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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Puddy: "Eventually we paid our entrance money [to Eel Pie Island] and fought our way to one of the many bars where we could buy our Newcastle Brown and retire to the back of the heaving dancefloor. There must have been lights somewhere, but my memory remains of being in some dark cavernous wonderland." - (Just Jazz July 2020)

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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.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Album review: Kate Westbrook the Granite Band - Earth Felt the Wound

Kate Westbrook (voice); Roz Harding (alto/soprano saxes); Jesse Molins, Matthew North (guitars); Billie Bottle (bass guitar/voice/B3/piano); Mike Westbrook (piano/keys/B3); Coach York (drums).

I must be honest and admit that, on first hearing, I came to the conclusion that this was totally beyond me. However, having had a lifelong respect and admiration for Mike Westbrook ever since, along with Surman, Osborne and co., he burst out of Devon some 50 years ago, I realised it would be totally unfair to Kate, Mike and their fellow musicians for me to dismiss it on a single hearing. 

I persevered with further playbacks and found I was getting more and more from it with each listening.

The lyrics, mainly by Kate, are quite compulsive and I initially got more satisfaction from reading them in the booklet than hearing them sung. 

However, once I realised I wasn't listening to Ella, Peggy Lee or even Kate Bush I listened to the voice for what it was without wanting it to be something/somebody else. Nobody else could handle the environmental issues on climate change and the destruction of the planet with the same depth of feeling.

But, it's not all doom and gloom. Rooster Rabelais,  the final track, is a fun, 1920 style shuffle. The July issue of Jazzwise asked readers to send them their favourite fun tracks - this could well be one of them!

Husband Mike plays a beautifully sensitive piano accompaniment to Rossini's Once Upon a Time which I'm sure the composer would have loved. I'm less sure about how Irving Berlin would have reacted to Let's Face the Music and Dance. The odds are 5/4 he's still turning in his grave!

Both guitarists have features and saxist Roz Harding shows on a free-ish blast. There are moments when le tout ensemble (some of the lyrics are in French) are in skull-busting mode and others where they are respectfully subdued.

Faced with an album such as this, I can but suggest you judge for yourself.

Lance

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