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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

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

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

CD Review:O'Higgins & Luft Play Monk & Trane

Dave O'Higgins (tenor sax); Rob Luft (guitar); Scott Flanigan (organ); Rod Youngs (drums).
(Review by Lance).

If you're going to make a tribute album then Monk and Trane are as good a choice as any - providing you've got the chops to see it through. These guys have got the chops!

Despite the tenor, guitar, organ, drums set-up this isn't a walkin' the bar juke jam. The material, like the musicians, is on a much more cerebral level although this doesn't mean it's too hi-falutin'! Far from it, it swings like crazy - if that expression isn't passé and, even if it is you know what I mean.

A mix of tunes either composed by or associated with the two giants and given respect without loss of individuality. O'Higgins comes in the middle of an avalanche of CDs by top tenor players and loses nothing by comparison with what's gone and what's to follow. Luft is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding guitarists to have emerged in recent years. 'Round Midnight is pure magic, with Luft getting into Monk's signature dish and making it his own.   

Rodgers and Hart's Spring is Here began life in somewhat dirgelike fashion in a Broadway Show. Trane resuscitated it on Prestige's Standard Coltrane album whilst O'Higgins opted for guitar and tenor to give a lighter sound than the trumpet and tenor frontline on Trane's recording and, at the same time, visualising how the great man may have played it later in his career. All four solo and, contrary to Hart's lyric, their hearts do go dancing - at least mine did!

Monk's Dreamland simply oozes lyricism - delicate chording, no sheets of sound, laid back organ, drums subdued, in other words, as relaxed as the title suggests

Tommy Flanagan's Minor Mishap is another gem with Luft setting the mood with the opening solo  - he really is something and fully deserving of the awards that have already come his way. O'Higgins takes over with another knockout solo. Flanigan handles Flanagan's opus expertly and Youngs puts the boot in.

The album is released on October 4, Launched at Pizza on October 7 and, this past weekend, the quartet embarked on a 35-day tour of England and Wales with a gig in Hamburg thrown in for good measure. Now that's what I call a tour particularly as it includes a northeast gig in Great Broughton Village Hall which is down Teesside way  - see poster in right hand column (October 18).         

Recommended (highly).
Lance.

Naima; Little Melonae; Locomotive; Minor Mishap; I'll Wait and Pray; Trinkle Tinkle; Like Sonny; 'Round Midnight; Spring is Here; Dreamland; Locomotive (duo).

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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