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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

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Today Sunday September 24

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Day three of three.
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Afternoon.
More Jam - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm. Free.
Ian Harrington (solo piano) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
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Mick Shoulder's Swing Manouche - Claypath Delicatessen, Durham DH1 1QS. 0191 3407209. 4pm. £5.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's, 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Blues Jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
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Jazz Tones - Quakerhouse, Mechanics' Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 6pm. £4.
Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 01325 788564. 5pm. Weekly.
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Evening
The Blueswater - Cluny, Lime St., Newcastle NE1 2PQ 0191 2304474
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Chris Martin - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

CD Review: Sam Braysher & Michael Kanan - Golden Earrings

Sam Braysher (alto); Michael Kanan (piano).
(Review by Lance).
The duo format is becoming ever increasingly popular with both players and club owners although not always with the listener. In these times of austerity, two musicians cost less than 3, 4 or 5 which appeals to the person behind the till. For the musicians, duos need minimal, if any, rehearsals or special arrangements. Newcastle's Jazz Café was one of the first in the area to adopt this policy and, most of the time it worked although sometimes it didn't and it had to be a pairing of the regions finest to hold the attention of the Friday night crowd.
On the evidence of this album, I think Braysher and Kanan may have managed it. Unfortunately, their itinerary indicates that their tour stops short in Leeds before turning tail and heading back down south (if it's any consolation they aren't doing Clitheroe either!).
Both musicians are new to me. Braysher graduated from Guildhall where he was an Artist Fellow and a Chartered Surveyors' Prize winner. His cv includes gigs with Jorge Rossy, Barry Green, Pete Hurt, John Warren's Nonet and the London Jazz Orchestra.
His co-pilot here is leading New York pianist Michael Kanan and the album was recorded last year in Brooklyn for the Barcelona based Fresh Sound New Talent label.
Braysher's tone is similar to early Lee Konitz perhaps even lighter if that were possible. He floats in an ethereal sort of way. He's a dancer more akin to the ballet than, say, a Broadway hoofer. Kanan's also a Dancing Dan his lines weaving and entwining with his musical soulmate. Not surprisingly, given the Konitz vein, Lennie Tristano isn't far away - George Wallington too. Contrapuntal, Bach on 52nd St.
Bird's Cardboard has both men 'blowing' out and out bebop unison lines playing the complex head as one.
"Gentlemen, take your partners for the next waltz" the MC or the bandleader commands and the males escort the lady of their choice on to the dance floor where the band might play an Irving Berlin Waltz Medley which is exactly what happens here - an Irving Berlin Waltz Medley comprising; What'll I Do, Always and Remember. It's quite delightful although I'm not sure if Victor Sylvester would have approved.
With the exception of an original by Braysher (BSP), a piece by Duke and another by Tadd Dameron the bulk of the material, like so much classic jazz, is from the GASbook. Braysher and Kanan tried not to be influenced by previous jazz versions preferring to study the sheet music and popular recordings of the songs in an attempt, he says, to get into the composer's mind.
Dancing in the Dark; Cardboard; Berlin Medley; BSP; All Too Soon; In Love in Vain (Kern & Robin from Film Centennial Summer); The Scene is Clean (Dameron); Beautiful Moons Ago (Nat Cole); Golden Earrings; Way Down Yonder in New Orleans. This latter piece, Braysher says, contains a harmonic surprise towards the end. Must listen to it more carefully next time I visit one of the Trad watering holes. Braysher and Kanan provide a surprise of their own by playing, in unison, Lester Young's 1938 solo on the Kansas City Six's version of the same tune.
Recommended!
Lance.
Available Sept. 1, Launch at the Vortex Sept. 13. FSNT 1007.

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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: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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