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Bebop Spoken There

Mark Walker: "A drummer in a big band is always happy. It's like driving a big bus." - (Downbeat, August 2019)

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 July 23

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. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood; Paul Grainger; Matt MacKellar.

Archipelago & J Frisco + Mark Williams Trio - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 8:00pm. £9.90.

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

Friday, March 23, 2018

CD Review: Jeff Williams - Lifelike

Jeff Williams (drums); Gonçalo Marquez (trumpet); John O’Gallagher (alto saxophone); Josh Arcoleo (tenor saxophone); Kit Downes (piano) & Sam Lasserson (double bass)
(Review by Russell). 
In 2015 Jeff Williams recorded his third album as leader on Whirlwind Recordings. Outlier received rave reviews and this 2017 recording is likely to garner similar plaudits. Lifelike is his follow-up with much the same line-up although guitarist Phil Robson opts out having relocated to New York, John  O’Gallagher, alto saxophone, makes the trans-Atlantic crossing in the opposite direction and from a recent first gig together in Portugal, trumpeter Gonçalo Marquez comes on board. Otherwise, it’s an unchanged roll call – Josh Arcoleo, tenor, Kit Downes, piano and bassist Sam Lasserson.
Lifelike has a running time of a little over sixty minutes and it’s another live recording from London’s Vortex Jazz Club. Lifelike’s seven tracks, bar one, were written by bandleader Williams and if there is a common thread it’s the ever-present sense of swing that is no doubt embedded in the leader’s musical DNA having served his apprenticeship with the likes of Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano and Cecil McBee. The sound is contemporary, forward-looking but it knows where it’s coming from. Some of the compositions were first released on earlier albums and hearing them played in concert  by this enhanced sextet line-up at the Vortex is rewarding listening. Trumpeter Marquez makes his mark on the opening track Under the Radar; fleet, nimble, abstract, expressionistic, a musician who has quickly assimilated Williams’ compositional ideas. The Interloper swings with Arcoleo’s tenor, a calling card follows in the form of O’Gallagher’s alto, and a constant throughout the recording is the cohesive ensemble work; Dream Visitor and the pensive, taut, fifties’ bop-like flame burning on the 1990’s composition Lament being just two examples.

Borderline finds Arcoleo wrestling with his tenor and, having tamed it, falls in with a joyful ensemble section, all the while directed by drummer Williams’ first-rate musicality. Gonçalo Marquez’ Canção do Amolador is ushered in by the composer’s tentative intro and in no time the sextet is engaged in a freeish, storming workout. Kit Downes, as ever, has it all covered, prompting, probing, playing the right thing at the right time. The album’s closer - all ten minutes plus of it - Double Life features yet more scorching tenor from Josh Arcoleo and that man Downes signs off in style. Jeff Williams is on a roll recording such high-quality material on Michael Janisch’s label. Let’s hope there is another in the pipeline.         
Russell          

Lifelike by Jeff Williams is released on Whirlwind Recordings (WR4721) on April 20th with a CD launch gig at the Vortex, London on April 3rd. Further dates into the summer months include April 6 at Brighton’s Verdict and April 12 at Birmingham Conservatoire’s purpose-built East Side Jazz Club.         

1 comment :

Dani Raestar said...

As amazing as the Lifelike recording is 'live' it's on another level. Your chance to see for yourself 3 April at The Vortex where it all happened. To book tickets: http://www.vortexjazz.co.uk/event/jeff-williams-lifelike-album-launch/

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About this blog - contact details.

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.

Submissions for review

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