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Bebop Spoken There

Davina Lozier: "So many people never settle into who they really are. They just do what they want to do because they want to be Oscar Peterson or Muddy Waters or Britney Spears. But I am what I am: a chubby, 40-year-old woman who's still doing it." - (DownBeat, December 2019).

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Today Monday November 11

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. 3:40pm. Stanley Nelson's 2019 documentary film.

Evening

Soft Machine - Cluny, Lime St., Newcastle NE1 2PQ. Tel 0191 230 4474. 7:30pm. £17.50.

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

Thursday, April 04, 2019

CD Review: The David Berkman Sextet (plus guests) - Six of One

Dayna Stephens (tenor sax/EWI); Adam Kolker (soprano sax/bass clarinet); Billy Drewes (alto sax/ clarinet); David Berkman (piano); Chris Lightcap (bass); Kenneth Salters (drums) + Rogerio Boccato (perc #2) Tim Armacost (tenor sax on #1 #5 #7),
(Review by Dave Brownlow).

Pianist/composer/arranger/bandleader David Berkman is a well-known recording artist on the New York scene as a leader, a sideman for many big names (Sonny Stitt, Tom Farrell, Cecil McBee) and as a teacher at Universities and Jazz Camps in the U.S, South America, Asia and Europe. Here, he performs 10 tracks with his regular sextet (plus guests) in a programme of original music having a wide spectrum of influences. The band has worked together for many years and Berkman, like Duke Ellington before, likes to write for his ensemble with individual players in mind.


Blowing Smoke (dedicated to Manhattan’s Smoke Jazz Club) is a relaxed swinger in the ‘contemporary’ style with lively solos from the leader, and Armacost and Stephens on tenors. Cynical Episode has tonal variety provided by Stephens on EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument), Kolker on bass clarinet and Drewes on alto. An urgent, minor theme leads to dramatic, tense solos all round, with background figures and percussion adding to the atmosphere. Blue Poles uses soprano, alto & tenor saxes in a medium-tempo opening leading to solos in double-tempo from five of the sextet in an intense workout. Billy is a jolly tune named after easy-going Dewes. The band easily copes with a complex, chordal, rhythmic structure in a mercurial fashion. Sincerely – a ballad featuring Armacost and Dewes is played in a fluent, mobile manner. Three And A Half Minutes is an attractive, flowing theme where Stephens and Kolker improvise together following the leader’s jagged piano solo.

Kickstopper, a straight-ahead ‘burner’ again in contemporary style, features soprano, alto and tenor saxes over ambiguous ‘Tyner-esque’ chords. Shitamachi  (Downtown in Japanese) is for the old section of Tokyo, has some elegant, interweaving lines from tenor, clarinet, and bass clarinet, providing variety before a drum ‘thrash’ from Salters. Restoration is a cleverly arranged song which is slightly ‘gospel-tinged’ with frequent key changes – the leader’s piano shines here… Rain, rain has the clarinets to the fore in a wistful, slightly melancholic framework. Bassist Lightcap has his moments before Berkman brings the CD to its conclusion in a flowing statement.
Dave B

The David Berkman Sextet (Plus Guests) “Six Of One” is available from April 5 on Palmetto Records from: davidberkman.com.

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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