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Bebop Spoken There

David Binney: "In this age, we musicians need to do anything we can to make a living, and ninety-nine percent of us will have to do a wide variety of things." - (Jazz Times May 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.

Until July 21

Today Tuesday July 16

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Gala Big Band w. ALAN BARNES: Strictly Come BRASSing - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £15.00. (£12.00. concs.). A Durham Brass Festival event.

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 813983 (info). 8:00pm. £5.00. (inc. raffle). RCJ with Don Armstrong (clarinet, saxophone, penny whistle, vocals).

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SOLD OUT!

Zoe Rahman & Laura MacDonald - Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192.. 8:00pm. £12.00. (£10.00. concs.). JNE.

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Northern Monkey Brass Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

CD Review: Keith Jarrett – La Fenice

Keith Jarrett – piano.
(Review by Hugh C)
La Fenice continues what now appears to be a series of releases of past concert performances by Keith Jarrett, following the release of A Multitude of Angels in 2016 (also reviewed on BSH).  This is a recording of a solo performance by Jarrett in Gran Teatro La Fenice in Venice in 2006. Release of ‘La Fenice’ is timely: The 62nd International Festival of Contemporary Music of the ‘Biennale di Venezia’ has honoured Keith Jarrett with its Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement - the first time that a jazz musician has received this award.


The album consists of two CDs.  The first disc has five tracks, each consecutively numbered from a spontaneously created eight-part suite.  Part I opens proceedings with an exploration of atonality, sounding in places like two kids bashing around on gran’s parlour piano – except that in this case, the piano is a Steinway concert grand.  I admit this says more about my prejudices than Jarrett’s pianism!  The characteristic Jarrett vocalisation is there from the start, some of the exclamations matching the pained facial expression in the black and white photography in the CD insert. 

Part II continues directly, in a similar same vein, audience applause for Part I either excluded from this recording or perhaps there was none. Following Part II, after some hesitancy, full audience applause ensues.  Part III is more melodic with a rhythmic, slightly bluesy feel.  Part IV is a beautiful ballad with a hint of traditional folk melody, or perhaps a soundtrack to a British romantic comedy (judging from the applause the audience really liked this too).  Part V is somewhat disjointed, in an almost boogie-woogie style, but definitely tonal.

The second disc commences with Part VI, a reflective piece with a dreamlike quality, evocative of the French impressionist school at the end of the Romantic period. The sequential progression through Jarrett’s spontaneously composed suite is now interrupted.  Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Sun Whose Rays follows, an instantly recognisable tune, but – as is often the case – unplaceable without the sleeve notes.  Part VII, a series of melodic chord progressions, ultimately leads to the conclusion of the suite in Part VIII, a full-on blues which features KJ’s foot tapping out a regular percussive beat.  The traditional My Wild Irish Rose appears to conclude the second set, judging from the calls for MORE! from the audience.  Jarrett’s performance certainly set the audience alight, thankfully, on this occasion, not the theatre itself!  Two encores follow:  Stella by Starlight (Victor Young and Ned Washington) at breakneck speed, then Blossom, a Jarrett composition.

Whether the market needs another Jarrett concert release is a moot point.  This issue certainly has moments of extreme beauty and will appeal to the Jarrett connoisseur.  From the evidence of this recording, it would certainly have been good to be at the live event.  La Fenice has been released on ECM 2601.

Hugh C

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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