Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Abdullah Ibrahim: "For me jazz is the highest form of music." - (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 24

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Mellow Baku - St Augustine's Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington DL3 7TG. 12:30pm. £10.00. (under 16s free). Line-up: Mello Baku (vocals), John Hallam (reeds), Andy Dickens (trumpet), Ian Bateman (trombone), Tom Kincaid (piano), Rachel Hayward (guitar, banjo), John Day (double bass), Nick Millward (drums).

Jo Harrop w Paul Edis Trio - Ushaw College, Ushaw DH7 9RH. 1:00pm. £10.00. Ushaw Jazz Festival.

Boys of Brass - Bill Quay Beer & Music Festival, Brack Terrace, Bill Quay, Gateshead NE10 0TT. 3:00-4:30pm. (Festival 1:00-11pm). Tickets: £10.

Xhosa Cole-Francis Tulip Quintet - Ushaw College, Ushaw DH7 9RH. 4:00pm. £8.00. Ushaw Jazz Festival.

Evening

Matt Anderson & Paul Edis - Ushaw College, Ushaw DH7 9RH. 6:00pm. £6.00. Ushaw Jazz Festival.

Tony Kofi & the Organisation - Ushaw College, Ushaw DH7 9RH. 8:00pm. £14.00. & £12.00. Ushaw Jazz Festival.

Picturehouse Deluxe + Kay Greyson - Bobik’s, Punch Bowl Hotel, Jesmond Road, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 3JY. 8:00pm. £5.00. Line-up: Georgia Turnbull (vocals & keys), Thomas Dixon (reeds), Jamie Mackay (guitar), Adam Cornell (bass), Ben Fitzgerald (drums).

Jam session - Ushaw College, Ushaw DH7 9RH. 10:00pm. Free. Ushaw Jazz Festival.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Teresa Watson Band - 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.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

CD Review: Benjamin Croft – Ten Reasons To…

Benjamin Croft (piano, keyboards); Benet McLean ( violin); Andy Davies (trumpet, flugelhorn); Henry Thomas/Mario Castronari (bass); Tristan Mailliot/Saleem Raman (drums); Peter Miles ( voice)
(Review by Hugh C).

At age 7, Benjamin Croft began piano and trumpet lessons, later going on to study at Leeds College of Music.  His career has been eclectic since graduating, first playing on cruise liners and then moving to the US and touring the world as a session musician with several big-name acts.  He relocated to London in 2012, becoming a regular performer at London jazz venues.

10 Reasons To… is his first solo album of 12 original compositions and is a melange of styles and influences from his childhood onwards.  The CD artwork, by Andrew Skilleter, has a very ‘70s prog rock album feel, reproduced in the sonic landscape on the CD, which features a mixture of keyboard instruments including Steinway, Mini-Moog, Prophet 5 and Mellotron. 

100 Years at Sea Introduction opens the performance with an Edgar Allan Poe verse, The City in the Sea, voiced by the late Peter Miles (of classic Dr Who fame).  100 Years at Sea follows rapidly on, an upbeat slightly funky number with McLean’s violin to the fore.  One Million Years At Sea will take those of a certain age (and younger prog rock cognoscenti) straight back to the seventies with its synth sound. 

Bad Reputations continues the general feel, but with violin overlay – giving a distinct fusion, jazz-rock groove.  T.T.E (Time, Talent and Electricity) is the first of four tracks specifically dedicated to Croft’s keyboard heroes, in this case, Keith Emmerson, and with more of a jazz feel on Steinway piano, floating flugelhorn from Davies and prominent acoustic bass input from Castronari.  The Sycophant reintroduces the jazz-rock feel with a strong bass groove from Thomas on a Westone Thunder III over Mailliot’s rock drumming.

The Whispering Knight reintroduces the jazz feel with Davies on trumpet this time and Croft on Rhodes. No Oil For Sale (for Gustav Mahler) continues in the jazz vein, but with quasi-orchestral synth sequences.  The Legend of Bray (for Christopher Lee) features Thomas on acoustic fretless bass, this is probably the closest of all the tracks to a ballad with sweeping overlay by violin. 

Inside Immortality, at 1.29, is (ironically) the shortest track on the album but at least does lead swiftly into See You in Another Lifetime, a bass-heavy track with jazz-rock overtones (stadium jazz, rather than chamber jazz).  For Future Past (for Allan Holdsworth) closes the show with another vocal contribution by Peter Miles.  There is no stadium roar – this is very much a studio album: the band recorded at Livingstone Studios, London; the synths were recorded at Greystoke Studio and mixing was at The Nave Studios, Leeds.

Overall, this is an interesting album with a mixture of styles, including jazz.  Is this a jazz album?  Well – according to the constabulary, probably not, but it certainly features many styles of music that have been played under the jazz umbrella over the years.  Is it worth checking out – with an open mind about what might constitutes jazz? Yes.  The musicianship is superb from all quarters. The overall sound quality and flow are excellent, just don’t let the rozzers catch you listening!
Hugh C.
10 Reasons To… is available now.  Catalogue:  33 JAZZ275. 

PS: Those concerned with saving endangered species will be pleased to know that “No melodicas were used in the recording of this album”!

No comments :

Blog Archive

About this blog - contact details.

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