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Bebop Spoken There

Ethan Iverson: "I asked Bertha [Hope] if she ever used the word "contrafact" to describe the process of writing new tunes over old changes, and she replied, "Of course not. The only people who used that word went to a university to learn about jazz."" - (Jazz Times March 2020).

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COFID- 19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Gigs of the Year - James Metcalf


 1.           Ingrid and Christine Jensen with the Whirlwind Recordings  Orchestra at  the Bonningdon Theatre, Nottingham (14th of November) My favourite living trumpet  player, one of the best alto players and composers working today, a truly all-star big band  of top tier British and American musicians and £5 student tickets. Nice. 

      2.        Tom Harrell Quartet at Ronnie Scotts, London (7th of October) One of the true players' players and another personal idol, fronting what is in my opinion the most slept on band in New York featuring Danny Grissett, Ugonna Okegwo, Johnathan Blake and (unfortunately absent from this gig) Wayne Escoffery. The last ten years may well have been the most fruitful period yet for Harrell's compositions and he shows no sign of slowing as he approaches 74. If Escoffery or regular collaborator Charles Altura had managed to put in an appearance this would have been gig of the year no question.


3.      Jochen Rueckert Quartet at Malta Jazz Festival (18th of July) I went into this gig thinking Mike Moreno was pretty good, I came out utterly in awe of him. There's a reason my pal Francis Tulip won’t shut up about Moreno, he's every bit as good as Frank hypes him up to be and better. The other two members of the band on this occasion were the equally legendary Chris Cheek and Matt Penman. Kiwi-born Penman mentioned he has family ties to the North East, anyone reckon they could get him to bring a band on his next visit?

4.      Kenny Garrett Quintet at Malta Jazz Festival (20th of July) This man needs no introduction. Hearing The Real Kenny G and band play tunes from across his varied career was every bit as phenomenal as you'd expect and was the perfect way to close this year's Malta Jazz Festival, which has hosted plenty of other renowned bands over the years for a surprisingly low price (with cheap flights from Newcastle to boot). Would recommend. I'm to the right of the photo with Francis, centre, and Kenny Garrett , left.

5.      Terrence Blanchard and the E-Collective at CBSO Centre, Birmingham (29th of March) An early hero of mine playing hard grooving music with an incredible band (Featuring the aforementioned Charles Altura) and a light show to match, Blanchard left as deep an impression on me here as he did 3 years ago at Sage Gateshead.

6.      Unity Quartet at Peggy's Skylight, Nottingham (30th of March) Nottingham based Piano/Organ player Matt Radcliffe's quartet paying tribute to Larry Young's 1965 classic Unity, featuring some of the best of the current Birmingham scene, namely: Chris Bowden (Tenor), Tymek Jozwiak (drums) and top UK trumpet player Percy Pursglove. Shoutout to DJ Hemulen for a banger-filled Jazz/Latin/Afrobeat set afterwards as well.

7.      Nadim Teimoori Quintet at Peggy's Skylight, Nottingham (January or February) This was originally intended to be a quartet gig as part of Hugh Pascall's ever popular residency at Peggy's until Nadim Teimoori was invited to join the band, with gig being relisted under his name. The result was two sets of pure gold from Hugh and Nadim, alongside John Turville, James Owston and Euan Palmer. In the end the band clicked so well that Teimoori has made this his working quintet. I may have heard rumours of a possible future recording which if true will be an absolute winner, but either way this band is definitely one to watch.

8.       Hugh Pascall Quartet at Peggy's Skylight, Nottingham (28th of March) If Hugh lived in London or Birmingham, you would likely know his name. Once a month the undeservedly obscure Nottingham legend gathers a quartet from the best of the London and Birmingham scenes to run through selected tunes from a varied repertoire ranging from Cole Porter to Kenny Wheeler and beyond. This particular edition featured Rick Simpson, Dave Whitford and Tim Giles although in the year and a half or so that this residency has been running it has also featured John Turville, Chris Young, Nick Jurd, James Owston, Jim Bashford, Euan Palmer, Will Glaser and many more...

9.      Xhosa Cole Quartet at Cherry Red's Birmingham (23rd of January) My first and possibly my most memorable night in Brum, the then recently crowned BBC Young Jazz Musician Xhosa worked through 2 sets of incredibly sincere hard bop backed by an equally brilliant rhythm section. This was probably the most densely packed venue I have been in and a definite contender for the best gig atmosphere I have ever experienced.

10.  AKU! at Durham Jazz Festival (9th of June) Three of the best twentysomething musicians this country has to offer playing jazz you can mosh to, oioi. #MakeDoomJazzGreatAgain #Wei.
      James


2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Great list! List of the year... Lovely words to go with each gig too. Lez

Lance said...

Agreed
100%!

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