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Bebop Spoken There

Orrin Evans: “I’d like to see a younger audience and an audience that looks more like me at the clubs.” – (Down Beat November 2014).

Kevin Flanagan: "Besides, I'd got sick of playing jazz to people who looked like my father." - (Straight No Chaser Issue 0ne Summer 1988.)

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Today Friday August 18

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
Levee Ramblers New Orleans Quartet - Tynemouth Metro Station, Station Tce., Tynemouth NE30 4RE. 1pm. Free.
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Evening
Kentucky Cowtippers - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Ray Johnson & Richard Herdman - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling St., Gateshead NE8 2BA. 8pm.
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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.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CD Review: Cecile McLorin Salvant – Woman Child

Cecile McLorin Salvant – vocals, piano (track 10); Aaron Diehl – piano; Rodney Whitaker – double bass; Herlin Riley – drums; James Chirillo – guitar, banjo.
(Review by Debra M.)
Cecile McLorin Salvant  first  made an impression in the jazz world  in 2010, when she unexpectedly won  the  Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Her distinct musical identity was forged growing up in Miami with French & Haitian parents, and by the study of classical and baroque music as well as vocal jazz in Aix-en-Provence, where she began  performing with reed player Jean-Francois Bonnel.
The breadth of material in this début album reflects her interest in the entire canon of vocal jazz, as well as older vocal traditions. In the opening guitar duet St Louis Gal’,  recorded by Bessie Smith around 90 years ago, McLorin Salvant’s  rounded, warm and expressive voice makes an immediate impact. This is followed by the  exquisitely arranged ‘I Didn't Know What Time It Was’,  where the  melodic  vocal  is  supported sparingly by rhythmic  brushes  & piano stabs, and a swinging ensemble, including a fine double bass solo by Rodney Whitaker. 
‘Nobody’, a  song  about discrimination, associated with the early 20th Century African American comedian Bert Williams, is delivered with humour and sensitivity, and is the most traditional arranged piece, with a  ragtime  feel.  Yet the racial stereo types are shrugged off in Sam Caslow’s ‘You Bring Out The Savage In Me’, which is transformed into a jungle inspired, percussion driven love  song  with a splendidly uninhibited vocal. 
There is an extended arrangement of ‘What A Little Moonlight Can Do’, initially as a night time soundscape overlaid by McLorin Salvant’s ethereal vocal tones, which develops into a superfast, swinging  romp. Diehl and Whitaker deliver impeccable solos, abetted by the swift brushwork of Herlin Riley, before  reverting  to the  atmospherics, and a rare  vocal grandstand finish. 
The group’s fresh, contemporary approach is particularly effective in the traditional folk song ‘John Henry’, where the insistent drums and bass line  are almost funky, and which also features one of several masterful solos on the album by pianist Aaron Diehl. There  are a few original pieces,  the most effective  being  the title track ‘Womanchild’, in which Whitaker’s  double bass beats pulse-like throughout, alternating with swinging sections.  McLorin Salvant also shows herself to be an accomplished pianist in the playful ‘Jitterbug Waltz’, delivered with great dynamics, harmonic and rhythmic variation.
Cecile McLorin  Salvant may be just 23, but she not only possesses a beautifully rounded, versatile voice, but  has the poise and maturity to interpret ballads such as ‘There’s A Lull In My Life’ with great sensitivity.  Her style of phrasing and note bending , and the playfulness of her interpretations is reminiscent of Betty Carter, and the timbre and delivery in her lower register  is sometimes suggestive of Sarah Vaughan. These and other artists are surely influences, but her voice is her own. Combined with this ensemble of outstanding  musicians, her début album is irresistible.
Disc details.
Debra M.
Cecile can be heard at the Customs House, South Shields on Thursday October 31 and at the Whitley Bay Jazz Party over this weekend (November 1-3).

2 comments :

  1. Couldn't agree more - a superb CD and a taster of what's to come Thursday to Sunday at Customs House (Thursday) and Village Inn (Friday-Sunday).

    ReplyDelete

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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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