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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 Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

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

Blues

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.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

CD of the Year - 14 discs forecast to tie for first place! - Part one

The arrival of 14 CDs in one drop would normally have me phoning all and sundry of my reviewers begging them to share the load. However, this Magnificent Seven x 2 aren't new kids on the block who couldn't swing if they were dangling by a rope from a lampost, these are singers and instrumentalists who were the front-runners of their day which, in this case, was pre-1960.

The material isn't new and most seasoned collectors will have some if not all of the tracks in one form or another. I have several on 78, some of them on 45rpm EP, quite a few on LP which was what we called them before they were even referred to as vinyl let alone vinyls and, of course, on CD and tape cassette. Nevertheless, I still welcome their arrival as they've been lovingly restored by the late Francis Dreyfus and the sound is superb.

Approximately 20 tracks per CD (presumably the LPs are double albums) these 14, along with the previous 14 that were released last year, could arguably be said to be all you need to have a comprehensive collection of jazz as it was in the years before Ornette.

Blue Lester (1942-1949) has 'the President' Lester Young at his very best away from the Basie Band. Effortless swing with support from pianists such as Nat Cole, Johnny Guarnieri, Hank Jones, Dodo Marmorosa, Joe Albany, Joe Bushkin and Basie himself. Hearing Lester without the snap, crackle and pop is like hearing him as he must have sounded live. Polka Dots and Moonbeams - did any instrumentalist ever sound this good on this tune? The first couple of bars are just a major scale but Lester makes the moment his and that's just the start. Hank on piano and Buddy on drums...

Imagination (1949-1950) features the heir apparent - Stan Getz. Playing the two albums back to back emphasises both the similarities and the differences between the two tenor masters. Certainly, without Lester Young there wouldn't have been the Stan Getz we have here and yet, whereas the sound is easily traceable to Lester, the phrasing is different, more notes, boppier - I wouldn't want to be without either.

Originally, I acquired them on EPs and the recording has been so well cleaned up that, in this case, it gives credence to Steve T's championing of the CD format. Getting back to comparing Lester and his disciples, on Five Brothers, where Getz is joined by Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Brew Moore and Allen Eager, Moore is the closest in both sound and style, Cohn is slightly heavier-sounding whilst Zoot and Eager are perhaps influenced as much by Bird as they are by Pres.

So that's the first two albums - a kid in a chocolate factory? You betcha!
Lance
Release date is May 10 - on BMG Dreyfus Jazz - watch this space there is much more to come... oh, and by the way, the prices are way under the top!

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