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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.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

CD Review: Beverley Beirne - JJWTHF*

Beverley Beirne (vocals); Sam Watts (piano); Flo Moore (bass); Ben Brown (drums/perc.); Rob Hughes (sax/flute) + Jason Miles (B3 - 2 tks); Romero Lumbambo (guitar - 1 tk); Dean Brown (guitar - 1 tk).
(Review by Lance).
Jazz and pop music have always been unlikely bedfellows and rarely compatible. Even such greats as Sinatra and Ella never sounded comfortable when dipping their toes into the more contemporary chart-infested waters. Likewise, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and, more recently, Bob Dylan were only moderately successful at interpreting GASbook material.
Never the twain shall meet, has always been my reaction despite an increasing tendency amongst the current crop of jazz singers to tackle post-Beatle material. With the possible exception of Postmodern Jukebox, I don't think it ever quite works.
Until now that is!
Beverley Beirne has nailed it. Twelve pop-hits from the 1970s and 1980s that respond 100% to being jazzified.
Noddy Holder commented on Slade's Come (sic) On Feel The Noize: "I love the jazz version of  'Noize' and reckon it shows how a fab singer can come up with a totally different version of the song and make it work".

Prince Charming by Adam Ant. As recently as a couple of night's ago I never dreamt that AA would be mentioned in these pages but it's a great song that has completely passed me by - until now.
Bette Davis Eyes - wow! this is the one. I've listened to composer Jackie DeShannon's version and Kim Carnes' 1981 smash hit and Beverley Beirne's take is right up there with them.

There's also The Specials' Ghost Town; Deeply Dippy from Right Said Fred; When Smokey Sings by ABC; Bananarama's Cruel Summer and Robin Scott's Pop Muzik. 
Too Shy prompted Kajagoogoo's former lead singer, Limahl, to say, "It's raw, energetic and her vocal is both sassy and commanding". 
Beverley's version is also available as a single

Billy Idol's Not in the City; Waiting For a Girl Like You by Foreigner and Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want to Have Fun complete an album that already looks likely to take root on my player.

Of course, there's more to it than BB's wonderful vocals (including some effective scat blasts) there's also Sam Watt's piano accompaniment, his solos, and his hand in the arrangements. Gutsy tenor playing and fine fluting from Rob Hughes. Flo Moore's basswork on Shy, Ben Brown's drumming on the same number (and throughout), the guitarists in their cameo roles - and then there's Jason Miles. Jason not only produced the album, he also wrote the sleeve notes and augmented a couple of tracks from the cockpit of a Hammond B3!
Love it!
Lance.
*JJWTHF = Jazz Just Wants To Have Fun.
Thanks to Beverley and the band, jazz got its wishes and so will you come the album's release which the promotional blurb quotes as June 15 although BB's website gives the release date as May 15 (that's today!)

1 comment :

Mark beirne-smith said...

Thanks for the review Lance
The release date is 15th June, I have updated the web site accordingly!
Mark

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