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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)

Archives

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. Doors 7pm. £7.
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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.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Jo Harrop @ the Gala Studio, Friday July 28

(Review & photos by Brian Ebbatson/Collage by Lance).
The Park and Ride bus at Sniperley pulled away without Jo as she was helping some European visitors buy tickets, but this was the only mishap of the day. Jo still arrived well in time to quickly rehearse the one number not on the programme with fellow musicians Paul Edis on piano, Andy Champion on double bass and Russ Morgan on drums, before taking a quick break as the Gala Studio filled up in anticipation of some sparkling summer afternoon jazz.
“Jo Harrop is a young jazz singer with a rich, captivating voice, who takes on classic jazz standards with ease” is how the Royal Albert Hall website describes Jo. Such is the range of her repertoire,
Jordi Jo (as she’s been known since her student days) only repeated two numbers from the previous gigs. Hearing familiar, less familiar, and one new number we were treated to yet another outstanding hour of music.
Andy opened Taking a Chance on Love, Jo’s voice and phrasing clear and precise, Paul’s lively solo backed by Andy’s tight bass notes and Russ’s smooth brushes, Andy also soloing before Jo brought the song to a close. Don’t Be That Way followed, Jo sounding like one of her inspirations, Peggy Lee. Another carefully built solo by Paul a foretaste of more to come - classic piano jazz - as the band settled in for the rest of the concert. Jo finished on a deep mellow tone as the band closed out.

Bossa Nova followed with Jobim’s Once I Loved. Jo’s voice starts light and clear as she warms into the song; the band is really working as a tight unit behind her. Andy’s solo is crisp and resonant, reminiscent of Charlie Haden behind his perspex screen, and Jo final chorus is deep and warm, at times almost husky, as she reaches the final lines: “Love is the saddest thing, when it goes away”.
Nat King Cole is another inspiration for Jo and the next number, Jerome Kern’s Pick Yourself Up, pays appropriate homage. Paul is clearly enjoying the space given him, Russ’s cymbals ringing behind him, leading to a great drum solo before Jo closes out.

The pace changes for April in Paris, taken faster than Ella and the Count, but no less precise in Jo’s phrasing and clarity of voice. Another sparkling piano solo, then Andy’s bass brings Jo back to the final verses and chorus …. “no-one can ever reprise …”.
End Of The Affair is a gem. Jo has recorded this song with composer-pianist Alex Webb’s Copasetics on their 2016 CD Call Me Lucky (see 7 July 2016 review on this site,). On first hearing, the song is Jobimesque, the opening almost sounding like Corcovado, but it quickly establishes its own identity, while keeping the light melodic touch of the Brazilian master’s compositions. Jo sings it with feeling and confidence and the band play as if it is just another familiar standard. It’s a tribute to Webb’s composition and Jo and the band’s interpretation that it fits so smoothly into an otherwise all-American programme. You can hear Jo singing it with Alex Webb on YouTube.

Jo and the band are now pushed to finish the programme, but still do justice to all the numbers. Paul starts an extended version of Ellington’s I Ain’t Got Nothing But The Blues as if it was Rockin’ In Rhythm’, stretching out to cover almost all the notes on his keyboard. Jo’s voice is deep into the blues and the band really in the groove behind her. The pace slows with Brandt and Haymes’ 1952 number That’s All. Jo sings the delicate melody and lyrics beautifully, “If you’re wondering what I ask in return dear, you’ll be glad to know that my demand is small – that’s all”. You Turned the Tables on Me follows. Jo’s sings the lyrics with feeling and sincerity - “You turned the tables on me. I can’t believe it’s true. … I got was coming to me”.
We’re all checking our watches and wondering if they’ll complete the programme, but now Jo treats us to another gem, the little known but beautiful You Taught My Heart To Sing by McCoy Tyner and Sammy Kahn, which Jo discovered on a Dianne Reeves CD. But not quite the end. As the clock ticks past the hour Jo, Paul, Andy and Russ launch into a high-paced rendering of Cole Porter’s I Get A Kick Out Of You, an appropriate finale whose message the 100-capacity audience enthusiastically reflect back to singer and band.
Brian E.

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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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