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Bebop Spoken There

Artie Shaw: “I'm not interested in giving people what they want--I'm interested in making music.” – (DownBeat October 15, 1939).

Jason Marsalis: “There's so many places that this music can go and there's a lot yet to be discovered.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Sunday March 18


Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 12 noon. Free.

Jason Isaacs & the Ambassadors of Swing - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 5:30pm (doors 4:00pm). £16.00.

Revolutionaires - Tyne Bar, Maling St, Newcastle NE6 1LP. 3pm. Free.

Somethin’ Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 5:00pm. Tel: 01325 788564. Matt Case (saxophone) & Mike Hepple (guitar).


POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER! Zoë Gilby Quartet - Black Bull, Bridge Street, Blaydon NE21 4JJ. 8:00pm. £5.00. Rescheduled August 19.

Alter Ego - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00.

Bradley Johnston - The Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241. 6:00pm. Free. New weekly residency.

Gypsy Dave Smith - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Friday, July 27, 2012

CD Review: Ellington Saxophone Encounters. Mark Masters' Ensemble

Gary Foster, Don Shelton (alt/clt); Gene Cipriano, Pete Christlieb (ten); Gary Smulyan (bar); Bill Cunliffe (pno); Tom Warrington (bs); John La Barbera (dms).
(Review by Lance).
The idea was to take compositions by five of Ellington's major sax players - Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Ben Webster, Jimmy Hamilton and Harry Carney and arrange them for a sax section comprising of five of today's leading players. The result, to put it mildly, is sensational!
The opening Esquire Swank (Hodges/Ellington) hit me right between the eyes! What a sax section sound and what solos! Down Beat Poll Winner Smulyan who co-lead the project with arranger/composer Mark Masters opens up the batting with a blistering, yet melodic, baritone solo with Christlieb on tenor stripping a bit more paint from the ceiling! In between, Cuncliffe plays some Ducal piano and the bar had been set for what was to follow.
With the exception of Rockin' in Rhythm and Jeeps Blues, this isn't the normal well-used Ellington fare but instead a choice selection by the above mentioned sidemen.
Smulyan is heavily featured in the Harry Carney role bringing a feeling of modernity to the veteran anchorman's work. We're in Love Again is a particularly sumptuous rendition and, surprisingly, Hodges' Jeeps Blues is also a baritone feature - it works beautifully. 
Christlieb is a monster of a tenor player covering both Webster and Gonsalves with authority and originality as does Cipriano who comes across as having a definite affinity to Gonsalves particularly on Peaches (Hodges).. Foster blows cool sounding alto that blends well and Shelton's clarinet echoes Jimmy Hamilton without cloning.
The saxes may have got the gold medals but listen to Bill Cunliffe's piano - like Duke - an inspiration throughout
And of course the whole thing couldn't have worked without Mark Masters' arrangements and his, pardon the pun, masterly direction of the ensemble.
The rhythm section is worthy of any Ellington Orchestra and, although it is barely August, I think this will be well in the running for my record of the year.
Ellington Saxophone Encounters by Mark Masters Ensemble. The American Jazz Institute/Capri Records. Release date August 21, 2012.


Russell said...

I've got to hear this one.

Steve Owen said...

This looks brilliant, can't wait to hear this

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.