afternoon

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz Café Christmas Party - Jazz Café. 8:00pm. Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law (8:00pm), Mo Scott Band (9:00pm). £10.00. (£8.00. advance).

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regent Farm Road, Gosforth NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 258 4111. 7:30pm. First night of two. A guaranteed sellout.

Kentucky Cowtippers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Ray Dales - Traveller’s Rest, West Auckland Road, Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. 8:30pm. £8.00.

The Standards - Bar Loco, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle NE1 4PG. 7:00pm. Free. South American band playing a Greenpeace benefit.

CoSYJO - Washington Arts Centre, Biddick Lane, Fatfield, Washington NE38 8AB. Tel: 0191 561 3455. 7:00pm. £6.00. (£4.00. concs.). CoSYJO (City of Sunderland Youth Jazz Orchestra).

Smokin’ Spitfires - Platform 1, Station Street, Bedlington NE22 7JW. Tel: 01670 828808. 7:00pm. £5.50. Enhanced line-up (The Mighty Smokin’ Spitfires) with David Blakey (trumpet) & Lloyd Howell (drums).

Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.

Sophie Armstrong: Jazz at Christmas - Maltings Theatre & Cinema, Eastern Lane, Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1AJ. Tel: 01289 330999. 7:30pm. £13.00.

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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

CD Review: Tom Millar Quartet - Unnatural Events

Tom Millar (piano); Alex Munk (guitar/electric sitar on title track)); Misha Mullov-Abbado (bass); Mike Clowes (drums) + Alice Zawadski (voice on 2 tracks)
(Review by Lance).
Millar, born in Sydney, raised in London, read music at Cambridge, graduated with a master's from RAM and studied with Django Bates in Switzerland before recording this, his debut CD, in Wales. Not a man to let the grass grow under his feet! Fortunately, this, seemingly perpetual motion, is reflected in his playing and in his compositions which are all inspired by people and places that have been important to him.
Azura Days has Millar and MM-A providing extra rhythm behind Munk by way of some egg shaking. Clowes thumps the tubs behind Millar's solo and the whole is suggestive of JSB after a few Brandenburgs and Kronenbourgs although, in actual fact, it was inspired by a trip around the Mediterranean.

The Seafarer is reflective and evocative of the changing tides and undercurrents the seafarer faces in uncharted waters. One senses there may be a storm brewing. The music, like the sea, becomes choppy and I began to think of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The Seafarer survives and all is peaceful and tranquil when he eventually drops anchor.
Unnatural Events. There just happened to be an electric sitar lying around the studio - well there would be wouldn't there (in Wales)? and Munk uses it most effectively.
The Power Chord Thing is just that! Power chording from Millar, Munk and Misha with Clowes digging his own escape route in case he needs it - he doesn't!
Choro, the first of Zawadski's two vocal appearances is wordless but not tuneless. Alice displays a horn-like quality, blending into the head before the others take over the solo slots. It's an ethereal exploration that gradually fades.
Inversnaid, a poem by Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89), has a Cleo/Norma-like interpretation and Alice can hold her head aloft in that company. Hopkins may not have imagined this version but, as Alice points out in the notes, it gave her an environmentalist message and its beautiful natural imagery seemed particularly apt in our current age where man-made global warming is transforming life on our planet - even within our (well hers) lifespan.
Woad: No explanation given - maybe it's to do with tattoos or face-painting or just good old Friday night warpaint. Whatever, it's my favourite track on the album - a hard fought accolade on a disc that has few, if any, drops in excellence. All four musicians seem to be moving in different directions but you know they'll be together in the end.
Park Hill: Is this rather beautiful and soulful ballad really based on the infamous Sheffield Council Estate or is there another Park Hill? Pursuing the question, I find the once notorious flats are being given a makeover so maybe this is reflected here. Certainly, come the conclusion, the mood is pastoral and augurs well for the future.
The album is due for release on Sept. 15 on the Spark Label and the quartet (with Dave Storey on drums) tour from Sept. 7 starting at Matt & Phreds in Manchester and ending up on November 15 at the Green Note in Camden as part of the EFG Festival. They miss out Sheffield so maybe it is a different Park Hill?
Lance.

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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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