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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.

Monday, March 05, 2018

CD Reviews: Carlos Vega - Bird's Ticket and Bird's Up.













(Review by Lance).
Two CDs recorded not quite 2 years apart by a modern-day hardbop quintet led by Florida born Vega who also composed all of the 20 tracks on both albums as well as blowing some paint stripping sax. It's a humdinger of a band, all strong soloists in their own right and, importantly, team players too. Although the albums were recorded in Chicago, there is often a Miami Latin feel to the music  -listen to the Cajon box* on Taurus and Virgo on Bird's Ticket! Garcia blows melodically, suggesting shades of Lee Morgan adding the fire when the occasion demands it which is often. Vega solos with both lyricism and freneticism taking the tenor into a harmonic world beyond the reach of many mere mortals.

Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, Mindeman, Ramos and Breaker prepare the ground for landing before taking off on their own musical adventures.

Two splendid albums, both available on the Origin label.
Which one to choose? 
Tough call. 
Personally, I think the boppier Bird's Up just gets the nod but it's a split decision with Garcia's solo on, On a Mission, certainly that of a man on a mission. Vega too is on a quest, a quest that should lead him to the higher echelons of the DownBeat Polls. The intriguingly titled - Untitled Waltz for the Wednesday Morning Prayer Meeting sees the quintet augmented by Cheryl Wilson's wordless vocal, some deft guitar-picking and a fatter ensemble with the added brass of Strand and Nelson.
At the end of the day, after listening to both again I came to the conclusion that the best bet would be to spin a coin or if you've got coin to spare, buy both.
Lance.
Buy/more details Bird's Ticket - Bird's Up.
Bird's Ticket
Carlos Vega (tenor/soprano); Victor Garcia (trumpet); Stu Mindeman (piano/Rhodes); Josh Ramos (bass); Xavier Breaker (drums); Juan Pastor (Cajon on 1 track).

Bird's Up
As above minus Pastor plus Cheryl Wilson (vocal); Scott Hesse (guitar); Steve Strand (flugel); Michael B. Nelson (trombone) - all on 1 track only.

*You don't need to go to Florida for a Cajon - there's a company in South Shields make and supply them!

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