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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Monday May 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

?????

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

Thursday, January 24, 2019

CD Review: Yonathan Avishai Trio – Joys and Solitudes

Yonathan Avishai (piano); Yoni Zelnik (double bass); Donald Kontomanou (drums).
(Review by Hugh C)

Of Israeli origin, Yonathan Avishai has been resident in France since 2000.  Initially in the Dordogne, he moved nearer to Paris, where he met Yoni Zelnik and Donald Kontomanou, with whom he has been working for the last five years.  The trio (sometimes known as the Modern Times Trio) “re-examines shifting meanings of modernity in the course of its work”.

Joys and Solitudes opens with the trio’s rendition of the thoroughly modern model of a modern composition, Mood Indigo. The track commences with a metronomic beat from Kontomanou, from which the melody is gradually built by piano and bass.  Avishai states that he “saw at some point that he became more expressive with less notes” - this certainly comes through in his expansive interpretation of this well-known Ellington/Bigard composition.  

The remaining tracks on the CD are Avishai’s own compositions.  Solo piano introduces Song for Anny before moving into three/four waltz time with the other members of the band.

Dance also features in a number of the other tracks on the CD.  Avishai was inspired to compose the third track after listening to Dino Saluzzi and Anja Lechner’s ECM collaboration, Ojos Negros.  

Tango does what it says on the tin, but with an Avishai twist – all on solo piano.  Joy sees the trio back together from the start, an upbeat number, as one would expect, with a drum solo from Kontomanou sandwiched in the middle.  Shir Boker, which (as far as I can ascertain) translates as “Morning Song” is a balladic interpretation of the content of the title – in dance terms, it is what the French would call “un slow”.  

The terpsichorean theme continues in Lya, which has a definite Township jive and will have even the most curmudgeonly listener at least tapping their toes, if not dancing round the room!  When Things Fall Apart is inspired by Avishai’s long collaboration with a fellow Israeli musician, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, and is a response to Cohen’s Into the Silence.  The title derives from a book by the American Buddhist writer, Pema Chödrön and the piece is a sequence of musical disassembly and reincarnation. 

Les Pianos de Brazzaville recalls two journeys made by Yonathan Avishai to the Republic of the Congo in Central Africa and is another jaunty, rhythmic tune with a significant hint of the Afro-Cuban rumba.  We finish on a definite high!

Joys and Solitudes is a must for pianophiles.  The trio is tight and their musicianship shines through on this excellent CD.  The CD is released on 25th January 2019 (tomorrow) on ECM 2611.

Hugh C.

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