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Bebop Spoken There

Binker Golding: "The purest jazz was often the most danceable. Somewhere along the way, we exchanged danceability for complexity, and I see a lot of what I do as a way of giving that back to people." - (Jazziz, Winter 2020).
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Archive

The Things They Say!

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".

Today Saturday February 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Electric Guitar Masterclass – The Music of Robben Ford - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 10:00am. £15.00. Jamie Mackay conducts a masterclass looking at the work of former Miles Davis’ sideman Robben Ford.

Evening

Daniel John Martin w Swing Manouche - Core Music, 14a/b Gilesgate, Hexham NE46 3NJ. Tel: 01434 601993. 8:00pm. Donations (suggested donation £10.00.). DJM w Mick Shoulder (guitar); Giles Strong (guitar); Ian Paterson (double bass).

Blues/Funk/Soul

Half Hand Hoodoo Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Boys of Brass - Brandling Villa, Haddricks Mill Road, South Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 1QL. Tel: 0191 284 0490. 9:00pm. Free.

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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