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Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

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 Sunday April 30

All Day.
Darlington Jazz Festival - details.
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International Jazz Day - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. From 2pm 'til late. Free - details.
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Strictly Smokin' Small Band - Gateshead Beer and Music Festival - Gateshead RFC, Eastwood Gdns., Low Fell NE9 5UB. £12 admission to beer festival. Band play 1:45pm - 2:35pm.
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Afternoon.
Joel Byrne McCullough - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
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.
Evening
Nick Ross Orchestra (Glenn Miller) - Forum Theatre, Queensway, Billingham. 7:30pm. £22 (£20.50 conc.).
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Zoe's gig, 'Ode to Billie Joe' and favourite song titles

As you say a very nice gig with Zoe and the band with great choice of material. As well as the songs you mentioned, I particularly liked the Donald Duck style scat interplay between the trumpet and voice in 'Centrepiece'.
Interesting that you especially mention 'Ode to Billie Joe' as I was planning to ask Zoe to sing it last night but arrived late and didn't want to start shouting out requests. So I was very pleased that Zoe sang it anyway and introduced it as 'a story, a chance to act a part'.
The reason I was going to request the song was that I've just read Greil Marcus's book 'Invisible Republic' which is a meditation on American folk music taking as a jumping off point Dylan's 'Basement Tapes'. In it he talks about 'Ode to BJ' being in the archetypal tradition of folk songs where themes like loss and memory unfold in a distancing, matter of fact way. I guess like most people I thought the question was 'what was thrown off the bridge?' but, of course, that's not the point at all. The girl/young woman telling the story knows what was thrown off but nobody asks her. The family talk about the suicide with the same interest as they have in black-eyed peas and biscuits, while Billie-Joe's girlfriend is sitting there as part of the same family. Apparently Gentry herself described the song as a 'study in unconscious cruelty'. Reading that makes me hear the song completely differently.
Marcus says that one of the Basement Tapes tracks 'Clothes Line Sage' was originally entitled "Answer to 'Ode' ", and in fact applies the language and tone of 'Ode to BJ' to a whole nation. The song revolves around the essential activity of putting out and taking in the washing from the line and towards the end a neighbour walks by and says 'Have you heard the news. The vice-president's gone mad'  and the mother says 'Gee, that's too bad' to which the reply is 'Well, there's nothing we can do about it'. Then the washing is taken in again. And this was written in the social ferment that was early 1970s America.
Just on the question of favourite song titles, how about 'God must be a Boogie Man' and 'the Wolf that lives in Lindsey' (no, I don't think its that Lindsay), which are also from the Joni Mitchell 'Mingus' album where 'Dry Cleaner' comes from. And then there is the poignant 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' from the same album (maybe that's a track for Zoe and the band?).
JC

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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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