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Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Bebop Spoken There

Alan Luff: “The general view is that Ella’s songbook recordings are the supreme exemplars of sophistication, fine diction and creative voice in the wide field of popular music.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Steve Voce: “Most of us have been crashed into by cretins who walk along the road absorbed in the screens of their mobile phones.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Today Tuesday May 23

Evening
Davina & the Vagabonds - Sage Gateshead. 8pm. £18.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
Zoe Gilby: Pannonica - The Fox Inn, West End Tce., Hexham NE46 3DB. Free. 9pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

CD Review: Duncan Lamont Big Band featuring Kenny Wheeler - As if by Magic

 (Review by Lance).
I can’t say that I ever watched the animated television series, Mr. Benn. Although shown in the 1970s, I’d never actually heard of it until now!
However, having long been a fan of Duncan Lamont – his Young Person’s Guide to the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra is a classic and I just wish I could find my copy to play it again (anyone out there got a copy?)
Lamont (senior) wrote the original music for the Mr Benn series and, going by this 2011 recording, his talents as a composer and arranger haven't diminished.

Mr Benn: the show’s signature tune has a Latin feel with solos by Wood, Shaw (Saturday night hero at The Globe), Panayi on flute and Wheeler on flugel. – he offers an interesting contrast to Shaw.
As if by Magic: A minor blues with an oriental feel and short solos by Paniyi (piccolo); Ricotti (xylophone); Langley, White and Hastings (tenor).
The Dragon’s Tale: showcases Shaw’s lyricism – to think our brief conversation on Saturday night concerned Wylam Brewery’s Red Kite Ale! Had I heard this first the conversation could have been extended (depending on how thirsty he was!)
Coming Home: A trombone feature with a nice danceable chorus by the saxes – beautifully harmonised. The ‘bones; Edwards, Wood and White bring to mind JJ & Kai with  maybe Cleveland added.
The Balloonist: In waltz time, the mood is floating. Dee launches the hot airship, Panayi’s flute takes us up there, Paul Jones (a familiar name to Wearsiders) maintains altitude (altotude?), Ricotti provides good vibes before Wheeler lands the ship as eloquently as only he could, albeit not without some turbulence from the ensemble.
Festive Band: The mood is a pre-war Palais-de Dance with Dee ‘tickling the ivories’ as only he can. Laurence shows on bass and Talbot’s tenor is as lyrical as anything on the disc – may I have the next one?
The Sea Monster: Brings Wheeler back on board. A melancholic piece that contrasts with…
Don’t Forget the Dragon: This sees trombones Edwards, White and Woods slugging it out followed by a Jones v Paniyi joust. Shaw and Langley are next to take up the cudgels and, just as the watchers are about to send for the Jazz Police to restore order, Jimmy Hastings steps into the ring calming things down with tenor playing that reminds us just how tasteful a player he is.
But, the show ain’t over yet as Salmins and Ricotti have a few Latin moments before the band gently put Mr. Benn and The Dragon to bed.
Best big band record I've heard this year.
Lance.

Kenny Wheeler (flugel); Yasmin Ahmed, Tom Rees-Roberts, Noel Langley, Martin Shaw (trumpets); Andy Wood, Alistair White, Richard Edwards, Pete North (trombones); Jimmy Hastings, Jamie Talbot, Andy Panayi, Paul Jones, Duncan Lamont Jnr.; (saxes); Brian Dee (piano); Chris Laurence(bass); Ralph Salmins (drums); Frank Ricotti; (vibes/xylophone/percussion).

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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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