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Bebop Spoken There

Barry Harris (in 1981): "There is not one place in the world that you can find more jazz musicians from than Detroit." - (DownBeat, September 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 Saturday August 17

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Newcastle Jazz Festival - Tyne Bank Brewery, Walker Road, Newcastle NE6 2AB. Tel: 0191 265 2828. £15.00. All day event, line-up:

Zoë Gilby & Andy Champion (1:30pm)

Alan Law Trio (2:40pm)

Mark Williams Trio (3:50pm)

Emma Fisk & James Birkett (5:00pm)

(Evening)

Alexander Bone (6:15pm)

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band (7:45pm).

Blues/Funk/Soul

King Snake - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Saturday, January 26, 2019

CD Review: The Ebony Hillbillies - 5 Miles From Town

(Review by Ann Alex).

A different sort of CD to review. This one is noted as ‘Roots Music/Americana but there are jazz elements as well. Think of Sage Gateshead’s Americana Festival in July and you have the atmosphere. The band is seven black musicians, as in ‘ebony’, who started out on the streets of Manhattan, advanced to performing in Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center, appeared on the BBC and NBC, and do international festivals and workshops. This is their fifth CD.

An interesting mixture of country, pop, bluegrass, folk and jazz, mostly acoustic. 11 tracks, a mixture of songs and instrumentals, all traditional material except 4 tracks which include Smokey Robinson’s Fork In The Road and the Prince song Cream. The general feel is gritty, funky, sometimes romantic, and with a social conscience, as shown by an updated version of the blues, Another Man Done Gone. I sing this song in folk clubs, about a man in a chain gang being unlawfully killed e.g. ‘He had a long chain on’ but this version is cleverly updated to ‘He had a hoodie on’. An interesting aspect of the music is the use of ‘folky’ percussion, such as bones and spoons, which gives an unusual light bouncy effect. Mind, I have no idea what ‘cowboy percussion’, listed below,  is unless it’s juggling 10-gallon hats!

Most of the tunes are led by violin, which does a fair bit of improvisation, and I get the feeling that the band probably deviates from the written music if indeed they work much from written music at all. For instance, the opening track, Hog-Eyed Man, is an instrumental with a strong fast rhythm, the bass keeping a repetitive groove, and percussion at the turnaround of each section of the tune. I’ve been told that during bluegrass music festivals, the pace is fast and furious and no prisoners are taken, and this is indicated on this track.

Wang, Dang, Doodle (Willie Dixon) is about a party, a song to banjo backing, which really swings. I don’t know why banjos are despised by so many musicians, as it is really effective here. Spoons and percussion appear on Darling Corey. I Can’t Make You Love Me (Reid/Shamblin) sings the woman resignedly, a similar theme to the jazz song Black Coffee; then a change of mood to a spiritual Where He Leads Me, sung by a male voice with a gentle female voice blending quietly in the background. Other tracks not mentioned are Carroll County Blues; I’m On My Way To Brooklyn; I’d Rather Be A Nigga Than A Po’ White Man; Oh What A Time; Five Miles From Town.

Jazz lovers with wide tastes and Americana fans would especially love this CD. It’s currently available from Amazon, CDBaby and iTunes. 
See www.theebonyhillbillies.com/home
Ann Alex  
Henrique Prince (violin, vocals); Norris Washington Bennett (banjo, mountain dulcimer, guitar, vocals); Gloria Thomas Glassaway (bones, vocals); William Salty Bill Salter (acoustic bass); Allanah Salter (shaker, vocals); Newman Taylor Baker (washboard, perc); A.R. Ali Rahman (cowboy perc)

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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