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Bebop Spoken There

Cécile McLorin Salvant: "She [Melissa Aldana] makes us realise how terrible it is to be complacent." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Thursday June 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Arc, Dovecot St., Stockton on Tees TS18 1LL. Tel: 01642 525199. 7:00pm. £12.00. + £0.10. bf. ‘Jazz & Tapas’ - booking essential.

Ruth Lambert Quartet - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00.

Heller-Glendinning: Billie Meets Kurt - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm (doors). £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Acoustic Infusion - The Forum, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £5.00. Line-up: Alan Thompson (tenor sax); Rick Laughlin (piano); Bruce Rollo (double bass); Ian Halford (drums). Now Abbie Finn on drums.

Durham University Concert Band + Grollingwood Big Band - Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ. 7:30pm. £10.00., £9.00., £8.00.

Durham University Big Band - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00 concs.). JNE.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax), Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

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

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

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

Thursday, December 14, 2017

CD Review: The Lindsay Hannon Plus - Make Dark Heaven Light

Lindsay Hannon (vocals), Mark Williams (guitar), John Pope (bass) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
An intriguing running order of ten tracks – the first three compositions are by Lindsay Hannon and Mark Williams followed by four jazz standards then three numbers from contemporary composers. Happenstance? Unlikely, because band leaders are, or should be, meticulous in the presentation of their music to an audience. It would appear Hannon thought long and hard about this. Precisely why the tracks are in the order they are is altogether a different matter. Ask Hannon about it when you purchase a copy of the CD at the band’s next gig!  
Make Dark Heaven Light is Lindsay Hannon’s second album with her band the ‘Plus’. Forty-seven minutes of music created by four first-rate musicians, two of whom, Mark Williams, guitar and Russ Morgan, drums, are new recruits. Bassist John Pope, Hannon’s longtime bassist of choice, was a key figure on her debut album The Spy and makes an equally telling contribution to this recording. Hannon’s writing is observational, personal, and her interpretation of standard material is definitely distinctive, often taking liberties with the melody and succeeding in producing something that is her own.

Everyone opens the album with Hannon declaring monogamy is monotony, inviting you to pull up a chair and listen to what she has to say as the Plus effortlessly generate a lazy, swing time feel. The Hannon/Williams’ composition Maths begins with voice and guitar developing a subtle Latin rhythm which is in marked contrast to Hannon’s dark lower register vocals on Morning revisited dovetailing perfectly with Williams’ fluent, responsive lines.

The standards – Miss Otis regrets, No more blues, the John Dankworth/Cleo Laine Shakespearean album from the mid ’60s is reworked as The complete works, and The very thought of you – feature all four musicians. John Pope’s arco bass accompaniment to Hannon’s achingly beautiful vocals on Cole Porter draws in the listener as Russ Morgan introduces his trademark hand drumming. Jobim, then the Dankworth/Laine number hears more from bassist and drummer with Mark Williams hitting on a swing groove on Ray Noble’s timeless number.

The Shakespeare theme continues – it can’t be coincidence! – with present day songwriters taking centre stage in closing the album. Romeo and Juliet (comp. Mark Knopfler) then USA’s troubadour Tom Waits’ Romeo is bleeding, the latter featuring Hannon’s enviable vocal range as she spits out  the lyrics (almost literally!) and Williams’ gritty guitar lines, bring a darker hue to the album which is finally painted almost black with Robert Wyatt’s Sea song.

The recording of Make Dark Heaven Light at Newcastle’s Loft Studios benefits from Julien Batten’s attuned ear (mastered by Ross Lewis), and the album cover’s startling photography is by Roweena Russell. To obtain a copy of Make Dark Heaven Light email: lindsayhannonplus@gmail.com.  Russell 

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