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Bebop Spoken There

Val Wilmer: "The festival [New York Musicians Festival], an impressive exercise in African-American self-reliance, had come about after the promoter George Wein had moved his annual Newport Jazz Festival to New York the previous year [1972], and paid scant attention to the avant garde." - (Wire June 2020)

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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.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Strictly Smokin' Sessions @ The Jazz Café - April 19

Keith Robinson (tenor); Steve Summers (alto, baritone, clarinet); Jamie Toms (tenor, alto, flute); Matt Forster (bass clarinet); Michael Lamb (trumpet); Pete Tanton (trumpet, flugel); David Barnes (trombone); Graham Don (piano); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums); Alice Grace, F'reez (vocal).
(Review by Lance - photos courtesy of  Ken Drew).
Afterwards, Michael Lamb said to me, "That was different". Steve Summers said, "That was interesting". Two succinct comments that practically wrote the review for me. The above musicians, drawn from the 19 piece Strictly Smokin' Big Band, appeared in a variety of permutations to play various original compositions by Pete Tanton, Jamie Toms. Pawel Jedrzejewski - some worked better than others. Alice Grace and F'reez had but one number each and, sad to say, the balance didn't do either of them any favours.
Most of the solos were relatively short and it was interesting to hear Toms on alto and Summers on baritone. The arrangements were also interesting (and different) ranging from a fugue-like opener by Tanton to a jazz-rock closer by Jamie Toms that sported the intriguing title of Mr. Magoo's New Shoes!
This was the first time ever this music had been played in public and could be said to be a work in progress. Whether it will progress is open to question. It would be a criminal waste if it wasn't as there is so much potential there. Some of the voicings reminded me of Mingus and maybe a hint of Gil Evans. Well done to Jazz North East for making it possible and to those members of SSBB who revealed previously hidden depths.
It would be interesting (there's that word again!) to see if any further developments occur in the future.
Meanwhile, in the more immediate future, you can hear SSBB in the manner to which we are accustomed to hearing them at Hoochie Coochie on Sunday (April 22). Doors at 4pm, band on stage at 5:30pm. 
Lance.
Ken Drew Photos.

1 comment :

Pete Tanton (on F/b). said...

Many thanks, Lance, it was as always, a pleasure to play last night. I second your praise for Jazz Northeast, without whom we wouldn’t have had the chance to try something experimental- and to the audience who joined us on a punt into the unknown!

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