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Bebop Spoken There

Sun Ra: “Now, all the musicians talk about is doing their own thing– (Down Beat June 13, 1968).

Gary Burton: “I wasn't influenced by anyone until I heard Bill Evans– (Down Beat July 29, 1965).

APPJAG Jazz Awards

The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards are with us once more and the polls are open. You don't have to nominate in every category but once you've submitted your nomination that's it.

It's simple, just go to the Jazz UK website and enter your choices. For example, should you wish to nominate Bebop Spoken Here for the Jazz Media Award simply type in Bebop Spoken Here in the appropriate space.

You've got till noon on Feb. 18 to do it so - Let's Do It, Let's Nominate BSH!

Saturday February 6

Afternoon
Savannah Jazz Band - St. Augustine's Parish Centre, Larchfield St., Darlington DL3 7TG. 12:30pm. £10.
Evening
Diane Shaw - Hoochie Coochie, 54 Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. 9pm. £12. SOLD OUT!
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Zoe Gilby/James Harrison - Redwood Whiskey Bar, Vermont Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle, NE1 1RQ. 7:pm. Free.
Gerry Richardson/Adam Sinclair - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. Free.
Mark Williams (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
New Century Ragtime Orchestra - Caedmon Hall, Central Library, Prince Consort Rd., Gateshead NE8 4LN. 7:30pm. £15 from 0191 2814011.
Andy Lawrenson Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £7.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Listening Through The Noise - Some Thoughts

My main thought about this book is that the writer is genuinely trying to say something original about music, but she fails to tell me anything I didn’t already know, so I won’t be hurrying to the shops any time soon.
I imagine there are others on the blog who feel the same, and I’d love them to write something as well. Mind, my experience of electronic music is limited to what I hear on Radio 3’s nightime ‘Late Junction’ music programme, which has a good mix of world and unusual music. I usually have to turn down the cacophany of the electronic stuff.
Maybe I’m missing something. The writer wants natural sounds incorporated into music. They always have been. Classical composers included birdsong motifs in their music. They didn’t have the facilities to record the real thing, and if they had they would presumably have modified the sounds into some kind of musical pattern. Birdsong has musical elements but I think there’s a world of difference between just listening to the natural world itself and making actual patterned music from the raw material.
The writer says there are new ways of listening to music, but people have always listened to music in different ways. When Mozart was played in salons it was often just a background to people flirting and doing business deals. There was never a golden age of people listening with rapt attention. Wagner was the man who tried to get people to listen ‘properly’, by turning down the lights in the theatre.
So people today listen in many different ways, such as background music, music for dancing, or songs in folk clubs where silence is expected because you need to hear the words.
I find listening to modern jazz challenging because I don’t know whether to follow one instrument, let it all wash over me, or what, and that’s what makes it interesting.
The writer mentions the use of silence. It’s in all music already. I believe it was John Cage who wrote a piece of 4 minutes silence, but that was really a piece to question the actual nature of music and what you heard was actually the coughs of the audience and distant outside noises etc. And as for the use of feedback, Jimi Hendrix positively thrived on it!
She gives the example of what happened to painting when photography came along. After a while painting reasserted itself and it’s alive and well today, and one style of painting even copies photography. We’ve already had the same kind of discussion about literature a few years back, when the ‘death of the novel’ was predicted, but it didn’t happen. All worthwhile art forms survive, with modifications over time.
No doubt electronic music will contribute something to music generally, without too much of a revolution.
Ann Alex

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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: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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