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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie Paris: "A singer's got to be able to tell a story. Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole are best at that; Mel Tormé too. I like to take a lyric that means something and sing it right to the person it was meant for." - (DownBeat October 11, 1962).

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Tuesday September 17

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see above).

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Acoustic Infusion with the Mighty Horns - Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm (doors 7:00pm). £5.00. Rick Laughlin & co.

Strictly Smokin’ Sessions - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £8.00. & £6.00.

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 819845. 8:00pm. £4.00. Guest: Don Armstrong (reeds). Note earlier start.

Blues

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

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Pizzicato & Pizza, Tango & Django. Emma Fisk & Paul Edis @ St. Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. October 6

Emma Fisk, violin and Paul Edis, piano.
(Review by Jerry)
Emma Fisk promised to not only reprise many of the tunes which were so well-received here last year but to also “throw in a few new ones…for variety” and she was as good as her word with about a third of the set-list being new to me. However, nothing in this well-planned and impeccably performed evening could really be described as “thrown in”!
Elgar’s “hit”, Chanson de Matin, went down well again as did Dvorak’s lyrical Romantic Piece and the hard to categorise fragments from Brecht/Weill’s Threepenny Opera. Bach popped up in the piano solo when It’s Only a Paper Moon was played as a requested “fast one” and Boehm’s Bolero helped subsidise the publication of music by Brahms – the evening was all about connections!
Jazz standards and show-tunes were again represented by I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, It Don’t Mean a Thing, Honeysuckle Rose and It Had to Be You. Standard, and repeated, but spellbinding and drawing huge applause. Someone to Watch Over Me was described as “a pretty well-known jazz tune” following a “cryptic introduction” - Lark Ascending?

The music was, as before, interspersed with biographical info and easily digestible musical history. Rosendo Mendizabal, A la Luz de los Faroles, was a playboy who blew his inheritance but he it was who gave the tango its characteristic three-part structure. He, along with Angel Villoldo, El Cachorrito and El Choclo transformed the Spanish “tanguillos” into a distinctly Argentinian sound and helped put the tango on the map at the turn of the century. Villoldo was a multi-tasker, composing in between other jobs including “cuarteador” who helps coaches and wagons up steep hills. Given Crook’s topography, he’d have his work cut out here!

Lili Boulanger’s beautiful Nocturne was reprised and big sister, Nadia was mentioned in passing. Nadia Boulanger came up again later as the composition teacher who persuaded Astor Piazzolla, Chiquilin de Bachin, not to forsake tango for classical and “Tango Nuevo” was born, which left the traditional three-part structure behind and blended elements of tango, jazz and classical – like this evening’s show!
Also reprised from 2016 wereLa Cumparsita and Besame Mucho which was “a perfect crossover tune” inspired as it was by a Spanish classical composer.

The first of the “few new ones” was the dreamy 1951 Disney theme, Alice in Wonderland. Paul Edis will have enjoyed this particularly as the tune was adopted into the jazz canon by, among others, his hero, Bill Evans. There followed another show-tune cum jazz standard, beloved of Stephane Grappelli and very appropriate for October, Autumn Leaves. New on the Classical front we had Dvorak’s Humoresque – a tune everyone recognises but probably few could name without resorting to toilet humour (me included – I’m firmly in the GI category, “General Ignorance”!)
I don’t remember Nuages from 2016: here it was served with lots of violin flourishes, a very high final note and a piano solo described by Emma as “a grand tour of Europe”. Not sure what she meant but it was certainly a distinctive solo!

Piano-solo-wise, the up-tempo 1939 number, Undecided, seemed to be served with Tea for Two. It was certainly tasty! I missed the title of the piece by Carlos Gardel – a big name not featured previously – but scribbled: “like it, but not very tango-ey”. Last year’s encore was Lady Be Good – this year’s could not have been a greater contrast, the romantic piece by an American composer, To a Wild Rose. Edward MacDowell, the composer, apparently so loved roses that he was buried beneath a boulder surrounded by them. Oh, well, come the Resurrection……! Seriously though, it was beautifully played by both tonight’s stars: a fitting end to a wonderful concert.

Thanking the musicians, Anne Timothy reminded the people of Crook that they were lucky to be able to see “world class musicians in our humble parish hall”. I think she is under-selling the venue but in all other respects, I could not agree more!
Jerry

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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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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 all of them 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