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Bebop Spoken There

Giovanni Guidi: "So many jazz albums today are all original compositions, and five minutes after the record is finished, you can't remember a single song. I think it's a problem." - (JazzTimes Oct. 2019).

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 Thursday October 17

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Aurora - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00. (£4.00. student). Zoë Gilby, Noel Dennis & co play the music of Tom Harrell.

No Fox - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

Darlington Big Band - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Gerry Richardson Jazz Quartet - Hoochie Coochie, 54 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 8:30pm (doors 7:00pm). Free.

Blues/Soul/Funk

Holy Moly & the Crackers - Georgian Theatre, Green Dragon Yard, Stockton TS18 1AE. Tel: 01642 674115. 7:30pm. £12.00.

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

Sunday, October 06, 2019

CD Review: Ray Blue - Work


Ray Blue (tenor sax); Sharp Radway (piano); Jeff Barone (guitar) Essiet Okone Essiet (bass); Steve Johns (drums) + Kirk Lightsey or Benito Gonzalez (piano); Ron Wilkins (trombone); Belden Bullock (bass); Neil Clark (percussion).
(Review by James Henry)

Once in a while, from out of nowhere, comes a CD that is just about perfect and restores one’s faith in jazz, the universe and just about everything else. Ray Blue’s Work is just such a gem. This is a carefully curated mix of the old and the new, played in a swinging old school style, but with enough freshness and surprise to keep us on our toes, and enough depth to reward a careful listening.

Ray Blue is a New York based saxophonist with an impressive CV as a sideman, and a few solo credits. He has worked extensively in the USA, mainland Europe and China, but sadly doesn’t appear to have played in the UK. His tenor playing is sweet and mellow and at its very best in the lower register.


The title piece Work is one of Blue’s own compositions, and is a joyful number - its rhythmic style lies somewhere between calypso and cha-cha, and it is helped along by Neil Clark’s percussion. Lift Every Voice and Sing is given an up beat rendition but retains an appropriate hymn-like, gospel quality. There are ballads too: My Friend and I Took a Walk, another Blue composition, has an ethereal quality, and Benito Gonzalez’ gentle piano playing perfectly matches Blue’s sweet tenor. Gonzalez and Blue continue their ballad partnership in That’s All, with sensitive support from Essiet Okone Essiet on bass and Steve Johns on drums. Nat Adderley’s Sweet Emma is uplifting, with a fine trombone solo from Ron Wilkins, and tight ensemble work.  

There are surprises too: Everything Happens to Me escapes from life as a ballad and enjoys a mid-tempo quartet outing. Don’t Know Why will tease you until you remember hearing Norah Jones singing it everywhere a few years back. Our Day Will Come is stated confidently and benefits from a driving up-tempo treatment.

Work is like one’s work should be- varied and fulfilling, purposeful and enjoyable, and more than just a job. Nice work.
James H

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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