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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

Archives

Today Saturday September 23

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Day two of three.
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Evening
Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Rockafellas - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Tobie Carpenter Organ Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £10.
Thin Man + Jon Gordon - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. Free.
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Nikki Iles & Stan Sulzmann - Great Hall, Hexham Abbey, Hexham NE46 3NB. 10pm. £10/£8.
Pat McMahon Trio - Tannery, Gilesgate, Hexham NE46 3QD. 01434 605537. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

CD Review: Fini Bearman - Porgy and Bess.

Fini Bearman – voice, Matt Calvert – guitars, Ross Stanley – organ, piano, Wurlitzer, Jon Cox – bass, John Blease – drums, percussion.
(Review by Debra M.)
Fini Bearman’s second album Porgy and Bess is a reimagining of the Gershwin & DuBose Heyward opera ‘through the prism of the classic Miles Davis/Gil Evans’ album’, but clearly has many other influences too. She and her collaborators have interpreted the music quite differently to their predecessors, whilst maintaining the strength of the narrative.
Gone, Gone, Gone opens with a funereal drum roll, which transforms into a rocking lament for the deceased Robbins, with a passionate vocal from Bearman. The sombre mood continues with the reflective and despairing My Man’s Gone Now, a slow waltz with a country feel, inspired by Robert Plant’s & Allison Krautz’s Rising Sands.
There is light relief and a complete change in style with I Got Plenty of Nuttin’, which is given a swinging Rockabilly treatment, and features a fluid organ solo by Ross Stanley, rounded off  with relaxed vocal improvisation and a cracking drum groove to finish. In contrast, Bearman’s delicate, direct delivery of Porgy I’m Your Woman Now is beautifully supported by Matt Calvert’s plucked guitar.
It Ain’t Necessarily So is a Hendrix inspired bluesy rock number, well delivered, but possibly not the ideal treatment for such a light and witty lyric.  However, the mood is just right in I Loves You Porgy, with atmospheric guitar and cymbals augmenting an initially tentative and then heartfelt vocal.  The story draws to a close with There’s A Boat That’s Leaving, which is laid back & groovy, and has a powerful soul infused vocal , and an uncharacteristically  straight ahead jazz guitar solo from Matt Calvert. The relaxed vibe & potential to swing is tempered by the drummer Blease’s on the beat emphasis, possibly a deliberate echo of the sombre backdrop in earlier tracks. 
The album ends with the freely improvised Prayer (Summertime), bearing no resemblance to Gershwin’s overused classic; it has an ethereal, quiet beginning, which the ensemble develops and expands in support of the liberating, wordless vocal climax.  Apparently, there was some debate as to whether to include this track, but their contemporary approach impressively evokes the themes of oppression and loss, love and hope, a demonstration of how this work has inspired generations of musicians.
Debra M.

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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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