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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 Saturday March 17


Rat Pack - Live from Las Vegas @ Sunderland Empire, High St West, Sunderland SR1 3EX. 2:30pm. Featuring Rat Pack Big Band & Burrelli Sisters.


KOAN 7 - the Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:00pm. £5.00. (£4.00. concs). ‘Form and Space’ ‘An evening of free improvisation and original composition’. Line-up includes John Pope (solo improvised set).

Rat Pack - Live from Las Vegas @ Sunderland Empire, High St West, Sunderland SR1 3EX. 7:30pm. Featuring Rat Pack Big Band & Burrelli Sisters.

Boys of Brass - Brandling Villa, Haddricks Mill Road, South Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 1QL. 9:00pm. Free.

Ben Cipolla - Great Broughton Village Hall, Ingleby Road, Great Broughton, Cleveland TS9 7ER. 7:30pm. Tickets: £12.50 from 01642 712176.

Gilded Thieves - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Sunday, August 06, 2017

CD Review: John Vanore and his All-Star Large Ensemble - Stolen Moments, Celebrating Oliver Nelson

(Review by David Brownlow)
A fine CD by John Vanore leading a 15 piece jazz orchestra honouring the works of his former tutor - composer/arranger, Oliver Nelson who sadly passed away in 1975. Nine pieces originally composed or arranged by Nelson which Vanore has reimagined, rearranged, played trumpet on or conducted this strong material. The line-up is unusual in that there are two French horns, two trombones, four/five trumpets, two saxes who double, and five in the rhythm dept. The arrangements are freshly crafted in the ‘contemporary’ big band/orchestra style and the results are dynamic and full of surprises - well worth hearing.
The opener, Self Help Is Needed, from 1969, is a swinger with richly harmonised, brassy ensembles and a “fruity” solo from Steve Wilson on alto. A “springy” A Taste Of Honey in jazz-waltz time features Bob Malach on tenor; Vanore gets some new life from the well-known pop song with a refreshing re-harmonisation. 
Stolen Moments, Oliver Nelson’s best-known composition, has a brass-led chorale-style opening of this haunting song followed by bass and piano solos. The leader then ‘joins the fray’ with his only playing contribution – a deeply felt tribute to his mentor. 
The twelve-minute long El Gato, originally written in homage to Argentinian saxist Gato Barbieri, features extended work-outs from Malach, Wilson and guitarist Kettinger. The arranger cleverly builds up then releases the tension with backgrounds driving each solo above a churning rhythm section. 
Finally, there is a fiery two-way ‘conversation’ between alto and tenor leading to an exultant climax. A slow St Louis Blues has a poignant theme statement from solo trumpet over rich “Gil Evans” style chords leading to a wonderfully fluent and moving feature for Dave Ballou. Evocative also because Oliver Nelson was a native of St Louis……..The famous Blues And The Abstract Truth taken at a fast tempo sounds as fresh and inventive as any contemporary piece. Again featuring Ballou on trumpet, it’s a tour-de-force for him as ideas tumble forth exuberantly – what a player!
A lively Greensleeves is arranged for ‘massed brass’ and a trombone solo from Keberle. New harmonies catch your attention from the start and because it’s a short track, (2 min 59 sec) it leaves the listener wanting more…I Hope In Time A Change Will Come again from 1969 has Steve Wilson on soprano this time supported by warm background figures from the band. A strong ‘blues’feel to this piece adds strength to Nelson’s title and his hopes for the future…
Finally, Reuben’s Rondo is the cleverly-written chart which first inspired Vanore years ago. Given a “fresh lick of paint” this track charges briskly along swinging with Wilson on alto well to the fore.

A recommended CD with a nod to the past and a look to the future, this is one of my albums of the year available on August 18, from acoustical concepts AC-53 @
Dave Brownlow.
John Vanore (Composer/arranger/trumpet); Tony Kadlek, Augie Haas, Jon Owens, Dave Ballou (tpt); Ryan Keberle, Dave Taylor (tmb); Adam Unsworth, George Barnett (Fr.horn); Steve Wilson, Bob Malach (reeds); Jim Ridl (pno); Mike Richmond (bass); Danny Gottlieb (dms); Greg Kettinger (gtr); Beth Gottlieb (perc on 1 track).

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.