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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

Archives

Today Friday September 22

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Day one of three.
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Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
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Zoe Gilby Quartet - Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1pm. £5.
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Evening
Kentucky Cowtippers - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Sean Noonan: Memorable Sticks - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £8/£6.
Backyard Rhythm Orchestra + Monkey Puzzle - o2 Academy, Newcastle. Doors 6:30pm. Curfew 10pm.
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Dave Newton & Dean Stockdale - Traveller's Rest, 2 West Auckland Rd., Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. 8:30pm. £10.
Smokin' Spitfires - Forum Music Centre, Borough Rd., Darlington DL1 1SG. 7:30pm. £10.
Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Digital Review: Ella Fitzgerald - Ella with the London Symphony Orchestra

Gregory Porter duetting with Ella Fitzgerald? It's true! Well, it's virtual truth thanks to modern technological sorcery. This being her centennial year, someone had the brilliant idea of taking some of Ella's late Decca/early Verve recordings and adding skilfully charted orchestral scores* played by the London Symphony Orchestra. 
It's all done seamlessly and inoffensively and whilst the originals sound jazzier (even though the vocal is the same!) I can live with both.
Porter teams up with Ella on People Will Say We're in Love and it is a match made in heaven (in Ella's case, literally). A duo album in real time would have been something! Originally it was just Ella with Ellis Larkins on piano.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

RIP Jake LaMotta

Former world middleweight champion Jake LaMotta passed away on Tuesday (Sept. 19) age 95. LaMotta, who was champ from 1949-51, fought in an era when the 160lb division contained some of the toughest fighters ever. LaMotta, Sugar Ray Robinson, Tony Zale, Marcel Cerdan, Rocky Graziano just some of the names that held the title. LaMotta achieved even greater recognition after he'd retired due to the award-winning film of his colourful life - Raging. Bull - with Robert De Niro as LaMotta.
"What's this got to do with jazz?" I hear you ask.
Well, er, actually, nothing...
...apart from this quote:
He and Robinson became the perfect foils for each other,” boxing historian Larry Merchant said. “The fact they fought six times says something about their styles as well as their abilities. One guy was a jazz pianist and the other was a drummer.”
Lance.

The Peter Fielding Story (continued)

The interest in former bandleader Peter Fielding continues via his grandson Miki Volpe. Miki, ex-Guildhall violin student and later a detective with The Met, sent us these two photos.
One is of his father, Mike Fielding, drummer and bandleader in his own right whilst the other is of Peter Fielding himself. Miki, from his home in Spain where he and his wife now live after they both retired from The Met, tells me he inherited and still has, the Gibson mandolin that his grandfather is pictured with.
If instruments could only talk, what fascinating tales they would tell...
Lance.

World Peace Day - Today!

Petroc Trelauney announced on Radio3's Breakfast programme this morning that today is World Peace Day (while not having any great hopes of this being acknowledged where it needs to be), and played Bill Evans Peace Piece. 6.45 minutes of brilliant, uplifting musicianship! For those (few?) who don't know the piece, here it is: Bill Evans "Peace Piece"
Brian Ebbatson.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CD Review: Brian Landrus Orchestra - Generations

Where does one begin? How does one classify such an ambitious undertaking? Generations crosses the genres in an unprecedented manner to the extent that it's undefinable.
Undefinable, and compelling. Where will it go next? As ambitious a work as I've heard from any of the composers who go in for this form of cross-fertilisation.
Landrus, needless to say, is at the core of things. The Jeru Concerto displays his undouubted virtuosity on baritone sax. A four movement composition dedicated to his son who, when Landrus first began writing the piece, had yet to be born. It was also inspired by another giant of the baritone - Gerry Jeru Mulligan. In between the first and second movements, there is an interlude where the composer really cuts loose with an unaccompanied solo that is, for want of a better word, breathtaking!

The Jazz Café All Stars - September 19

(Review/photos by Russell)
An acquaintance suggested it would be difficult, if not impossible, to convey just how good this one was. Newcastle’s Jazz Café has long since established itself as host to the premier jam session on Tyneside. A good session is all but guaranteed, attracting some of the finest musicians on the local scene and from further afield. The place was busy well before the eight o’clock start with more than a few big hitters among the early arrivals – this one had all the makings of a particularly good night.
Paul Edis led the session working with Paul Grainger and Russ Morgan. My Romance opened the set, followed by Michel Legrand’s Watch What Happens. What happened next prompted your front row reviewer to scribble GO HOME!!! Nothing could follow Edis’ show-stopping version of  Bye Bye Blackbird featuring blinding piano playing with bassist Grainger and drummer Morgan right up there in the stratosphere. It was early, the place was full, the cheering had to be heard to be believed.

Preview: Classic Swing @ Ashington Jazz Club - October 4

Ashington Jazz Club is back with another new band called Classic Swing featuring an entertaining program of classic swing, jazz, blues & vocals.
The quintet features international trumpet star Bob Wade with Jim McBriarty on reeds, pianist Malcolm Armstrong, Alan Rudd on bass and vocalist Olive Rudd.
The event is upstairs at the Elephant pub in Ashington on October 4th. Showtime is 8pm to 10pm. Admission is £6 on the door
The concert is part of Ashington Jazz Clubs 35th anniversary as well as Ashington Town’s 150th-anniversary celebrations
For further information and poster see the clubs updated website:-
John Taylor

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

2017 BJA Nominations announced - vote now

The British Jazz Awards are with us once more and the nominations, for this the 31st consecutive year, have been announced. To place your vote, follow the link below. There is, as you will see,  an excellent list of quality musicians in many different fields of jazz. There is also, should you disagree with the nominations, space for your own nomination. You can vote by following the link below (voting closes October 30).
Lance.

Emily Bacon’s Good Time Gang @ The Globe - September 17

Emily Bacon (piano, vocals); Liz Bacon (clarinet); Peter Wright (trumpet); Jeff Milner (trombone, vocals); Sarah Thatcher (banjo, tenor guitar); Spike Kennedy (bass); Paul Bacon (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
‘B flat’ said Paul Bacon as I entered the Globe for some lunchtime entertainment. The Old Spinning Wheel In The Parlour was played, good time, danceable, New Orleans music, vintage jazz straight from the jazz history books, but well worth listening to today for its irrepressible tunes and sheer sense of fun. Essay question for music students: ‘Discuss the differences between today’s performance and the bebop style jazz played by the Safe Sextet at the Globe on Thursday.’  Jazz indeed covers a wide spectrum. 

CD Review: Claudia Morris - Here's to Life

Claudia Morris (vocals); Liam Dunachie (piano/keys); Conor Chaplin (bass); David Ingamells (drums); Al Cherry (guitar); Alex Garnett (sax); George Hogg (trumpet/flugel); Laura Stanford, Penny Ainscow, David Lopez (violins 1,2,3); Daisy Spires (viola); Jessica Cox (cello); Claire Finley (backing vocals).
(Review by Lance)
I first encountered Claudia Morris back in 2011 on her album  Twelve O'Clock Tales. I was hooked.
Two years later, Ann Alex was equally impressed with Secret Love - Claudia's Doris Day celebration.
Now, the ball's back in my court with her latest - Here's to Life.
The standard hasn't dipped - far from it! The voice has mellowed, the theatrical approach has lessened without any loss of emotion and there is warmth exuding by the thermload.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Black Notes from The Deep

(Preview by Russell)
Last year Courtney Pine appeared with Zoe Rahman at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival. Sage One’s audience heard Pine playing exclusively bass clarinet. Of late, Jazz Warriors’ alumnus Pine has returned to playing tenor saxophone for the first time in something like ten years. Music to the ears of some jazz fans!
A young Courtney Pine blew some great tenor in a small group format and his forthcoming concert with British soul singer Omar at Sage Gateshead promises, once again, a touch of tenor madness!

Hand to Mouth @ Blaydon Jazz Club - September 17

Lindsay Hannon (vocals) & Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell)
Hand to Mouth – it could be a commentary on the precarious existence of many a jazz club. This Hand to Mouth is Lindsay Hannon and Bradley Johnston. Less than one year ago at Newcastle’s Jazz Café the duo produced a stunning debut performance. They followed up at the Lit and Phil, and now, a Blaydon Jazz Club engagement at the Black Bull.
Ella Fitzgerald recorded a series of late career duet albums with guitarist Joe Pass. Essentially a definitive take on the Great American Songbook (Ella garnered a Grammy award), the material is timeless, and here we are in the early years of the new century with Lindsay and Bradley looking afresh at the cannon. A couple from Take Love Easy (1973) for starters – the title track and Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good to You? Lindsay’s phrasing and recall of a lyric is nothing short of remarkable; not a lyric sheet in sight and a high stakes playfulness with the words. Bradley has studied online archive footage of the great Joe Pass. To hear the Wearside based guitarist recreate the master guitarist’s signature sound proved to be spellbinding.

You Don’t Know What Drink Is

You don’t know what drink is
Until you’ve learned the meaning of the booze
Until you’ve bought a round you didn’t choose
You don’t know what drink is

You don’t know how lips hurt
Until you’ve drunk and had to pay the cost
Until you’ve flipped your glass and your drink’s lost
You don’t know what drink is

Do you know of a lost weekend?
Friends tell you if you’ll listen
And how lips that taste real ale
Lose their taste for Guinness

You don’t know how eyes burn
For nights spent in the pub and on the street
Until you’ve had a hangover complete
You don’t know what drink is
 Ann Alex

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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