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Bebop Spoken There

Mark Walker: "A drummer in a big band is always happy. It's like driving a big bus." - (Downbeat, August 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 Wednesday July 24

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.00.

Blues/Folk

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Friday, November 02, 2018

CD Review: Brad Whiteley - Presence

Brad Whiteley (Piano); Matt Pavolka (Bass); Kenneth Salters (Drums); Tom Guarna (Guitar); Michael Eaton (Saxophone).
(Review by Max Goodall)
From New Yorker Brad Whiteley comes an album of great contrasts. Whiteley has for a long time enjoyed working within a number of different styles and musical contexts. Always open to getting involved in new interesting projects; the last few years have seen him appear as (amongst other things) keyboardist in the pit band of the Broadway musical Avenue Q, Musical Director and Organist of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in the Bronx, Keyboardist with the Regina Spektor Band and composer for PBS Learning Matter show School Sleuth

In the follow up to his debut album as bandleader (Pathless Land – released in 2014) he draws on many of these contexts in separation.

The album opens with the bold, brash, 7/8 romp of Dusk; with its jagged and repetitive unison lines in guitar and bass. The tune has an excellent sense of light and shade, resolving in a lovely moment of clarity, before running headlong back into the established groove.

However, this rock-influenced tune is far from representative of the album’s whole. I mentioned different musical spheres appearing in isolation. Well, across the rest of the album we get snatches of free (Dawn), GoGo Penguin-esque modern pop-influenced ideas (The Unwinding) and more classic, albeit intelligently constructed, swingers (Sunset Park).

This illustrates Whiteley’s range as a composer. His intelligent use of time and tempo changes in, for example, Sinking Feeling are hugely effective. Moreover, he simultaneously displays a sensitive touch in the album’s title track. Despite this though, on Presence, it is his 11 original compositions which take centre stage.  While his playing is at times very enjoyable and fiercely proficient, he is occasionally out-shone by his band members. For example, Michael Eaton’s equal-parts scintillating, and chaotic playing on Sinking Feeling, evoke a sense of disintegration as alluded to by the track’s title.

My only significant criticism of Whiteley’s writing is that his taste for free breakdowns, in both time and structure, seem to yearn to resolve back into a tune and a re-establishment of order: a yearning which is regularly frustrated. Ultimately, however, this is a greatly enjoyable album. Stand-out tracks include Dusk, Sunset Park and Presence. Its eclecticism in a way allows it to become an album suitable for almost any taste.
Max.
Presence was released on Destiny Records on Oct. 5.

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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