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Bebop Spoken There

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13,073 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 492 of them this year alone and, so far, 47 this month (April 9).

Bar Manager Required

The Jazz Co-op are looking for an experienced bar manager who can be available to start when The Globe reopens in May.

Preference will be given to a suitably qualified person who lives relatively near to The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD.

Interested parties please follow this link.

Coming soon ...

April 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at The Holystone.

May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 2: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.
June 7: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.

Friday, March 05, 2021

Album review: Matt Carmichael - Where Will the River Flow

Matt Carmichael (tenor sax); Fergus McCreadie (piano); Ali Watson (double bass); Tom Potter (drums)

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, tutored by Tommy Smith, the Scottish folk tradition, an Erasmus exchange nurturing Scandinavian influences, all this and more, yet Matt Carmichael is only just in his early twenties. Now, a debut album, Where Will the River Flow (without a question mark!). 

A finalist in the 2020 edition of the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year competition, tenor saxophonist Matt Carmichael has led the quartet heard on this album since 2016. The collective pedigree of the four musicians gives an indication of the astonishing level of musicianship: pianist Fergus McCreadie has bagged numerous awards, not least picking up the 2019 APPJAG award for album of the year; in his mid teens bassist Ali Watson was a recipient of a Dewar Arts Award; drummer Tom Potter, from Glasgow, won UK Drummer of the Year at a ridiculously young age having first picked up a pair of sticks at the relatively late age of eleven! 

All nine tracks on Where Will the River Flow are Carmichael's compositions. An inescapable Celtic sound flows through the album's fifty two minutes playing time. Titles such as the opening SognsvannFirthCononbridge and The Spey root the composer's melodies in a Scottish/Scandinavian landscape (Sognsvann is a lake in Oslo). His band mates, all fellow Scots, clearly share his affinity for the folk tradition, their heritage. 

The music heard on this self-released album is to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. Dyed-in-the-wool folkies are sure to love it, jazz heads will, perhaps, hone in on The Spey, with its blistering tempo, similarly the title track featuring some quicksilver piano improvisations from McCreadie. Carmichael has stated that the closing track, Valley, 'was completely improvised in the studio'. The ebb and flow, tension and release of the leader's tenor sax is quite something.       

Where Will the River Flow by Matt Carmichael is available from March 12 as a self-release recording (CD/digital/vinyl) on Porthole Music

1 comment :

Colin Muirhead said...

I've listened to an advance copy of "Where Will the River Flow" and I concur whole-heartedly with this positive review. Ahead at his gig at the Globe on 30th April (mentioned in a separate post by Russell), I was fortunate to chat with Matt Carmichael a few days ago about the album and his music. You can hear this interview by tuning in to Jazz on the Tyne from noon on Saturday 13th March, at, where you can also find all of the previous shows.

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