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Bebop Spoken There

Frank Zappa: "There was so much acid during the '60s that it was very easy for large numbers of people to think they had seen God as soon as the Beatles went boom, boom, boom, you know?." - (DownBeat May 18, 1978). – (DownBeat May 18, 1978).

Ryan Keberle: “Don't be easy on yourself when it comes to playing with perfect intonation. All other instruments will be playing with close-to-perfect intonation; the same should be expected of trombonists.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Friday March 23


Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.


Jiannis Pavlidis Trio - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 9:00pm. £8.00. (£6.00. advance).

Hookahs - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Five Men No Dog - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling Street, Gateshead NE8 2BA. 8:00pm (doors 7:00pm). A ‘jar on the bar’ admission event.

Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

CD Review: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra - In The Spirit of Duke.

Tommy Smith (ten/md); Ru Pattison (alt/sop/clt); Martin Kershaw (alt/clt); Konrad Wiszniewski (alt/ten/clt); Bill Fleming (alt/bar/bs. clt/clt); Ryan Quigley, Cameron Jay, Tom McNiven, James Marr (tpt); Chris Grieve, Phil O'Malley (tmb); Michael Owers (bs. tmb); Brian Kellock (pno); Calum Gourley (bs); Alyn Cosker (dms).
There will be few better records than this released this year - or any other year! SNJO, led by Tommy Smith and recorded live on their 2012 Scottish tour, pay homage to Duke and, in doing so, somehow manage to put their own stamp on it. The material ranges from the 1920's Creole Love Call, featuring a clarinet trio, Tom McNiven growling like Bubber on Black and Tan Fantasy to more contemporary material such as selections from the, at the time, controversial Peer Gynt Suite. In the Hall of the Mountain King, Anitra's Dance and Morning Mood are the works chosen and I'm sure Greig would appreciate these versions as well as the originals.
Le Sucrier Velous, Sunset and the Mocking Bird and The Single Petal of a Rose are from The Queen's Suite. The latter being a gorgeous duet between pianist Brian Kellock and tenorist/leader Tommy Smith.
The Queen's Suite was written after Duke met Queen Elizabeth II at a Leeds Festival in 1958. Only a single pressing was made and Duke sent it to HRH. Tommy Smith's theory is that Ellington fell madly in love with the then 32 year old Queen. It was never released commercially during Ellington's lifetime.
In between the early and later stuff there is, naturally, lots from the late 30's and the 1940's Famous Orchestra. Ryan Quigley is at his most feline on Rockin' In Rhythm, Jack The Bear, Ko-Ko, Prelude to a Kiss, Daybreak Express, Concerto for Cootie, Harlem Airshaft and Sepia Serenade. Throughout, Kellock carries off the Ducal roll with distinction - never more so than in Kinda Dukish - but the wailing choruses a la Gonsalves by Tommy Smith on Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue coupled with Quigley's explorations into the stratosphere make for a fitting finale to a great disc.
If ever they do another Scottish tour, I'll don kilt and tam o'shanter, eat haggis, drink Johnnie Walker and Tak the High Road... Or maybe I'll just board the East Coast Train to Edinburgh (Do East Coast do an A Train I wonder?)
Why should I buy this when I've got the originals you may ask? Good question. 
1) Well, it's anything from 40 - 90 years >< and recording techniques have improved amazingly.
2) The Ellington Band were never the most precise of outfits (albeit that was part of their charm for some - less so for others).
3) SNJO do such a brilliant job of adding their own nuances, both ensemble-wise and solo-wise, that one complements the other.
Scottish National Jazz Orchestra - In The Spirit of Duke. Released on Spartacus STS 017 on March 13. Order here.

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.