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Bebop Spoken There

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11,618 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 753 of them this year alone and, so far, 17 this month (July 5).

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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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

CD/ DVD Review - Jazz Sabbath.

According to the legend, heavy metal behemoths Black Sabbath stole some of their earliest songs from a mythical jazz group called Jazz Sabbath, whose album was pulled when the bandleader was hospitalised on the eve of its release.    
 
Black Sabbath were the first band I saw live, aged - using the vernacular of the time - nearly ten and a half. At the time they were one of the big rock bands alongside Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple only - to continue with the vernacular - heavier.

Since all of those bands emerged in the wake of Cream and Hendrix, I've never doubted rock music came from jazz, in coalition with the blues; an argument promulgated further when you consider early American rockers with strong jazz credentials: Zappa, Beefheart and Santana.

This album presents seven covers of tracks from the first four Black Sabbath albums: four from the second set Paranoid and one each from the debut, Master of Reality and Vol 4. 

Much of it is fairly straightforward piano trio stuff but is significantly embellished by guitar on three cuts (Fairies Wear Boots, Hand of Doom), alongside Hammond and sax on one of them (Children of the Grave). 

Given the subject matter, it's fairly lightweight stuff, though the musicianship is fine, especially piano and some propulsive drumming.  

That they are all Sabbath songs is largely irrelevant and no doubt designed to attract Sabbath fans, of which there are hordes, but if it attracts more music lovers to jazz, that can only be a good thing, and despite much of the nonsense, I believe metal fans are essentially music lovers.

While I'm familiar with all of the originals, even Evil Woman - which more or less shares the same riff as the more famous Black Night by Deep Purple - didn't  particularly jump out at me. As a rare ballad, Changes is easy to spot but, other than that, it's really left to fan favourite Iron Man, though the Bad Plus version is far more demented, even than the original. 

Incidentally, I've found another band called Casualties of Jazz who made an album of Sabbath covers which I must investigate.
  
Accompanying the album is a fifteen minute rockumentary/ mockumentary/jazzumentary which features a few rock luminaries and - while no Spinal Tap - has a few funny moments, not least a musician associated with Take That, ELO, Annie Lennox and 10cc (also Bill Withers) saying he was drawn to jazz because he can do better than that shit.

The album's available now on CD, digital, vinyls and cassette.    

Unremarkable.
Steve t. 

Milton Keanes (piano); Jacque T'fono (upright bass); Juan Take (drums) +  Fenton Breezby (sax); Wes Tostrayer, Steven Stringer, Chester Draws (guitar); Leighton B'zard (Hammond).

Alternatively: Adam Wakeman (piano), Jerry Meehan (bass), Ash Soan (drums), guests uncredited.

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