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Bebop Spoken There

Camila Meza: "Some tonalities or chords are colors to me: G major is blue, D major is orange and B minor is totally yellow." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Monday June 17

Afternoon

Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Tenement Jazz Band - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:30pm (doors). Free (donations).

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

DJazz: The Durham City Jazz Festival. Francis Tulip Quartet @ Empty Shop - June 2.

Francis Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (piano); Michael Dunlop (bass guitar); Matt MacKellar (drums).
(Review by Lance).
The Empty Shop wasn't empty. Is it ever? Certainly not when these guys are the attraction. They may not have been shaving for very long but, going by the maturity of their playing, they should have had grey beards and told stories about jamming with Miles on 52nd St.
As it happens, Miles was present in the form of the opener - Milestones. Taken at a faster lick than the original, the cards were laid down and they were all aces. Any infidels at this first-floor shrine were soon converted. Youth had won the day after but one number. 
Ben Lawrence, in his first public appearance with the band, slotted in seamlessly. It had been some time since I last heard him and it would seem that he has progressed in leaps and bounds. Of course, in this company, you either cut it or fall flat on your ass. Ben's still standing.
Matt MacKellar's progress has been well documented. Outside, the heavens had opened but the thunder was inside as Matt drummed up a storm of his own. I've heard drummers do less in a solo than he does in support. I'm unsure as to whether this is a good thing or a bad thing but, in this band at least, it's a good thing; driving, pushing the soloist to the limit.
If Matt's the rhythmic dynamo then Francis Tulip is the melodic version. Inventive, I swear he discovers a 'new' lost chord in every solo. His fretboard agility is more than mere exhibitionism, he needs that technique to unleash the constant flow of ideas.
I know someone will pull me and say, "Why do you always leave the bass player till last?" I hold my hand up and plead guilty to the charge. I don't know is my answer. I suppose it's because in 9 out of 10 bands the bass player's solo - if he's allowed one at all - invariably is the last one before the head or the fours (of which he's rarely included).
The bass player is the least appreciated by the audience and yet, imagine having the best automobile in the world and no tyres. Michael Dunlop is well named.
So, apart from Milestones, what else was played?
Darn That Dream; Giant Steps played at a fast Latin tempo; Peter Bernstein's Bones - dedicated to his dog; Scofield's Keep me in Mind; Kenny Wheeler's La Belle Helene - Like Tulip père, I'm not a big Wheeler dealer but this version was ok going from bland to bombastic and back again. Finally, as newcomer Ben is a big Robert Glasper fan, they finished off with his Rise and Shine. This we duly did, responding with thunderous applause only this time the thunder was outside and my brolly was in the car parked some distance away - but what was getting wet compared to a session like this!
Lance.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

The kind of drumming as seen especially in big boys like Tony and Elvin marked the use of the kit as something to be used as a springboard and facilitate a lot of interaction in a way far greater than the drumming of the bebop era. Certainly for Elvin, form became less important than vibe and energy . There was another excellent example of this in Will Glaser with Soweto later on saturday night.

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