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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.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

CD Review: Kevin MacKenzie - ‘The Ballad of Future Joe’


  Kevin MacKenzie (guitar); Mario Caribe (bass); Alyn Cosker (drums).
(Review by Roly Veitch)

Scotland’s Kevin McKenzie, a contemporary styled jazz guitarist of international class, is one of a select group of guitarists who, with authority and lyricism, have absorbed the legacy of players such as Abercrombie, Metheny and Scofield to develop an attractive, warm and very fluent personal style. It’s a style based on a mix of interesting melodic lines, subtle contemporary chord voicings and all executed with a fine sense of form, rhythm and dynamics.

In this trio recording he joins with two more of Scotland’s finest – drummer Alyn Cosker and bassist Mario Caribe, a Brazilian who came to study music in Scotland and stayed. The result is a powerful unit capable of gentle lyricism through to high energy group interaction but always with an overriding discretion brought about by impeccable musicianship and good taste.

In this newly released CD all of this is there to listen to in abundance.


McKenzie’s guitar tone is lovely - full bodied, warm, with definition and clarity.  It’s his signature sound and he sticks with it. Caribe’s acoustic bass sound is gorgeous. Cosker does all you would ask of a top class modern drummer. To top it off the album is beautifully recorded and runs for just over one hour.

Of the ten tracks, nine are MacKenzie’s own compositions, the exception being a contemporary version of Reinhardt’s Nuages played in 3/4 time and whilst very different to the much copied Django version, it is totally respectful and a delight.

Of his own compositions, I would mention the title track, The Ballad of Future Joe, a 3/4 time gentle ballad with an airy, floating quality which gently explores the shifting harmonies and is reminiscent of Metheny. The opener The Mouse Commute is a mid-tempo minor key excursion in 5/4 time which builds to an exciting climax propelled by great drumming from Cosker.
Absorbing stuff! 

Track 3, Snood Dude, a bright 4/4 swinger allows Caribe to stretch out with a great solo. I mention these tracks purely at random as all of the compositions are interesting, strong and varied with sympathetic and, at times, exhilarating support from Cosker and Caribe as things build.  Absolutely top drawer playing by the three musicians throughout.
This is a most enjoyable recording and I would unreservedly recommend it not just to lovers of contemporary jazz guitar but also to the wider jazz audience.  I love it.

Roly Veitch

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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