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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.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

CD Review: Dan Pugach Nonet - Plus One

(Review by Dave Brownlow)
Let’s get one thing quite clear from the start – this is an excellent album of modern/contemporary jazz played by a Nonet plus One of first-rate musicians who are not only terrific soloists but fine readers capable of playing and interpreting Dan Pugach’s complex charts. Dan is the bandleader/drummer/arranger/composer/ who’s been working at a high level in the jazz business since completing his Batchelor’s and Master’s degrees at Berklee and The City College of New York. As a composer/arranger, Dan brings such a freshness and imagination to the music rarely found today and as a drummer, he’s full of energy, driving the band, inspiring his soloists and occasionally soloing fiercely himself.
Brooklyn Blues is a rousing opener having a ‘funky’ groove providing opportunities for lively blues solos from trombone, baritone, drums and piano interspersed with tightly played ensemble sections. Coming Here is a medium-tempo original which has some lovely “Gil Evans-ish” harmonies and movement and features Ingrid Jensen’s first solo spot. She is now a quite outstanding trumpeter, playing with a warm burnished tone, swooping, gliding with great dexterity throughout the ranges of the horn with the fluency of (say) Kenny Wheeler or the great Fats Navarro. An expansive tenor solo follows driven by the leader through some fearsome note-reading by the band to a “Mulligan-esque” final chord.
Dolly Parton’s Jolene features Pugach’s wife Nicole Zuratis (described by the drummer as “my secret weapon”) in the first of four vocals of the album - which she also arranged herself. Carmen Staaf has the piano solo with echoes of McCoy Tyner in there. Ingrid again shines before a moving final conclusion
Zelda a gentle original ballad features David Smith on flugelhorn – another formidable talent, who’s clearly inspired by the arrangement. A blues-tinged Belo’s Bellow has a flowing alto solo from Andrew Gould with Staaf on electric piano providing another tone-colour. Chick Corea’s Crystal Silence has Nicole taking the vocal in an “operatic soprano style” which is surprising – but it works! There’s tenor sax, ensemble passages, a bass contribution before a final re-visit to the theme. Quincy Jones’ lovely song Love Dance is Nicole’s next vocal, this time back in ‘jazzy’ mode again. Smith makes two contributions to this track with astonishing virtuosity. Our Blues co-written by the husband and wife team is a down-home 12-bar blues which really gets to the bottom of the matter.  Nicole lays down the law here “I’ve got some news before I kick you out – You’re much more clever when you shut your mouth!” Gorgeous ensemble passages, a low-down piano solo from Staaf and a tenor solo add to the story. The closer Discourse This is a contemporary Pugach composition in several parts. Smith on trumpet has the up-tempo first segment, Gould on alto the slower middle section leading to a drums-led finale. Ambitious writing challenges the band throughout which makes for an exciting, abrupt ending. “The Sound Of Surprise” appears in every track!
Totally recommended, a rare 5 stars from me!
Released on February 16 by Unit Records UTR 4816 or at www.danpugach.com
Dave.
Ingrid Jensen or David Smith (tpt/flugel); Mike Fahie (tmb); Jen Hinkle (bass tmb); Andrew Gould (alto/flute); Jeremy Powell (tnr/clar); Anthony Gutauskas (bari/bass clar); Nicole Zuraitis (voice); Carmen Staaf or Jorn Swart (pno); Tamir Schmerling (bass); Bernardo Aguiar (pandiero); Dan Pugach (dm/composer/arranger/leader).

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