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Bebop Spoken There

Dick Katz: "Carmen [McRae] would say some pretty caustic things but, so what? There aren't any people who don't talk caustically to each other at some time unless they're Mother Teresa." - (Lesley Gourse: Carmen McRae Miss Jazz - Billboard Books 2001, 2020)

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Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

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11,772 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 912 of them this year alone and, so far, 49 this month (August 13).

Coming soon ...

August

Saturday 15: Anth Purdy - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Purdy’s solo ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’ show. Limited capacity.

Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, 27 Sunniside Rd., Gateshead NE16 5NA. 8:30pm. Free.

Friday 21: Lindsay Hannon - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Zoe Rahman & Laura MacDonald @ The Lit and Phil - July 16

Zoe Rahman (piano);  Laura MacDonald (alto sax)
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

I have seen Zoe Rahman on several occasions and always enjoyed her performances immensely. I had not previously seen Laura MacDonald  but her CV was very impressive. So I was really looking forward to this sell out joint promotion by JNE & GemArts Masala Festival  at the Lit and Phil. 

Although the evening was pleasant enough I felt that the sum of the parts seemed greater than that of the whole. Apart from one occasion where Rahman played second fiddle to Courtney Pine’s ego at Sage Gateshead a couple of years ago I  had not previously seen her in duo format.

Rahman's solo gigs are always amazing affairs as she constantly improvises and moves seamlessly between genres (classical, Bengali, free, swing etc. etc.) On these occasions you can’t help but get swept along with the ebb and flow of the music. MacDonald on alto sax has a lovely swinging crisp sound. It was probably no surprise then that the songs I enjoyed the most were both solo pieces - one from each artist.  

The pair played mainly their own compositions apart from an Abdullah Ibrahim tune, a Thelonious Monk tune and two pieces from the late Indian polymath Rabindranath Tagore the last of which was the encore which had such a Scottish feel to it that it reminded me of Auld Lang Syne!
Steve H

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