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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Carrick: "I contacted Max Jones of Melody Maker and offered to be his correspondent in the States, but I should have done what Ken Colyer had done, get a job on a ship and then jump ship in the States. So I didn't make it [to New Orleans] till 1973." - (Just Jazz May 1999)

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In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

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Today

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.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

CD Review: Norma Winstone - Descansado - Songs for Films

Norma Winstone – voice; Klaus Gesing - bass clarinet, soprano saxophone; Glauco Venier – piano; Helge Andreas Norbakken  - percussion;  Mario Brunello - violoncello, violoncello piccolo.
(Review by Debra M).
British singer Norma Winstone has been performing jazz for six decades,  and the outstanding quality of her music has been so sustained that as recently as 2017 she won Jazz FM award for Vocalist of the Year. Her latest work, Descansado  - Songs For Films is the fifth album recorded with pianist Glauco Venier and reedsman Klaus Gesing.  For this project, the trio were augmented by percussionist Helge Andreas Norbakken and Marion Brunello on violoncello.  Gesing and Venier have created new arrangements of music by composers such as Michel Legrand, William Walton, Bernard Herrmann, and Ennio Morricone, from films by directors including Martin Scorsese, Jean-Luc Godard, Wim Wenders, Norman Jewison, and Franco Zeffirelli.

The opening  His Eyes Her Eyes by Michel Legrand is given a restrained, contemplative treatment compared to the lush ‘60s soundtrack in The Thomas Crown Affair, but its intensity is focussed in the soaring soprano sax solo.  More reflections on young love follow in What Is A Youth? from Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, a dramatic arrangement featuring percussion, violoncello & bass clarinet. However, the mood lightens subsequently with songs such as the Latin-influenced title track Descansado.  
The oldest piece is by British classical composer William Walton - Touch Her Soft Lips And Part, from Olivier’s Henry V (1944).  Walton’s orchestral string arrangement is transformed in an intimate ensemble featuring Winstone’s touching lyrics and a tender violoncello accompaniment.  The traditional English theme continues in Meryton Town Hall, from Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice (2005).  Starting with violoncello, the rhythmic, vibrant piece gradually builds with clarinet, percussion and voice intertwining melodic lines.  This is surprisingly effective, and joyous, although one imagines that the Bennetts and their peers may have found  Ye Olde English Scat quite disturbing! 
Much of the music of the album feels spacious and contemplative, reflecting its cinematic context, and Michel Legrand, one of the masters of this genre,  has two compositions included. His second piece, Vivre Sa Vie is presented firstly as an atmospheric and evocative ensemble piece, and then in the last track, as a short reprise of solo piano by Glauco Venier.  An appropriately understated, yet dramatic finale.

Debra M.

1 comment :

Hughes said...

Ah, young love...

I remember eet well!

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