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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Dee: "I feel my generation had one advantage over today's players in that we were not musically educated in colleges, so we all sounded different. I could tell who it was just by the sound." - (Jazz Rag, Summer 2020).

Archive.

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

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SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

SATURDAY

Happy Birthday Katy Trigger & Mia Webb.

SUNDAY 20

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. Tel: 0191 691 7090. 12 noon. Free.

Riviera Quartet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. A limited number of seats are available which MUST be bought in advance online. £7:50 or £5:45 live stream only.

THURSDAY 24

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

Monday, June 17, 2019

CD Review: Areni Agbabian - Bloom


Areni Agbabian (voice, piano); Nicolas Stocker (percussion).
(Review by Ann Alex).

The beautiful music on this CD is definitely not jazz, nor does it claim to be. It's closer to contemporary folk. The album comprises mostly original compositions around the theme of blooming and the natural world, including an Armenian sacred hymn, an Armenian folk legend of metamorphosis, a folk melody transcription, and a song based on a quote from the Biblical Song of Solomon.

 Californian-born Agbabian draws on her Armenian heritage to produce contemplative music which is sparse in the best sense, with many thoughtful walls of silence and beautifully sung fragments, usually wordless, accompanied by wistful piano riffs and skilled subtle percussion. For instance, Rain Drops, which was written by the CD producer Manfred Eicher, is just 33 seconds long and consists of a few illustrative notes on the piano. The folk tale Water Bride is spoken to the accompaniment of low chords from the piano and lightly brushed drums – very effective. The folk melody Garun a,
is sung wordlessly to a deep groove from the drums and a hypnotic bass rhythm. The River has the voice meandering along to tapping drums which sound like water going over pebbles.

 Ms Agababian's voice has a pleasing soprano tone used well to suit the tunes. I could go on, but readers will get the general idea if I list the titles of the other tracks: Patience; Petal One; Yearning; Petal Two; Light Effect; Anganim Arachi Ko; Mother; Sear; Full Bloom; Whiteness; Coloured; Seeing More.

Ms Agbabian came to international attention with the groups of  Tigran Hamasyan. This, her debut CD with ECM, was recorded in Lugano in October 2016 but not released until now. See www.ecmrecords.com
Ann Alex

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