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Bebop Spoken There

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

Archive

Today Thursday December 12

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 12:00pm. Free.

Note earlier time for this week only!

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Evening

Jazz

Hot Club du Nord - Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Willerby Drive, Peterlee SR8 2RN. Tel: 0191 518 2000. 7:00pm. £10.00. (£5.00. under 18s). 'Jazz at the Lubetkin'.

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). ‘Gala Big Band Does Christmas’.

Durham University Big Band - Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. Tel: 0191 334 1777. Free. 7:30pm. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£2.00. student).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Blues/Soul/Funk/Etc.

?????

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

CD Review: Rez Abbasi - Unfiltered Universe

Rez Abbasi (guitar); Rudresh Manhanthappa (alto); Vijay Iyer (piano); Johannes Weidemueller (bass); Dan Weiss (drums); Elizabeth Mikhael (cello).

My apologies for posting the press release as opposed to my own insightful, intelligent observations but, to be honest, after reading it I was totally confused and came to the conclusion that I wasn’t as insightful and intelligent as I thought I was! I listened to it though and despite still being confused I found it a compelling experience. Abbasi is quite a brilliant guitarist; Manhanthappa as I found out from the soon to be released album under his own name – Agrima by Rudresh Manhanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition – is no slouch either. That album also featured Weiss. Iyer is now a jazz household name and Johannes Weidemueller is known and acclaimed as both player and educator from Heidelberg to New York City. So whilst the blurb went over my head, the music didn’t. It’s out on Whirlwind on Friday, October 6. 
Lance.

(Press release)
Completing a trilogy of albums whose compositions are infused with the various, colorful strands of traditional music from his Pakistani/Indian homeland, New York guitarist Rez Abbasi’s Unfiltered Universe presents his usual line-up plus guest appearances from renowned classical cellist Elizabeth Mikhael. Previous releases Things to Come and Suno Suno focused, respectively, on Hindustani and Qawwali music, whereas this collection of seven new numbers explores and embraces the more rhythmically exuberant, South Asian elements of Carnatic instrumental music.
 
Originally hailing from Karachi – and creating fresh, contemporary sounds here with players who themselves are all well-versed in north and south Indian music – Abbasi sees his subconscious responses as an equally important source of inspiration alongside the imprint of his treasured, cultural heritage. “I have an intuitive way of approaching composition – an idea of searching but not searching, being conscious but not conscious. So with all of the influences I’ve absorbed (including Indian music, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Jim Hall, Keith Jarrett, Led Zeppelin), why would I want a tunnel-vision thing happening when I can have this ‘unfiltered universe’? I’ve had the good fortune to play alongside some great Carnatic musicians – a lot of jazz players don’t get to do that. But instead of interjecting specific Carnatic ideas, I use their energy as a foundation. 

“Earlier albums featured the distinctive sounds of, for example, tabla and sitar – but on this recording, there’s no Indian instrument at all, so it’s an experiment in camouflaging that exoticism. There’s certainly a rhythmic and improvisational empathy between Indian music and jazz; but here, what you’re hearing is what you’re not used to hearing” – something which Abbasi defines more acutely as ‘creative music with a jazz weighting’ rather than the quite different concepts of ‘Indian jazz’ or ‘Indojazz’. 

Abbasi’s complex meters are often based on underlying, architectural structures of expansion and compression which, in propulsive, shifting ‘Thin-king’, give rise to its beautifully searching melody; and enigmatic, tumbling ‘Turn of Events’ finds an exciting, flowing synergy between cello, guitar and sax. Carefully-crafted ‘Propensity’ features a bassline which moves by an eighth note, almost undetected, through multi-time-signatured sections: “There are five-and-a-half beats there, six beats here, like the idea of someone breathing or walking irregularly”. Rock-grooving ‘Disagree to Agree’ is an angular, stoic reflection on prevalent political turmoil; and the contrasting joyousness of ‘Dance Number’ has its roots in Abbasi’s and Mahanthappa’s intense sessions working with a Carnatic dance company, the guitarist’s writing echoing the vitality of their steps and rhythms. 


Rez Abbasi concludes: “With Unfiltered Universe, I’d like to trigger an emotional response which, perhaps, could change something subconsciously. If my music can impact listeners on that level, I feel I’ve succeeded. But my essential musical message is that jazz can also be this – it can be creative without being totally improvised and moving without being stylized. I hope listeners will live this record”.

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