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Bebop Spoken There

Frank Zappa: "There was so much acid during the '60s that it was very easy for large numbers of people to think they had seen God as soon as the Beatles went boom, boom, boom, you know?." - (DownBeat May 18, 1978). – (DownBeat May 18, 1978).

Ryan Keberle: “Don't be easy on yourself when it comes to playing with perfect intonation. All other instruments will be playing with close-to-perfect intonation; the same should be expected of trombonists.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Thursday March 22


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

Higher Education & Research Presents: Future Grooves - Sage Gateshead. 12 noon. £5.00. Showcase performances by BMus & BA degree course students featuring jazz and non-jazz sets.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - White Horse Hotel, Burtree Lane, Harrowgate Hill, Darlington DL1 3AD. Tel: 01325 463262. 1:30pm. Free.


MGB: Milne Glendinning Band - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. Milne, Glendinning, Katy Trigger (bass) & Nik Alevroyiannis (drums).

BABMUS @ Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. £3.00. (£2.00. students/MU).

Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra - St Cuthbert’s Centre, Church Hill, Crook DL15 9DN. Tel: 01388 765002. 7:30pm. £7.50., £5.00. child, £20.00. family.

Higher Education & Research Presents: Future Grooves - Sage Gateshead. 7:30pm. £5.00. Showcase performances by BMus & BA degree course students featuring jazz and non-jazz sets.

Ada Francis & the Italic Quartet - Las Iguanas, Grey Street, Newcastle NE1 6AF. Tel: 0191 232 9729. 7:30pm. Fortnightly restaurant residency. Line-up: Ada Francis (vocals); Jimmy Jefford (tenor saxophone); Ben Richardson (piano); Luke Gaul (bass) & Harry Still (drums).

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

Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter’s Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE. Tel: 0191 488 8068. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocal); Richie Emmerson (tenor); Bruce Taylor (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.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

CD Review: Akua Dixon - Akua's Dance

Akua Dixon (baritone violin, cello, voice); Freddie Bryant (guitar); Kenny Davis (bass); Victor Lewis (drums); Russell Malone (guitar); Ron Carter (bass).
(Review by Steve T)
This must be the lady who played the Newcastle Jazz Caff a while back which I, unfortunately, couldn't make.
No doubt others will be able to point to precedents but I'm unaware of any Jazz with a cello as lead instrument and I was further intrigued to learn, after a couple of plays, that some of it's actually a baritone violin.
Her playing is immense and there's some brilliant solo exchanges, particularly with the guitarists.

Her voice only features on one track, Throw it Away by Abbey Lincoln, and the notes describe her voice as soulful, but it isn't in any conventional way and I found it more suited to show tunes and musicals.
There's a traditional spiritual and a version of Sade's Sweetest Tabu to get you guessing where you've heard it before. Sade's career began as part of the British acid/Jazz/dance scene of the eighties which evolved from northern soul and Jazz-funk, but with almost immediate chart action, abandoned her long before this point. The rest of the album features originals by the lady.
The strongest track for me is the title track with an exotic feel and builds nicely. Also of note is Afrika! Afrika! with a deep, dark and powerful sound coming from the cello, mostly unaccompanied for almost four of its almost seven minutes. A couple of times it sounds like it could go into Paranoid by Black Sabbath.
I imagine this would have been fantastic live and have it on the best authority that it was, so I imagine she'll shift plenty of copies at gigs.
It's been out since February. 

Steve T.


Russell said...

Steve, you're thinking of Ayanna Witter-Johnson, and fabulous she was too! Aqua Dixon is an established NYC name working across the jazz to classical spectrum. If Dixon should ever turn up at the Jazz Cafe make sure you're second in the queue.

Steve T said...

So there are other cellists in Jazz. Thanks for that , I must investigate further.

Lance said...

Like Oscar Pettiford with Duke and Fred Katz with Chico Hamilton and, I bet, even Andy Champion has a cello hidden in the closet!

Steve T said...

Contemplated a Pettiford box set but too much music, too little time. Not a lot of people know this but if you put more than six hundred items (incl books, DVDs)in your Amazon basket, they randomly take stuff out without telling you.
I feel an excuse to explore my latest Duke box coming on though.

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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.