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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Gelly: “From 1 January 1920, when prohibition was imposed in the US, people didn’t stop drinking, they just stopped drinking legally.” – (Jazz Journal October 2017).

Regina Carter: “When I was a teenager, I would daydream about going out on a date and dancing to Ella’s music.” (Down Beat October 2017).

Today Thursday November 23

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter’s Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE.

Group Theory - The Globe. 7:30pm. £5.00. Superb Durham University quartet. Dan Garel (alto), Tom Burgess (guitar), Dylan Purches (double bass) & Tristan Bacon (drums).

BABMUS - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. £3.00. (£2.00. concs.).

TBA – Railway, Wellington St., Gateshead. 8pm.

Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland (trumpet); Josh Bentham (sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. 9:00pm. Free.

Skidoo 52: The Joint Is Jumpin’ - Boldron Village Hall, County Durham DL12 9RN. 01833 638210. 7:30pm. £9.00. adult, £20.00. family.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.01642 678129.

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

Thursday, December 11, 2014

CD Review: Michael Mantler – The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update

Nouvelle Cuisine Big Band (Conductor: Christoph Cech) – soloists: Michael Mantler (trumpet), Harry Sokal (tenor saxophone).
radio.string.quartet.vienna: Bernie Mallinger (violin), Igmar Jenner (violin), Cynthia Liao (viola), Asja Valcic (cello) + Bjarne Roupé (guitar), Wolfgang Puschnig (alto saxophone), David Helbock (piano)
(Review by Hugh C.)
Vienna born composer-trumpeter Michael Mantler recorded The Jazz Composer's Orchestra in 1968. First released on the orchestra's own label, this was later reissued by ECM. The album featured Mantler conducting a large jazz orchestra which included some of the luminaries of the time including: Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Roswell Rudd, Pharoah Saunders, Larry Coryell and Gato Barbieri.
In the process of digitising his catalogue, Mantler reacquainted himself with early scores, eventually envisioning fresh performances of not only this vintage material, but also including new versions of material from that period never previously recorded.
In The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update Mantler has re-imagined his 1960s music for the 21st century, with the amplified radio.string.quartet.vienna added to the instrumentation along with the prominent electric guitar of Bjarne Roupé. They and the Nouvelle Cuisine Big Band were recorded live at Vienna's Porgy and Bess club in 2013.
The CD comes in at just under 55 minutes and comprises ten tracks, all composed by Mantler: Updates One, Eight, Nine, Eleven, Five, Six, Ten and Twelve – parts 1, 2 and 3.
I am not familiar with any of the original album and so come to this with fresh ears. You will have to be a lover of free improvisation to like this CD. I will nail my colours firmly to the mast – I am not! The sleeve notes contain an in depth interview with Michael Mantler. In response to the question: “Has the ratio of composition to improvisation changed from the original album to the new one” he replies: “Very much so. Even though the original idea was, even then, to control and somewhat limit what were, in my opinion, the excesses of free improvisation...” well I think we can agree there! His aim, in the new realisation was to “create a continuity that melds improvisation and composition into one homogeneous work”.
I think he has achieved this aim. There are periods of (composed) breathtaking beauty for both small ensemble and big band, interspersed with raucous cacophony. The CD probably needs to be listened to as a whole, end to end, rather than selectively. The track breaks are hardly noticeable if one is not watching the CD player display.
Overall then, I think this release will fill a niche and will probably appeal to those with an interest in Mantler's previous work (including the 1968 original). The jazz enthusiast with a liking for the big band sound, but with a more experimental twist, is also likely to be rewarded.
The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update is available on the ECM Label Catalogue Number 379 0789.
Hugh C.

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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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