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Bebop Spoken There

Andrew Hadro: "It seems to me that everybody just puts out an album, they go through the motions, spend the money and they just sort of throw it out there into the sea of CDs and hope something comes back" - (DownBeat June 2018).

Jonnathan Blake (Blindfold Test): “Maybe it's someone from New Orleans who has lived in New York for a minute.” (DownBeat June 2018).

Today Tuesday May 22

Afternoon

Classic Swing - The Ship, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.

Evening

Safe Sextet with Debra Milne - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB. Tel: 01434 603681. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Sandrani @ the Jazz Café - November 24

Vanessa Rani (vocals);  Upneet Singh (tabla); Joe Harris (guitar)
(Review/Photos by Ken Drew) 
We saw Rani here last year as part of the Masala Festival in July, and the year before, with her band Manjula. Tonight was a different mix, a trio with tabla, guitar and voice. A stripped-down version of Manjula perhaps, but just as beguiling. Featuring musicians of Indian, English, and Mauritian heritages, this trio creates a progressive style of global music which fuses together classical Indian Raag and folk song with Western-style grooves and improvisations. Each of the players contributes to the mix so that experimentation and innovation are always present in a sound that is unique yet wholly accessible.
Vanessa Rani herself is still composing, and her voice was pitch perfect as before, occasionally soaring free in improvised passages over the established soundscape. She is fluent in a variety of verbal and musical languages, moving seamlessly across the spectrum, acting often as the prominent instrument in the ensemble, yet never overpowering.  Whilst she sings in many styles, there was one point where a certain run of blue notes made me contemplate her tackling a Latin-American style. I think it would work, her voice is more than capable, but not in this context.   Guitarist Joe Harris was playing classical guitar with this line-up and was the better for it. It sounded clean and distinct matching perfectly the style of songs played.  Tabla maestro Upneet Singh provided the South Asian feel and played constantly, with apparent ease, complementing both the style of tunes and the other performers. 
So, with the involvement of tabla player Singh, the music inclines rhythmically to the Indian classical and folk traditions, but there’s plenty of western style jazz improvisation in the mix, and Vanessa Rani herself with Portuguese inheritance but having studied extensively in India, moved seamlessly across linguistic and stylistic borders. Interestingly, the second set opened with a duo with just Singh and Harris, which itself proved that the style is flexible enough to work with only two instruments. In fact it worked very well, allowing some concentration on the two players, both individually, their interaction and their overall sound.

This is music that transcends categories, creating its own distinctive and utterly enthralling space. In fact, the review of Rani's last performance still holds true this time around:  "It’s difficult to put this music into a specific genre. In fact there’s little point – it delivers an easily accessible groove with a range of styles which are a good basis for the group to play together, take solos, enjoy what they do, entertain and intoxicate the audience.  A nice excursion for Jazz North East followers, and Gem Arts too!"  The bonus is that it was also a Women Makes Music presentation too. What's not to like?
Ken
Photos.

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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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