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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)

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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.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CD Review: The Ted Howe Jazz Orchestra – Pinnacle

(Review by Hugh)
Ted Howe is a Los Angeles based pianist, composer, arranger, producer and teacher.  Pinnacle is his seventh CD as leader.  The central core of the CD is Howe's Suite #1 for Jazz Orchestra.  Howe wrote the suite as his first piece of extended composition for this kind of ensemble.  The suite was premiered in 2011 at the Conant Arts Centre in Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia (Tate lived in Atlanta for many years).  The suite is presented in three movements of equal duration over a total of 18 minutes as tracks 3, 4 and 5.

Track 1, Presto for Two Trombones and Track 2, Impromptu for Trumpet nicely set the scene.  The orchestra has a lush sound and the first track features fine solos by Andy Martin and Francisco Torres.  John Patitucci also features on bass solo.  The trumpet solos on the second track are provided by Lester Walker in this sweet melodic number.
Suite #1 for Jazz Orchestra draws on the horizontal, linear approach commonly used in classical music.  Howe states that his compositions  “are not just about the music; they're also about the instruments, the varied combinations of sound they make, and how great musicians can rise to just about any challenge and take the music to new and exciting places”.
The suite has the big-band feel, with a laid-back West Coast groove, which is simultaneously pleasant on the ear and not too taxing on the brain.  It evokes for me what I used to think of in my childhood as “going over Golden Gate Bridge music” (remember Ironside?).  The suite as a whole has a definite filmic quality – listening to the suite one can imagine a series of scenes evoked by the music at that particular moment. 
The suite is followed by Adagio for Piano, featuring Ted Howe.  This retains the laid back groove with nice pianism by Howe, but no fireworks.  Jazz Etude for Three Clarinets features solos by Sam Skelton on E flat clarinet and John Patitucci on acoustic bass.

The CD as a whole then, does not challenge, but if you like this kind of thing (which I do) is a fine example of the oeuvre.  Pinnacle was released on March 3 on the Hot Shoe Worldwide label, catalogue number HSW 102.  It is available from hotshoerecords.com or cdbaby, but as far as I can see is not yet listed on either amazon.co.uk or amazon.com at the time of writing.
Hugh.
Ted Howe (piano); Geoff Hayden  (piano, Rhodes); John Patitucci (acoustic and electric bass); Marlon Patton (drums); Jose “Bam Bam” Ramirez (percussion); Don Baraszu (acoustic and electric guitar); Sam Skelton (flute, clarinets, soprano and alto sax); Don Erdman (clarinet, tenor sax); Seth Kuehn (baritone sax, bass clarinet); Mike Barry, Melvin Jones and Lester Walker (trumpet, flugelhorn); Wes Funderburk, Tom Gibson, Andy Martin and Francisco Torres (trombone).

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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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