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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.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

CD Review: Andy Scott + Group S - Ruby & All Things Purple

(Review by Frank Griffiths)


Saxophonist and composer Andy Scott, based in the Manchester area formed his first saxophone ensemble, Sax Assault, in 1994. He is also a charter member of The Apollo Saxophone Quartet as well as having received a BASCA award for his tenor saxophone concerto performed by Branford Marsalis with The Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 2012. The name of his current ensemble, Group S came about when performing alongside veteran, iconic saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter. Andy asked Wayne "what do you call a group of saxophonists?" Wayne paused and gazed, looked up, and said, "Group S!" This was in 2016, with Andy, a member of the sax section in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and later that year, Group S recorded this CD.

Andy writes "my musical aim with Group S is to feature the classical contemporary musician as equally as the improvising musician, to write for specific musicians, explore solo and ensemble colours and textures, and to try and develop my writing over time." And what a concoction of saxophones it is. Ranging from the sopranino to bass sax and all the others in between joined by a four piece rhythm section, Group S produces a highly effective sound capable of generating an impressive array of collective textures, colours and timbres. Many outstanding soloists adorn the sections including Andy, Mike Hall, Krzytsztof Urbanski, John Helliwell, and Rob Buckland as well as Gwyilym Simcock's piano, James Pusey on guitar, bassist, Laurence Cottle and drummer, Elliot Henshaw.

As Dave Gelly writes "you haven't heard what the saxophone is capable of until you've heard a mixed bunch of them in the hands of nine virtuosi. Of all wind instruments, the saxophone has the most flexible, almost human tone of voice and it's Scott's mastery of this that makes these 12 pieces so appealing. The variety of sound and mood is astonishing." When each soloist is given the space to play, the result is riveting proving that an orchestra of saxophones can easily be as effective as more conventional groupings.

Mike Hall's frantic and propulsive Sabretooth, combines complex harmonic and rhythmic ideas with a funky blues sensibility. This, along with a healthy dollop of Urbankski's serpentine soprano and Hall's blistering tenor trading solo exchanges lead to a skilful graduation of drama and dynamism. Simcock's, Chapters,  is more reflective and peaceful with a lush orchestration and willowy melodies. Bassist Cottle's solo, with its pattering and longing cries, also stands out, not to mention Simon Willescroft's lyrical alto and soprano sax musings arouund the melody. Scott's Tin Can, (influenced from a line in David Bowie's "Space Oddity") has an angularity over a variety of time signature changes allowing Scott's virtuosic tenor saxophone to navigate through a striking and unpredictable rhythmical canvas. Tin Can also gives the listener a brief respite from the full "S" with just the rhythm section joining the leader's ferocious tenor.

Group S, indeed. While there is a wide variety of styles on Ruby... no idea outstays its welcome with the quality of both the writing and playing ensuring the listeners' attention throughout. One hopes that the group will get "S tablished" sufficiently sooner rather than later to appear live at a venue near you.
Frank Griffiths

Andy Scott (tenor sax); Rob Buckland (sopranino/soprano saxes), Krzysztof Urbanski (soprano sax), Simon Willescroft (alto/soprano saxes), Dave Graham (alto sax), Mike Hall (tenor sax), Rob Cope (tenor/baritone saxes), John Helliwell (tenor sax), Chris Caldwell (baritone sax), Jim Fieldhouse (bass/baritone saxes), Gwilym Simcock (piano), James Pusey (guitar), Laurence Cottle (bass guitar), Elliott Henshaw (drums), special guests Barbara Thompson (tenor sax) & Jon Hiseman (drums).

Recorded 2017, released on 2017 on Available on Basho Records - SRCD 52-2.

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