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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).

Number 22!

Bebop Spoken Here is currently listed at number 22 in the WORLD JAZZ BLOG Rankings!

Today Friday May 26

Afternoon
Harambee Pasadia - See RH Column.
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
Paul Wilkinson - St. Nicholas Cathedral, St. Nicholas Square, Newcastle NE1 1PF. 1:05pm. Retiring collection.
Mark Williams/Joel Byrne McCullough - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. 1pm. £5.
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Evening
Ruth Lambert Quartet - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm, £7 (£6 in advance.)
Hand to Mouth (Lindsay Hannon/Bradley Johnston) - High Friars Lane (Tyneside Cinema), Free, al fresco, 8pm. food and drink available.
?????????? - Billy Bootleggers - 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8pm. Free.
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Imelda May - Sage Gateshead. 7pm. £38.20/£27.30 VIP Option £104.
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Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Ushaw College, nr. Durham. 7:30pm. £7.
Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

CD Review: Vasilis Xenopoulos & Paul Edis – A Narrow Escape

Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor saxophone), Paul Edis (piano)
(Review by Russell)
A Narrow Escape is a duo recording by friends Vasilis Xenopoulos and Paul Edis. Their musical association of many years continues to evolve and this new CD, recorded in one day in August 2015, is a fine example of jazz as a conversation, of communication born of mutual respect and countless gigs together.
Tenor saxophonist Xenopoulos has established a reputation as a leading interpreter of the Great American Songbook, pianist Edis similarly embraces the tradition. Both musicians write and arrange material for their own ensembles and others. A Narrow Escape should, perhaps, be seen as a snapshot in time, skills honed and harnessed to produce a CD flowing with ideas. Nine tracks, of which two are original compositions, follow a standard format; one of the duo stating the theme, the other developing a solo. The head-solo-head format is a tried and tested formula and Xenopoulos and Edis clearly take the view that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

It Could Happen to You/Fried Bananas introduces the duo. The juxtaposition of a Jimmy Van Heusen standard and a Dexter Gordon bop chart indicates the thought process; good tunes, regardless of origin, made the cut. Fats Waller’s Jitterbug Waltz stakes a claim, as does Bobby Timmons’ Dat Dere. Two tunes polls apart, to some ears. To the duo of Edis and Xenopoulos such rigid categorisation matters not. The title track – A Narrow Escape – is a Paul Edis composition. It stands comparison with the many familiar numbers on the recording, as does Xenopoulos’ Piazza Navona. Gershwin’s Someone to Watch over Me is given a most sensitive reading and the closing track, Cole Porter’s What is This Thing Called Love? exemplifies the subtle sense of swing which is present throughout the forty-seven minutes of the recording. This end-of-year new release makes A Narrow Escape a late contender for album of the year.                         
A Narrow Escape was recorded at Red Gables Studio, Greenford, Middlesex, 5 August 2015. Mixed and mastered by Adam Sinclair, produced by Adam Sinclair, Paul Edis and Vasilis Xenopoulos. Album artwork by Kassandra Charalampi.
For further details and to purchase a copy of A Narrow Escape visit: www.vasilisx.com or www.pauledis.co.uk.    

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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