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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.

Monday, March 05, 2018

CD Reviews: Carlos Vega - Bird's Ticket and Bird's Up.

(Review by Lance).
Two CDs recorded not quite 2 years apart by a modern-day hardbop quintet led by Florida born Vega who also composed all of the 20 tracks on both albums as well as blowing some paint stripping sax. It's a humdinger of a band, all strong soloists in their own right and, importantly, team players too. Although the albums were recorded in Chicago, there is often a Miami Latin feel to the music  -listen to the Cajon box* on Taurus and Virgo on Bird's Ticket! Garcia blows melodically, suggesting shades of Lee Morgan adding the fire when the occasion demands it which is often. Vega solos with both lyricism and freneticism taking the tenor into a harmonic world beyond the reach of many mere mortals.

Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, Mindeman, Ramos and Breaker prepare the ground for landing before taking off on their own musical adventures.

Two splendid albums, both available on the Origin label.
Which one to choose? 
Tough call. 
Personally, I think the boppier Bird's Up just gets the nod but it's a split decision with Garcia's solo on, On a Mission, certainly that of a man on a mission. Vega too is on a quest, a quest that should lead him to the higher echelons of the DownBeat Polls. The intriguingly titled - Untitled Waltz for the Wednesday Morning Prayer Meeting sees the quintet augmented by Cheryl Wilson's wordless vocal, some deft guitar-picking and a fatter ensemble with the added brass of Strand and Nelson.
At the end of the day, after listening to both again I came to the conclusion that the best bet would be to spin a coin or if you've got coin to spare, buy both.
Buy/more details Bird's Ticket - Bird's Up.
Bird's Ticket
Carlos Vega (tenor/soprano); Victor Garcia (trumpet); Stu Mindeman (piano/Rhodes); Josh Ramos (bass); Xavier Breaker (drums); Juan Pastor (Cajon on 1 track).

Bird's Up
As above minus Pastor plus Cheryl Wilson (vocal); Scott Hesse (guitar); Steve Strand (flugel); Michael B. Nelson (trombone) - all on 1 track only.

*You don't need to go to Florida for a Cajon - there's a company in South Shields make and supply them!

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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.