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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.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

CD Review: Seth MacFarlane - Music is Better Than Words. - RELEASED TOMORROW!

Move over Bublé and the other keepers of the Gasbook flame - there's a new kid on the block.
Well, not exactly a new kid as Seth MacFarlane is described in the blurb as "Multi Emmy winning Family Guy creator."
Furthermore, the creative force behind Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show, a franchise with an estimated worth of $2 billion, who has garnered four Emmys and seven nominations and is also an actor and film director goes for the full set by releasing his début vocal album on Decca.
This raises the question, would Decca have put their corporate weight behind a guy working - say Forest Hall Club - as opposed to a guy with a lot of bucks behind him?
Whatever, those issues aside, this is an excellent disc well sung with great arrangements. Inevitably, as with everyone who travels this well trodden path, the influence of Francis Albert is never far away and that is acceptable - it's only a suggestion of Old Blue Eyes after all. In actual fact the album was recorded in the Capital studio where Sinatra recorded so many of his classic tracks and indeed the recording mic - the legendary microphone nicknamed "The Frank" - was borrowed from The Smithsonian Institute for the session.
The songs are great and not at all hackneyed - my favourite lyric is the Love Won't Let You Get Away by Jimmy Van Heuson and Sammy Cahn. Lots of quadruple rhymes! 
I'll find an area,
More remote than Bavaria,
I'll still get in the hair of ya
In Bavaria 
Or Bombay.
This is what makes the Gasbook so special - Lloyd Webber couldn't get within a mile of that!
Sarah Bareilles duetted with Seth on this latter track and, earlier, Norah  Jones helped him out beautifully on Two Sleepy People. Not that he needs help. MacFarlane is a fine singer irrespective of his other talents and deserves to be heard.
The arrangements are by conductor Joel McNeeley who leads the Riddle style orchestra which includes Peter Erskine on drums, Alan Broadbent, piano, Pete Christlieb on tenor and a host of other studio names.
Other tracks are It's Anybody's Spring, the title track - Music is Better Than Words - Anytime Anywhere, The Night They Invented Champagne, You're The Cream in my Coffee, Something Good, Meredith Wilson's wonderful The Sadder But Wiser Girl For Me, It's Easy to Remember, Laura - ok so Frank wins that one but it's a split decision. She's Wonderful Too - an original by MacFarlane and McNeeley - proves that the Gasbook is still open and this is a worthy addition that deserves to be added to any perceptive singers's repertoire.
Verdict? If I were a Belle I'd be swooning... 
Seth MacFarlane: Music is Better Than Words Released by Decca August 27.
Seth MacFarlane also performs in The Broadway Sound at the Royal Albert Hall as part of The Proms on the above date and plays Ronnie Scott's on August 30.

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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.