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Bebop Spoken There

Jim Hall: "Won't play loud, can't play fast" - (From one of the great guitarist's business cards brought to our attention by Roly Veitch).

Joel Harrison: “It’s incredibly hard to play bebop on guitar, harder than on saxophone.” – (Jazz Times August 2015)

Today Wednesday June 28

Afternoon.
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Chris Sharkey Trio - Jazz Café. 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £5/Students free - voluntary donation.
Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:30pm. £3.00.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

CD Review: Tomoko Omura - Post Bop Gypsies

Tomoko Omura (5 string violin); Alex Goodman (guitar); George Delancey (bass).
(Review by Lance).
I've always had an affinity with jazz violin, perhaps it was because my first efforts at making music were on a cut price Strad or, more likely, it was when I first heard Stephane Grappelli (or Grappelly as he called himself then). To this day I love the gypsy jazz sound as personified by local exponent Emma Fisk. However, I also love more modern sounds and, somehow, Jean-Luc Ponty never quite cut it for me.
Enter Tomoko Omura, Berklee graduate, the first violinist to receive the prestigious Roy Haynes Award and, now, with two previous albums to her name, this latest release.
Using a 5 stringed instrument, the additional C string enables the instrument to drop down into viola territory making it a very versatile instrument indeed.
The album's an attempt (successful) to combine gypsy jazz and bebop.
Parker's Relaxin' at Camarillo and Monk's Four in One take us down 52nd St. and it's more than a nostalgia trip - the flattened fifth lives!
Smile, written by no less a person than Charlie Chaplin, is given a fairly straight interpretation.
JR - nothing to do with Dallas - inspired by the lively sounds you hear in Japanese railway stations. This one is even boppier than the earlier bop anthems and makes me wish the Metro, or even the Orient Express had a branch line to Tokyo! An Omura original.
Another original by the violinist is The Boy From Boylston, dedicated to her husband Glenn Zaleski.
The music of Warne Marsh doesn't, regrettably, turn up very often these days which is a shame. Marsh was very much underrated both as a player and as an individual influence. Post-bop but not hard bop; cool but neither east coast nor west coast cool.
He was, simply, Warne Marsh.
That Omura should choose Marsh’s Background Music for her album says much for her perception and much for his music’s longevity.
We move into heavier waters for Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 Aria. Still compelling music. Maybe even more so as, much as we enjoyed the previous, here we were into a more intense area, a different land. That additional C string came well into play at the end.
Arabesque by Debussy kept us in a classical vein. Goodman, playing one of his many fine solos, may have given the late composer a twitch as he reposed in Paris’ Cimetiere de Montrouge but not enough for him to turn over. Claude may have even mouthed tres bon.
From Debussy to a jazz romantic – Lionel Hampton. Hampton may not have always been a balladeer but when he was there were few better. Midnight Sun enables Omura to build on those qualities.
Back to bebop for the final track – Wee by Denzil Best (was it also known as Allen’s Alley?)
And a great finale. Omura is a fine player and, in Goodman and Delancey, she couldn’t have had better support.
Lance
Available July 7 via usual outlets.

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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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