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Bebop Spoken There

Les Paul: "Okay so you make great sounds. The people you're playing for, they work all day, they don't go to music schools and study harmony. They pay their dough, they come in, they listen. If they don't understand what you're doing, they walk out. What are you supposed to do, tie 'em with a rope whilst you explain you're playing great music?" - (Down Beat June 15, 1951).

Jack Perciful: "Unless you're playing somewhere like Carnegie Hall, in the States, the piano is the last thing they buy. When they've got ten dollars left over they go buy a piano." - (Crescendo October 1971.)

Number 22!

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

Sunday May 28

Afternoon.
Harambee Pasadia - See RH Column.
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Mark Williams (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Northumberland Park, Tynemouth Rd., Tynemouth NE30 2HA. 3pm. Free.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. Blues jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
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Evening
Cancelled! Young Musicians Jam Session - Quakerhouse, Mechanics' Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 6pm. Cancelled!
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Billy Bootleggers All Star House Band w. Teresa Watson - Billy Bootleggers - 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Listening Through The Noise - Some Thoughts

My main thought about this book is that the writer is genuinely trying to say something original about music, but she fails to tell me anything I didn’t already know, so I won’t be hurrying to the shops any time soon.
I imagine there are others on the blog who feel the same, and I’d love them to write something as well. Mind, my experience of electronic music is limited to what I hear on Radio 3’s nightime ‘Late Junction’ music programme, which has a good mix of world and unusual music. I usually have to turn down the cacophany of the electronic stuff.
Maybe I’m missing something. The writer wants natural sounds incorporated into music. They always have been. Classical composers included birdsong motifs in their music. They didn’t have the facilities to record the real thing, and if they had they would presumably have modified the sounds into some kind of musical pattern. Birdsong has musical elements but I think there’s a world of difference between just listening to the natural world itself and making actual patterned music from the raw material.
The writer says there are new ways of listening to music, but people have always listened to music in different ways. When Mozart was played in salons it was often just a background to people flirting and doing business deals. There was never a golden age of people listening with rapt attention. Wagner was the man who tried to get people to listen ‘properly’, by turning down the lights in the theatre.
So people today listen in many different ways, such as background music, music for dancing, or songs in folk clubs where silence is expected because you need to hear the words.
I find listening to modern jazz challenging because I don’t know whether to follow one instrument, let it all wash over me, or what, and that’s what makes it interesting.
The writer mentions the use of silence. It’s in all music already. I believe it was John Cage who wrote a piece of 4 minutes silence, but that was really a piece to question the actual nature of music and what you heard was actually the coughs of the audience and distant outside noises etc. And as for the use of feedback, Jimi Hendrix positively thrived on it!
She gives the example of what happened to painting when photography came along. After a while painting reasserted itself and it’s alive and well today, and one style of painting even copies photography. We’ve already had the same kind of discussion about literature a few years back, when the ‘death of the novel’ was predicted, but it didn’t happen. All worthwhile art forms survive, with modifications over time.
No doubt electronic music will contribute something to music generally, without too much of a revolution.
Ann Alex

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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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