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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.

Monday, March 16, 2015

CD Review Doc Bowling and his Blues Professors – Black Country Boy

Doc Bowling (guitar & vocals), Donnie Burke (guitar, baritone guitar, banjo & backing vocals), Simon Minney (bass, acoustic bass, whistle & backing vocals), Graham Hadley (drums & backing vocals), Roger Champion (percussion & backing vocals), Sophie Loyer (violin), Lawrence Davies (harmonica) & Eddie Kulak (keyboards)
(Review by Russell)
A new name to your reviewer, Doc Bowling is a new favourite. Doc and his fellow seven ‘blues professors’ can be pigeon-holed quite easily – providing you have a vacant dozen or more pigeon holes! Alt country, blues (twelve bar and its variants), Americana, rock-a-billy, shuffling bottleneck, ska – all from an oblique (psychotherapist’s) view point and a Stetson brim-full of humour and understated musical excellence.
Doc Bowling sings on all eleven tracks on Black Country Boy. The eponymous first track identifies Doc Bowling as a lad raised in the West Midlands:
Smethwick Town to Langley Green 
Rowley Regis!
Old Hill to Cradley Heath
From Lye down
To Stourbridge Town
The remarkably prescient Fal$e Prophit Blues is right on the money:
Draw a picture of the Prophet,
You’re shot dead on sight
A politically aware band making a statement! It’s a change from the current vogue for bands making a quasi-intellectual pitch for their brand of ‘original composition.’  The musicianship isn’t in any way secondary to the lyric content; Eddie Kulak (keys) and Lawrence Davies (harmonica) feature. Existential Blues is heavy stuff. Don’t worry, read the liner-notes…A guitar and harmonica-driven up-tempo twelve-bar blues. That’ll do.
Pedestrian Crossroad Blues borrows from Robert Johnson. Slide guitar from Donnie Burke and fiddle from Sophie Loyer despairing of ‘the deadly and deplorable state of England’s pedestrian crossings’ is unabashed blues with lyrics not of 1930s America, but of twenty first century concerns:
You say you’ve got road rage
What we need is road peace!
These vehicular road-wars,
They’ve just gotta cease
The spitting out of Ve-hic-u-lar has to be heard. Almost as good as the classic I was born in 19 and 42 (wailing Chicago harp ‘n’ all).
Biodiesel Blues poses the question:
Must the poor go hungry
Just so the rich can drive?
Growing corn for diesel
Will the earth survive?!
The CD cover image Pastorale (detail) is by Claire Spencer courtesy Bridgeman Images.
One could be tempted to vote for a Green candidate at the forthcoming General Election!
Back to the music – and it is about the music – Church Going Blues, great lyrics:
My man Muddy Waters
He brought me the news
You gotta go to choich
If you want to sing the blues
A lyric with choich in it makes Black Country Blues a ‘must have’ purchase.
Black Country Boy by Doc Bowling and his Blues Professors is available now. The band’s CD launch is on Friday 20 March at King’s College London Students’ Union.  
Russell

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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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