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Bebop Spoken There

Charlie Musselwhite: "I used to see these posters in the windows of the [Chicago] blues clubs advertising Elmore James and Muddy Waters which knocked me out. I was making a note of the addresses and at night I'd go back and listen to the blues until 4-5 in the morning." - (Blues Matters! Aug/Sep 2021)

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The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

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13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Jazz Co-op Live Stream: Fergus McCreadie - May 31

Fergus McCreadie (keyboard)

Fergus McCreadie makes interesting viewing, very dramatic and enthusiastic, head bobbing, body bending towards the keyboard, unruly hair. I'm not surprised that he is a prize-winning performer as he played mostly original compositions with great aplomb.

Unfortunately the first 20 minutes or so of tonight's gig was marred by cutouts after every few notes. After Fergus made some technical adjustments this was sorted but it was rather frustrating and people may wish to catch up on the YouTube recording.

I missed the title of the first tune and Fergus is softly-spoken so I may have missed other titles. The piece began with very low left hand notes, fragmented, until the tune emerged, but stayed mostly in a powerful left hand. A tune played by Bill Evans, possibly composed by Harold Arlen, we were told. Next came Young and Foolish, sweet and flowing, but foreshortened by a 2 minute break to sort out the sound. No problems from then on.

This was followed by an original from his second CD, a tune called Across The Flatlands (I think) my favourite of the night, very Scottish and atmospheric, a 3-note repeated riff with a highland dance tune above it and short bagpipe-like swirls of sound, becoming more jazz-like, before the tune ends, seemingly in the middle. Then a tune composed during lockdown, as yet untitled, a slower meditative folky love song type of tune.

Fergus said that only 30 per cent of his listening is jazz, (good to get other influences) and he enjoys singer-songwriters, so he did a cover of the song Forgotten Eyes, a very singable melody, with improvisation and full use of the keyboard.  A request from the chat list next, Ardbeg  from the album Turas, another Highland influenced tune. The final offering was a tune with the working title Glasgow, a slow melody which could be a love song, very enjoyable but nothing at all like the Glasgow I remember from my last visit there, many years ago. You'd expect a tune from that city to have more punch!

A very enjoyable music session, despite the sound problems at the beginning.
Ann Alex

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