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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).

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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).

Coming soon ...

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 03, 2019

CD Review: Tori Freestone Trio - El Mar de Nubes


Tori Freestone (tenor sax/violin/vocals)
Dave Manington (double bass); Tim Giles (drums 
(Review by Chris).

The second of my “Three Tenors” recent releases is the third album from this contemporary, UK trio led by one of our most inventive sax players. The playing is a circumspect contrast to the direct blowing of Partisans (and positively relaxing compared to Kamasi) but no less enjoyable for that!   A closer comparison might be with some of Trish Clowes’ recent playing but while there is abundant imagination and innovation here, Freestone’s all-acoustic trio don’t travel as widely in idiom or dynamics. If you’re looking for hard blowing, driving bop, funk, or even swing, this isn't for you, but this chordless trio delivers truckloads of expressive, fresh and intricate music nonetheless.   

The album opens with El Mar de Nubes (Sea of Clouds - the album inspired by a stay in Tenerife) and  introduces a distinctive, recurring style of sax interplaying with subtle drums and bass, exploring and teasing a repeated motif, stretching emphasis and tempo.  The second track, Hiding Jekyll takes this method further, twisting a phrase in all sorts of interesting directions, with bass and drums seamlessly intertwining and reinforcing. At first hearing, I found the approach a little mechanical, but as so often, it took me a couple of plays to appreciate the clever, nuanced lines. 

There is great diversity throughout the album, with Shenandoah first receiving a breathy and sparse treatment, with a contrasting reprise closing the album seeing Freestone switching to violin and singing a more familiar version.    
  
Hasta la Vista is a showcase for bass and drums (much more here than mere “rhythm section!), starting with Tim Giles’ “time games”, all three players trading licks, then alternating with more relaxed passages, with some free blowing between.  El Camino by contrast is slower, ruminating and wistful, played over loose, bubbling and splashing percussion (no time, no changes – at least not obvious to my ears!).  

A very “non-standard” Beatrice starts slowly with lovely meandering sax gliding effortlessly through the changes, gradually gathers pace as Giles swaps brushes for sticks, dabbles with a swing for a while, and reaches a full-tilt climax.

My favourite track, Los Indianos, puts percussion to the fore, with a memorable staccato sax theme giving space to Giles’ agile and lively (calypso?) lines 
Altogether, some very fine, intelligent and musical playing: worth a short trip to see them on tour June 13 @ - Newcastle Arts Centre Details.
Chris Kilsby 

Available on Whirlwind Recordings. Buy/see

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