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Bebop Spoken There

Anat Cohen: "With the tenor, it's so iconic with jazz. With the clarinet, I can improvise, but it doesn't have to be called jazz." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Tuesday June 18

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

Lickety Split - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 813983 (info). 8:00pm. £5.00. (inc raffle). Line-up inc special guests Don Fairley (trombone) & Maureen Hall (vocals).

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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