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Bebop Spoken There

Cécile McLorin Salvant: "She [Melissa Aldana] makes us realise how terrible it is to be complacent." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Thursday June 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Arc, Dovecot St., Stockton on Tees TS18 1LL. Tel: 01642 525199. 7:00pm. £12.00. + £0.10. bf. ‘Jazz & Tapas’ - booking essential.

Ruth Lambert Quartet - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00.

Heller-Glendinning: Billie Meets Kurt - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm (doors). £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Acoustic Infusion - The Forum, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £5.00. Line-up: Alan Thompson (tenor sax); Rick Laughlin (piano); Bruce Rollo (double bass); Ian Halford (drums). Now Abbie Finn on drums.

Durham University Concert Band + Grollingwood Big Band - Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ. 7:30pm. £10.00., £9.00., £8.00.

Durham University Big Band - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00 concs.). JNE.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax), Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

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

Friday, March 08, 2019

CD Review: Nick Sanders Trio - Playtime 2050

Nick Sanders (piano); Henry Fraser (double bass); Connor Baker (drums).
(Review by Dave Brownlow)

The Nick Sanders Trio present a 12 track album of creative material combining classical music and jazz in an innovative style. Looking to the future is how Sanders sees jazz developing via a repertoire of through-composed songs, swing tunes, free improvisations, ‘prepared piano’ interjections and solo piano items.

The album’s cover features rather disturbing art-work showing a young girl clutching a soft toy and both wearing gas masks. This painting appealed to Nick Sanders – its dark humour weirdly attracting his interest.

Live Normal has an appealing, jaunty melodic theme with various changes of tempo where bass and drums contribute strongly and attentively in middle segments. Manic Maniac has many shifts in time ranging from frantic to calm. Blisteringly avante-garde, some Cecil Taylor-like moments add to the chaos. The title tune, Playtime 2050 is a short swinger with a different tempo middle section. The charming melody leads to some clever improvisations before a reprise of the theme.

Prepared for the Blues provides the added interest of a ‘prepared piano’ where metal nails are placed between the piano strings to create a special ‘jangly’ effect. Sanders also quotes from Thelonious’ Blue Monk as the piece follows the conventional 12 bar structure. The meditative Still Considering conjures up a classical feel and indeed incorporates various fragments of melody from well-known masterpieces cleverly woven into the piece. This is a through-composed ballad which is well-thought-out at a gentle tempo.

The Number 3 has a frantic Bud Powell-type intro which then morphs into wild avante-garde passages where piano and drums challenge each other. Again, the ‘manic’ sections are interspersed with slower parts. Interlude For S.L.B. is a brief solo piano tribute respectful to Nick’s late mother. This charming piece has a strong classical form with hints of other diverse influences which intrigue…Endless has an A-B-A form where the fierce piano/drum ‘A’ sections are sharply contrasted with a calm, pastoral ‘B’ interlude. Drummer Baker is in the front line here as an equal soloist.

It’s Like This - a trio-led exploration of a gentle peaceful melody in a time signature that is difficult to pin down. Hungry Ghost has a tense, eerie, dark theme where bowed bass and muttering drums add to the feeling of unease…RPD is a slow, stately ruminative piece – its source being a zombie apocalypse video game “Resident Evil”. Prepared for the Accident is freely improvised, a percussive piece also using the prepared piano. The inspiration for this comes from avant-garde composer John Cage. #2 Longfellow Park concludes the program – its gorgeous hymn-like style reverently apt for the address of an old church in Boston.

Nick Sanders is a player committed to his ideas of moving jazz music forward and I applaud him for it.
The CD is worth repeated hearings to familiarise the listener to his wry style and humour as he looks to the future.
Available from March 15 on Sunnyside SSC 1537 from nicksandersmusic.com
Dave B

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