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Bebop Spoken There

Mundell Lowe: “...we also had to play for a floor show, which consisted of girls dancing--some of 'em were dressed, some of 'em were not so dressed.” – (Crescendo September 1974).

Betty Bennett: “I've never sung "Funny Valentine"--my only claim to fame.” – (Crescendo September 1974).

Today Tuesday December 1

Mosaic Jazz (Playing a celebration of American music) - Bell and Bucket, 37 Norfolk St, North Shields, Tyne and Wear NE30 1NQ. 1pm. Free.
Charles Gordon/Ken Hewitt Trio - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 7.30-10pm. Free.
Gavin Lee’s Dixieland Band - New Inn, 29 Church St., Durham. DH1 3DN. 9pm. Free.
Jam Session - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. Free.
Customs House Big Band w. Ruth Lambert - All Saints Church, Cleadon, nr. Sunderland. 7pm.
Ralph Keeley (solo piano) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 0191 2399924. 7.00pm.
Ian Bosworth and Friends - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough, TS5 5DT. 01642 823813. 9pm.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Claude Werner Quartet shines through the rain in St Anne’s Sq

It’s the Manchester Jazz Festival, its St Anne’s Square and it’s open to the elements. The heavy rain punctuated with short sharp bursts of strong sunlight kept the audience busy with umbrellas, drying seats and repeatedly scurrying for cover. This didn’t phase The Claude Werner Quartet however and it was clear that it would take a great deal more audience distraction to shake these accomplished players out of their collective groove. A real international band this that Claude Werner (tenor sax) has put together ranging from his own roots in Chile through Barbados (David Carnegie on drums), Northern Ireland (Mark Williams on guitar) to the north-west with Laurence Blackadder on bass. For me their music reflects the international mix within the band as each member’s influences were evident throughout the cleverly constructed Werner compositions. Its hard to pick out a favourite from the 7 number set but the opener ‘City’, the closing ‘Things I cannot express’ and if for nothing else other than its appropriateness on the day ‘Sitting in the sun’ stood out. The most striking thing about this band is how such strong individuals, and they all had the space to make their own statements, could create such an effortless sound which was relaxing yet challenging at the same time. Claude Werner on tenor sax has a strong, clear tone and with more than a hint of Charles Lloyd in his technique. Extremely melodic but at times stepping way out of the box, such as on the finale ‘Things I cannot express’, but always with a distinct purpose. A consummate band leader and, on this showing, also a composer to be reckoned with. Mark Williams on guitar augmented each number with his sharp and precise, but seemingly effortless solos. David Carnegie was energetically confident on drums and together with the bass provided a driving purpose to this strong assured music. Laurence Blackadder on bass provided a steady, pulsating support that underpinned the whole performance and allowed his fellow band members the perfect canvas on which to sketch their solos. The Claude Werner Quartet can be heard on CD with ‘Thoughts and Recollections’ available from David Gosling

1 comment :

  1. Thanks Dave for those perceptive comments. Always a pleasure to welcome a new contributer to BSH.


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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: I look forward to hearing from you.

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