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Bebop Spoken There

Howard Riley: “When I started out playing jazz back in the late 50s, early 60s, if you wanted a gig you had to learn some standards.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Eric Harland: “I love swing and I’m always going to swing but I also know that you can take a hip-hop groove and improvise with that just like you would with a swing pattern.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Today Saturday April 29

Afternoon

1pm: Dean Stockdale Trio. 2:30pm: Abbie Finn Quartet 4pm: Rick Laughlin Trio - Quakerhouse, Mechanics’ Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 01325 245052. 1:00-5:00pm. Free (donations).

Evening

Dave O’Higgins with Durham Alumni Big Band - Majestic Theatre, Bondgate, Darlington DL3 7JT. Support set by Durham County Youth Big Band (7:15pm). £12.00. (+ concs).

Late night jam session - Quakerhouse, Mechanics’ Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 01325 245052.10:30pm. Free.

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Ruby Turner - Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. £21.00. & £20.00.

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Fever & Friends - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE333 3NG. 7:30pm. £12.00. 0191 454234.

Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.

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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 15, 2017

CD Review: Club d'Elf - Live @ Club Helsinki

John Medeski (keyboards), Brahim Fribgane (oud, voice, percussion), Duke Levine (guitar), Mister Rourke (DJ), Mike Rivard (bass, sinter, bass kalimba), Dean Johnston (drums) + Thomas Workman (flute).
(Review by Steve T)
I generally like to play albums three times to give them a chance to sink in. I recently reviewed a Ben Cox album after two but, following the third play, I felt I'd been a bit critical. Half way through the first CD of this, I had a strong suspicion it's a monster but played it again just to confirm it wasn't my desperation to find something above the rest.
Mogador opens things up with a piano trio and spoken electronica before the entrance of guitar which will play such an important part, followed by more piano virtuosity, accompanied by high-end bass which never lets up over two CDs, changing time signatures Jazzing things up and Indian sounds arriving towards the end.
Africa is a cover of The Gaylads which I wouldn't know so there must be another version, or something very similar. Some George Clinton style deep voiced master of ceremonies, underpinned by P Funk guitar, mellotron and some scratching; a role for vinyl you may think, beyond hanging its container on a wall, though I'm told CDs do this better as well as everything else.
Booloolu ups the world music stakes, reminding me of early Weather Report, amongst the first Western outfits to assimilate what we now think of as world music, without patronising it through superficial novelties.
By Hegaz you've got full-on sitar-like guitar which must be inspired by McLaughlin’s modifications in Shakti and, for Miles’ sake, Hammond too, bass kicking butt throughout.
The final piece of set one is Berger Song with some subtle Eastern violin and some more solid rock guitar.
Set two is more of the same, insomuch as don't be surprised by anything. Lots of flute, clavinet, bass clarinet and a hint of Miles electric style trumpet, perhaps a nod and a wink to Bitches Brew. There's more in the way of vocals, but anybody who wants ABBA, either the band or song-form, should probably look elsewhere. Anybody who likes sprawling, sweeping epics with a plethora of influences, should probably check this out.
The notes cite Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, Studio One, John Cage, drum n bass, the Allman Brothers, James Brown, Fela Kuti and Sun Ra and, unsurprisingly, I'd like to add Zappa and prog rock. 
Bass player Mike Rivard and drummer Dean Johnston are the constant presence in this band and I can safely say I will travel anywhere in this country to see them live. No plans for a tour as yet but in the meantime, slap this on and turn it up, it may well be the future.
It's been out since January.    
Sample/Purchase.
Steve T.

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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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