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Bebop Spoken There

Charlotte Keefe: "I don't know what I'm going to play any more than you [the audience] do." - (Jazz North East/Jazz Co-op gig June 13, 2021)

Archive quotes.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

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

Postage

13,359 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 777 of them this year alone and, so far, 51 this month (June 13).

From This Moment On

JUNE

Wed 16: Washboard Resonators @ Punchbowl Hotel, Jesmond, Newcastle (8:00pm). SOLD OUT!

Thu 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside (1:00pm).

Thu 17: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead (8:30pm).

Fri 18: Jazz Jamaica @ Sage Gateshead (8:00pm).

Sat 19: Jude Murphy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle (8:00pm).

Sun 20 Knats @ The Globe, Newcastle (8:00pm). Advance booking essential: www.jazz.coop.

Mon 21: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm).

Wed 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm).

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Album review: Frank Morelli, Keith Oxman - The Ox-Mo Incident

Keith Oxman (tenor sax); Frank Morelli (bassoon); Jeff Jenkins (piano); Ken Walker (bass); Todd Reid (drums).

When you think of a modern jazz quintet with a two piece front-line you automatically assume that if one of the horns is playing tenor the other will be either blowing, trumpet, trombone, alto or another tenor. It's unlikely that bassoon will spring to mind. I mean to say, bassoons  don't easily lend themselves to jazz, bassoonists don't turn up at jam sessions and, because of the expense, most sax players would go for a flute or a clarinet as a doubler.

However, Morelli isn't a sax doubler but an out and out classical bassoon player who has appeared at Carnegie Hall. Nor is he an improviser but rather more of an extemporiser, i.e. one who embellishes a melody rather than one who reshapes it which, on this album is Oxman's roll. In many ways it resembles the Grappelli/Menuhin duets.

Nevertheless, none of the above  should be taken as a negative. Surprisingly, the combination of the two unlikely bedfellows works amazingly well in the ensemble passages. Happy Talk could, in a blindfold test, be mistaken for a West Coast session - maybe even something from the Eastern seaboard when, in actual fact, it's from neither. Denver, Colorado, to be precise, is where Oxman is based.

As befits both player's contrasting  musical backgrounds, the material does likewise with several of the numbers being songs that were based on popular, out of copyright, classical pieces - a practice that was rife in the 1940s/early '50s (see track listing).

The jazz comes from Oxman's cool sounding tenor, Jenkins' piano, Walker's bass and Reid's sympathetic drumming. As for Morelli, his tone is absolutely beautiful as is his command of the instrument leaving no doubt as to why he is so highly regarded in classical circles. 

The Ox-Mo Incident is scheduled for release on May 21 by Capri Records.

Lance

Happy Talk; Full Moon and Empty Arms (based on Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 21); The Surrey With the Fringe on Top; Baubles, Bangles and Beads (based on Borodin's String Quartet No. 2); The Ox-Mo Incident (Oxman original); Three for Five (based on a theme from the third movement of Brahms' Symphony No. 3); Stranger in Paradise (based on Borodin's Polovtsian Dance No. 3); Poor Butterfly (inspired by Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly); A Wasp in Search of a Hart and Lung (Oxman original); Pavanne (Gilbert Fauré); I Could Have Danced All Night.

3 comments :

Russell said...

The album title can't be other than a reference to Walter Van Tilburg Clark's novel, The Ox-Bow Incident. Henry Fonda starred in the film adapation.

Lance said...

Exactly! As the notes pointed out, "This chance encounter ends with decidedly happier results."

Frank Morelli said...

Thank you so much for your kind words on your blog concerning the OX-MO incident. You described our intention perfectly. The repertoire was chosen to include classic, old-time show tunes and repertoire taken from the classical world, alongside Keith's great tunes. Your mention of Grappelli/Menuhin is humbling, but it is fair to say we were heading in that direction. In essence, I wished to participate in a way that was honest and original to me.The other players, of course, are highly-respected veterans of the jazz world, and I did my best to keep up! Thank you again. Frank

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