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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).

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Happy Birthday Katy Trigger & Mia Webb.

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

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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.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

CD Review: Moy Eng, Wayne Wallace – The Blue Hour


(Review by Ann Alex)

A collection of originals, with Ms Eng supplying vocals and lyrics and Wallace doing the tunes and the arrangements. Of Chinese-American descent and working in arts administration and grant-making organisations, Eng, who has been recognised in this field with honours from the California Arts Council and the World Affairs Council, currently works for a non-profit body developing affordable workspaces for the arts. This is her debut CD.

Trombonist, composer, producer and educator Wallace, from San Francisco, and a four-time Grammy nominee, has been involved in pop, soul, Latin and Afro-Caribbean music working with the likes of Count Basie, Aretha Franklin, Sonny Rollins and Carlos Santana.


Ms Eng's voice is a pleasing, expressive alto with clear diction and the musicians are well up to the mark. However, I had problems totally enjoying the songs. This was perhaps because songs need to get their point across straightforwardly whereas a poem can be a bit more obscure at first reading forcing the reader to return to the work many times. Ms Eng has previously written some 500 poems, so she is used to that genre. I found some of the songs what I would call 'wandering' rather than direct, and without enough variety. This, of course, is subjective and another listener could easily disagree.

The information supplied tells us that the Blue Hour refers to the times of dawn and twilight and the songs cover themes of love, loss, travel and identity, with autobiographical input. Quite a tall order for a set of songs! The titles give a flavour of the material: Filthy Gorgeous; Sleepless in Paris; You Put a Spell on Him; I Love a Girl Who Parties; Hong Kong; Wild Plum; Magnolia Light; Alpha Girl; A New York Moment; Thursdays In May. The songs I liked more than others were Filthy Gorgeous (a swinger with a big band accompaniment, intimate by turns, ending with a sensuous sax solo); Alpha Girl (an interesting storyline about a woman who is successful in all but love); Thursdays in May (a sad love song with a beautiful string accompaniment, in fact the strings almost 'embrace' the vocals).
Ann Alex
Available on Patois Records. See www.thebluehourproject.com   

Moy Eng (vocals, composition, lyrics, production) Wayne Wallace (composition, arrangements, production). Musicians on various tracks: Deszon Claiborne, Colin Douglas, Akira Tana (drums); David Belove, Marc van Wageningen, John Wiitala (fretless, electric, acoustic basses); Joe Gilman (piano); Murray Low (keyboard); Frank Martin (keyboard, piano, organ); Michael Spiro (congas, percussion); Rick Vandivier (guitars, dobro); Tommy Kesecker (vibes); Erik Jekabson, John Worley (trumpet); Mary Fettig, Melecio Magdaluyo (saxes); Wayne Wallace (trombone); Eugene Chokluv (1st violin); Niki Fukada (2nd violin); Edith Szendrey (viola); Monica Scott (cello); Yuki Nagase (double bass)

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