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Bebop Spoken There

Avishai Cohen (trumpet): "This is my main thing right now: Live in the here and now, take things one day at a time. I'm stopping everything I can, and stripping everything to the bone. I'm spending a lot of time listening to music, playing, going for walks, enjoying my kids." - (DownBeat June 2020).

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Monday, January 22, 2018

CD Review: Melody Gardot - Live In Europe

(Review by Ann Alex)
An album of live recordings which our singer and her band did in various cities in Europe, during the period 2012-2016. Ms Gardot explains that she originally thought she would choose the best tracks she could find, but then she decided it should rather be ‘a postcard from our tours of Europe’ giving ‘the feeling, the nostalgia, the memory’ of performances, and be a gift to herself as well as to the listener.
The information is taken from the website, www.melodygardot.co.uk.  and there are no lists of musicians. The songs appear to be originals, except for Over the Rainbow, mostly love songs, and Ms Gardot’s style leans towards cabaret, with something subtly French about the singing, which is often quiet, intimate, breathless, almost muttered. Listeners need to hear the songs a few times to fully appreciate the artistry. I estimate the instruments involved to be guitar, keys, saxes, (some tracks) strings, clarinet, flute, drums, and some delightful cello and very skilled double bass, which often introduces each song.
The cities visited include Paris, Bergen, Lisbon, London, Zurich, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Utrecht. The Rain (Bergen) is highly descriptive, with long, lowering guitar chords, crashing piano chords, a strong jazz tune from saxes, and a bass solo, signifying ‘goodbye’ to a lover. Our Love Is Easy is a flowing tune, sung with breathless intimacy. Deep Within the Corners of My Mind is a song of longing with string accompaniment. From Lisbon, we hear a Latin number with percussion, clarinet and flute, and singing in Portuguese (I think). Other titles include Baby I’m A Fool; So Long; My One and Only Thrill; Les Etoiles; Goodbye. The album is rounded off with a long track, March for Mingus, which includes most of the instruments giving us a strong jazz tune, saxes in harmony, eastern type vocals, then a final band mash up with a gospel song.
I found this to be a quite listenable CD but maybe something of an acquired taste, and I’m not sure whether I would eventually acquire that taste or not. It is available as a double CD or a triple vinyl LP.
Ann Alex
PS: It’s almost 10 years since the start of BSH, so it seems like a good time to acknowledge a debt that I owe to Lance. I first met Lance when we were both members of a writers’ group in South Shields, in about 2003. (Lance writes a mean crime story, did you know?)  And since I’ve been encouraged to do reviews, it’s made me a bit more fluent with other writing, as writing is like a muscle, use it or lose it. So I’m grateful to Lance that I’m writing other stuff besides reviews, such as a few folk influenced songs. And then there’s the other debt to Lance, the £20 I owe him from when we recently shared a taxi from the Globe. Coming up soon Lance!
(In a perfect world I’d say ‘Forget the £20’ … in a perfect world - Lance)

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