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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie McLean: “I can't understand British audiences. In Britain there doesn't seem to be any curiosity." (Melody Maker, April 1, 1961).

Charles Mingus: "It seems to me that if our records were not issued in Britain, the British cats would have to think for themselves" (Jazz News, July 26th 1961)

Archives.

Today Tuesday July 25

Evening
Misha Mullov-Abbado Sextet - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane NE25 5DW. 8pm. Free.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. £10 & £8. JNE gig.
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Maine Street Jazzmen - Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond Ave., Newcastle NE2 3EX. 8:30pm. £5.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, May 27, 2013

CD Review: Moss Project: What Do You See When You Close Your Eyes?

Moss Freed (composer, bandleader, guitar); Ruth Goller (acoustic/electric bass); Alice Zawadzki (vocals/violin); Shabaka Hutchings (tenor sax/bass clarinet); Marek Dorcik (drums)
The writers: Naomi Alderman (The Bubble); Colum McCann (Anniversary); James Miller (What Do You See When You Close Your Eyes); Lawrence Norfolk (Caravans); Joe Dunthorne (Freud And Jung In The Tunnel Of Love); Hanan al-Shaykh (The Angel)
(Review by Ann Alex.)
This started out as a CD of original compositions which developed into a whole project which involves an attractive booklet with writing by distinguished modern authors and skilled evocative artwork by Aaron Munday.  To get the most enjoyment out of this work, it would be a good idea to set aside 2 hours to read the stories and poem, besides listening to the music.  Or why not do as I did, and listen to the music and readings at the same time?  LondonJazzNews was lucky enough to be at the launch on March 6, which involved a live performance – see www.mossfreed.com for an account of that, where you can also hear the writing read out by the authors.  Another listener that I consulted, who is an ardent jazz fan, said that he actually enjoyed reading the booklet more than the music, so it seems that you pays your money and you takes your choice!
The music is highly impressionistic and lies somewhere between jazz and contemporary folk, with lots of wordless sweet-voiced singing, skilled musicianship, (goes without saying).  The music doesn’t describe the stories exactly but is near enough to make sense of the two together.  You'll find lots of long sweeps of sound, percussive beats repeated by the voice, ethereal sounds, sometimes an intriguing ‘free’ jazz feel, an organised cacophony, with a few jazz solos as such.  Hard to describe, you must hear it for yourself.
The Bubble is an amusing tale of a woman with a bubble inside herself and the music is full of bouncy rhythm.  The author reads in a refreshing down to earth voice, none of that special ‘poetical’ voice adopted by some readers of poems. Anniversary is a more serious tale of a woman in church, and What Do You See When You Close Your Eyes is about a woman trying to get to sleep, but really much more than that. Caravans concerns pub quizzes and friendship, and I had difficulty in understanding the poem about Freud and Jung.  The Angel was definitely my favourite piece of writing, a heartwarming but unsentimental story about a heroin addict, with a surprise ending, well matched by the music.
An enjoyable multi-faceted experience, a CD which should probably be listened to more than once.
Released on the Babel Label, catalogue number BDV131114

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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