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Bebop Spoken There

Whitney Shay: 'A few years back, I did a gig at an Asian grocery store next to the frozen food section. It was the opening of their bakery. It was a jazz gig and I sang jazz standards next to the frozen fish!'' - (Blues Matters! June/July 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.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

CD Review: NYSQ - Heaven Steps to Seven

Tim Armacost (tenor/soprano); David Berkman (piano); Ugonna Okegwo (bass); Gene Jackson (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Apart from the paraphrased title which, unless I've missed something, doesn't seem to bear any relevance to the music - a rose by any other name, a book by its cover etc., this is an absolute gem for anyone who likes to have a hook to the improvisations. 
The NYSQ - New York Standards Quartet - know this and deliver the goods in just such a way as to pull in the passer-by.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't smooth jazz or easy listening jazz, this is music that approaches the cutting edge but does it in such a way that nobody loses their fingertips.

Armacost, is a lyrical player on both saxes, giving the melody the respect it deserves before taking it to a new dimension. Even Cole Porter who famously castigated Sinatra for his interpretation of I've Got You Under My Skin, surely couldn't fail to appreciate what the quartet do to Every Time We Say Goodbye and I Love You. But, then again, I'm not Cole Porter so who knows?
What we do know is that the songs are taken away from their normal habitat and given a new identity, whilst, at the same time, retaining the mood of the original - best of both worlds.
Berkman is most impressive, particularly on the Bud Powell number If I Should Lose You, Okegwo and Jackson are as solid as any contemporary rhythm section soloing as and when. After I'd reviewed a previous CD by Armacost, I was gutted to discover he'd played a Newcastle gig for JNE some years earlier that, for some reason had fallen off my radar. I'm still gutted!
It's cool, but not west coast cool, it's New York cool which, despite geographical contradictions, is a whole lot warmer.
Another Whirlwind winner released on Sept. 21.
Lance 
Tonight; Cheryl; Peace; If I Should Lose You; Every Time We Say Goodbye; I Love You; I'll Keep Loving You; Eye of the Hurricane

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