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Bebop Spoken There

Michelle Coltrane: "It was Geri Allen who told me, 'Why don't you work with a guitar player? It's a lot easier. They're mobile, all the pianos are out of tune'" - DownBeat March 2018.

Verneri Pohjola: “I've been trying to get away from being 'a young and promising trumpet player' for over twenty years” DownBeat March 2018.

Today Thursday February 22

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Alan Benzie Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £10.00. & £8.00 (advance).

BABMUS - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. £3.00. (£2.00. students/MU).

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Millstone, Haddricks Mill Road, South Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3DB. Tel: 0191 285 3229. 7:00pm. Free

Paul Skerritt Band - The Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. Tel: 01325 468411. 9:00pm.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter’s Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE. Tel: 0191 488 8068. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w Richie Emmerson (tenor); Kevin Eland (trumpet); Ted Pierce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

CD Review: Wendy Kirkland Quartet - Piano Divas

Wendy Kirkland (piano/vocals); Pat Sprakes (guitar); Paul Jefferies (bass); Steve Smith (drums) + Gary Grace (vocal on 1 track).
(Review by Lance).
Pianist/singer Kirkland and her henchmen came up with the idea of putting together a show based on the work of the various great pianist/singers such as Krall, Simone, Blossom, Horn, Elias and others. In the years to come, some other pianist may repeat the exercise the only difference being that whoever does it will have added Wendy Kirkland to the list - she's that good!
The Chesterfield - two CDs in a row from the Peak District! Must be something in the Derbyshire air!* - chanteuse opens with Come Dance With Me. From bar one I sensed that this lady was something special and when I heard the piano solo my suspicions were confirmed.
Class!

Bahia, not the Coltrane composition, but an original co-written with guitarist and husband Sprake, has a jaunty Caribbean rhythm to it that makes you want to dance or order a Caipirinha.
Slow Boat to China - what a great [Frank Loesser] song and what a great version with just enough scatting to avoid overkill.
Some Other Time - an emotional vocal with some lovely guitar interpolations and, of course, piano played to perfection.
Hank Williams' Hey Good Lookin' might not have been Americana material as played here but the guitar and piano fours would have cut it at the Jazz Festival.
Not only is it unusual to hear It's Not Unusual played as a slow bossa but it's even more unusual to hear Jobim's Agua de Beber played as the intro. On the basis that Tom Jones got a knighthood out of It's Not Unusual then Wendy should receive a Damehood - now that would be unusual!
Ben Sidran's Be Nice [to the people on the way up - you're going to meet them on the way back down] great lyric over a familiar sequence. Again, Dame Wendy sings delightfully and with a wry sense of humour and some sparkling piano.
Samba Chica has us returning to Brazil for another Kirkland original. A wordless vocal and some killer guitar - time for another Caipirinha.
Bobby McFerrin's Don't Worry Be Happy - a vocal duet between Kirkland and guest singer Gary Grace with some patter and quotes from other songs. Nice bass solo and more wordless moments of magic. 
Cheek to Cheek, basically a swinger but with several tempo changes that work well. Great piano solo that's matched by Sprakes guitar chorus.
My Baby Just Cares For Me: Sprakes great guitar chorus is matched by Kirkwood's piano solo - honours even.
Meet Me Midnight: Barry Manilow's take on Ja-Da (or Doxy) is a great song and these four don't do it any harm at all.
The Quartet have been touring the show around jazz clubs, festivals and other venues and are keen to keep it on the road. This round of gigs has certainly honed it to perfection as witnessed by the album. Maybe a trip further north sometime...
Alan Barnes and Roger Beaujolais have praised it in very positive terms but perhaps we should let Jim Mullen have the last word - 
Wendy is proof that great musicians are alive and kicking all around the UK and that they don't have to be products of our music colleges to create high quality, entertaining music.
I'll raise a glass of Caipirinha to that!
Lance.
*Gavin Barras lives in Glossop.

1 comment :

JazzKitten said...

Thank you Lance! I'm so pleased you enjoyed our album. Wendy x

Blog Archive

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

About this blog - contact details.

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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