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Bebop Spoken There

Bill Reglein (JJ Babbitt m/pieces): "We made this mouthpiece for Eddie Harris. He played tenor sax and trumpet. He played in some pretty rough bars. The story goes that he was afraid he'd get in a fight and get his teeth knocked out. He figured that if even that happened he could still play tenor. So, the request came in, 'Can I get a reed mouthpiece for my trumpet?' the company made exactly one." - (DownBeat October 2019).

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Sunday September 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (see above).

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon.

Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 1:00pm. Free.

Sunday Jazz in the Crypt - Middlesbrough Town Hall, Albert Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2QJ. Tel: 01642 729729. 2:00-6:00pm. £12.00. + bf. Line-up: Noel Dennis Trio + Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat + Anthony Strong.

More Jam - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3:00pm. Free.

Jazz Social - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 4:00pm. Free.

Somethin' Blue Trio - The Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. Tel: 01325 468411. 5:00-7:00pm. Free.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Memphis Cruisers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Alexys de Alfaro - Revoluçion de Cuba, Cloth Market, Newcastle NE1 1EE. Tel: 0191 917 7076. 6:00pm. Free.

Paper Moon Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. Free.

Fabled - Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. Tel: 0191 232 6400. 8:00pm. £8.00. & £6.00. JNE.

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

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

CD Review: Don Byron & Aruan Ortiz - Random Dances And (A)Tonalities

Don Byron (clarinet & tenor sax); Aruan Ortiz (piano)
(Review by Dave Brownlow)

This is a most intriguing and unusual album – the intellectual meeting of minds of the two ‘protagonists’ who are highly skilled musicians in both jazz and classical genres and whose music ranges from the blues to Ellington to free and J.S Bach to Schoenberg with everything in between. Don Byron has an ice-cold tone on clarinet reminiscent of that of John La Porta, whereas on tenor, his sound is warm and utterly his own. Aruan Ortiz on piano has the technique of a Conservatory-trained musician who has moved seamlessly within the worlds of chamber music, Jewish, soul, rock and jazz and through studies with George Russell and the influence of Tete Montoliu.

Tete’s Blues - honouring the Catalan pianist - is an atonal exploration of the time-honoured format with a completely unconventional but logical, note and chord selection aurally to challenge the listener. The ice-cool clarinet searchings are well supported by Cecil Taylor-like piano promptings.

 Black and Tan Fantasy lopes along with Byron on tenor and both Duke and Monk firmly in the minds of the duo. The two giants would have chuckled at this version and appreciated it!

 Musica Callada: Book 1, V([MM ] crochet=54) introduces us to little-known Spanish composer Federico Mompou. A thoroughly engrossing, limpid, haunting, clarinet/piano performance incorporates a beautiful melody and compelling improvisations. Is it jazz? Who knows…?

Byron’s composition Joe Btfsplk has a passing trace of Parker’s Donna Lee here and there. It’s an avant-garde musical conversation between tenor and piano throughout, swinging along in its own inimitable way. (Bird would have listened to this with interest because he loved ‘modern music’ i.e. Bartok, Hindemith etc)

Ortiz’s Numbers is more ‘Impressionist’ in conception flowing along with many ‘Debussian’ flourishes in a graceful style especially within the pianist’s playing

A piece from the late Geri Allen Dolphy’s Dance has no boundaries but bounces along challenging the players and listeners in every way.

Byron plays J.S.Bach’s Violin Partita No 1 in B minor as a captivating unaccompanied clarinet solo in a liquid manner showing he’s equally at home in this genre. No jazz here of course even though Johann Sebastian himself was a great improviser…..!

Byron’s Delphian Nuptials moves as gracefully as a stately dance with a lovely five-note figure played throughout on the clarinet as the basic structure. Tender variations and commentary figures from the piano makes this a duo delight.

Ortiz’s next original piece Arabesques of a Geometrical Rose (Spring) begins with doomy ‘Oliver Messiaen-like’ piano chords. Another atonal outing full of unusual voicings and melodic intervals where constant counter-melodies overlap and interweave makes for a thought-provoking listen.

The final track Impressions on a Golden Theme is loosely based on Benny Golson’s Along Came Betty. Discordant from the start, the duo continues its unconventional rapport together and apart, soloing and accompanying themselves sometimes simultaneously where stark musical figures and ideas emerge and subside with first Ortiz then Byron taking the lead.

This music is as far from ‘Smooth Jazz’ or ‘Easy Listening’ as you can get, not for the faint-hearted, but well worth the time, effort and patience required over many listenings to begin to get into the musical world of this extraordinary duo.
Dave B. 
Available now on Intakt CD 309/2018 from Aruan-ortiz.com



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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance