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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie Paris: "A singer's got to be able to tell a story. Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole are best at that; Mel Tormé too. I like to take a lyric that means something and sing it right to the person it was meant for." - (DownBeat October 11, 1962).

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 Tuesday September 17

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Acoustic Infusion with the Mighty Horns - Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm (doors 7:00pm). £5.00. Rick Laughlin & co.

Strictly Smokin’ Sessions - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £8.00. & £6.00.

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 819845. 8:00pm. £4.00. Guest: Don Armstrong (reeds). Note earlier start.

Blues

?????

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

CD Review: Bonsai – Bonsai Club


Rory Ingham (trombone); Dominic Ingham (violin, vocals); Tony Comeau (piano, Fender Rhodes, synths); John Lee (bass, vocals, piano, synths); Jonny Mansfield (drums, vibraphone, percussion, synths)
(Review by Hugh C)

Bonsai* (formerly Jam Experiment) are a London based band formed in 2014.   Comeau, Lee, Mansfield and the Ingham brothers operate in a collective manner, with no designated leader.  The music on the CD is composed by Dominic Ingham, Joe Lee and Jonny Mansfield.  Bonsai Club offers just over 37 minutes of high octane music – so I’m not sure if it counts as a compact CD or and extended EP.  According to Rory Ingham “Bonsai Club is about the joy of returning to a place where you feel content; no matter how much it transforms, it always feels like home”.

The title track Bonsai Club introduces would-be members to what is to come – hold on tight and enjoy the ride!  Mansfield’s fast, repetitive drumming sets the pace on the majority of tracks and (in the words of the press release) “a plethora of synths” are employed throughout.  Vocals are to the fore, both written lyrics and vocalese.  The Crescent, a jaunty number, features Ingham’s trombone against a driving backbeat rhythm, interspersed slower synth-rich passages before vibraphone takes us out.  Tin mines in a more contemplative vein with lyrics by Mansfield.  Ingham’s violin and Comeau’s piano start BMJC in almost Ceilidh style, before the rhythm section kick in and take over the party, Ingham asserts his presence with fine bowing over the driving pulse towards the finale.

Quay features a melodic violin solo to start, joined by resonant trombone all over a steady beat and background chords, this develops into an almost funk-style with fine bass playing by Lee and an atmospheric contribution by Comeau on Fender Rhodes.  This is probably my favourite track of the album, but is slightly spoiled by a fade at the end – why do they do that (it’s not as if they’ve run out of time!)?  Back to business with Hop – The Hip Replacement, more lyrical bass playing by Lee, with instrumental contributions by both Ingham brothers on trombone and violin respectively (in compensation this has a false ending before the real ending a few bars later).  Itchy Knee brings you back to reality before the final Bonsai Reprise.

Bonsai Club is one of those genre-defying albums that is difficult to categorise – there are any or all of jazz, fusion, prog rock, hot-club style violin (you name it, it’s there, basically).  A very interesting listen, well put together and a fine exposition of musical talent.  The CD is released on the highly respected Ubuntu label (UBU0031) and is available now at only £10.

Bonsai Club are on tour – dates here.  They can also be heard on BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Now (available for the next 21 days).
Hugh C

*From the Japanese bon (tree) and sai (planting)

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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