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Bebop Spoken There

Howlin' Wolf: “He [Charlie Patton] was a nice guy, but he just loved the bottle--like all the rest of the musicians. He was a great drinker.” – (DownBeat December 16, 1967).

Frank Zappa: “Those kids [US students] wouldn't know music if it came up and bit 'em on the ass.” – (DownBeat October 3, 1969).

Today Thursday April 26

Afternoon

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

Tees Valley Jazzmen - No.1 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL12 7NJ. Tel: 01388 665533. 12:30pm. Free admission.

Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society - Gateshead Central Library, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead NE8 4LN. 5:00pm. Fortnightly meetings, all welcome.

Evening

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Millstone, Haddrick’s Mill Road, South Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 1QL. 0191 2853229. 7pm.

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Holywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. 8:30pm. Free.

Bearpark Trio - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £3 (£2 student/MU.).

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

Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland (tpt); Donna Hewitt (sax); Graham Thompson (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.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

CD Review: Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble - The Spirit of Trane

Gilad Atzmon (tenor, soprano, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute); Frank Harrison (piano); Yaron Stavi (bass); Enzo Zirilli (drums) + Sigamos String Quartet.
(Review by Steve T)  
Lots of tributes to the great man during this, the fiftieth anniversary year of his death. But there are constant tributes to him, and when you consider how pervasive his influence has been on the Jazz of the last fifty years and more, perhaps they're just playing Jazz.
After all, we don't think of everything that happened after bebop as a tribute to Bird.
The secret is to do something which enhances or adds to his oeuvre, like the Denys Baptiste album, which focused on the largely neglected late period but risked excluding critics of Late Trane, which is most people.
So does this album achieve any of that? Well, yes and no. 
In a Sentimental Mood opens things up, as you would expect, and it immediately reminded me of Vignette, a comparison I've never spotted before so I must search out the original. A lineage from Duke through Trane to Paul Edis!
It's actually very beautiful but the problem, which runs through the album, emerges very soon. Like our other Steve [H], I love what Bartok (and even Beethoven [sic- Lance]) achieved with a string quartet, which filtered down to Basquiat Strings, Laura Jurd’s first album and presumably lots of other things. But to these ears, the string quartet here functions more like an easy listening ensemble from childhood memories of a seaside spa somewhere near you.
Track two really settles in to the MOR/easy listening/ smooth vibe before Minor Thing brings some much-needed b^II$, at least initially.
Track four is more of whatever it is before Blue Trane picks things up with a quite jarring effect of lone tenor playing the iconic head.
Many great versions of Naima, not least by Denys Baptiste (not from Late Trane), and this one is quite lovely, until you get the strings.
I found Giant Steps almost unrecognisable but I know this particular piece is a much bigger deal to musicians than the rest of us. The album ends with a nice enough ballad, if it wasn't for those pesky strings.
He would have got away with it too, and I have come across successful uses of strings in Jazz, so I'm not one who automatically hates the very idea of it, though I concede it's generally problematic, but this one is not for me. Best played quietly.
Steve T.

1 comment :

Steve T said...

I know Lord Paul is a big Beethoven man, but I don't accept the assertion that Beethoven was intrinsically 'better' than Bartok.
In fact, I have almost no interest in Classical Music before Schoenberg and the Beethoven string quartets are something of an anomaly for me.

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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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