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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 Saturday March 24


Dave Donohoe Band - St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington DL3 7TG. 12:30pm.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - Hardwick Arms Hotel, 1 North End, Sedgefield TS21 2AZ. Tel: 01740 622305. 1:30pm. Free.


Ladies of Midnight Blue - Live Theatre, Broad Chare, Newcastle NE1 3DQ. Tel: 0191 232 1232. 8:00pm. £12.00. (advance). Hannabiell, Yilis & co. Jumpin’ Hot Club gig.

Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra -Scarth Memorial Hall, Staindrop, Co Durham DL2 3JL. Tel: 01388 660786. 8:00pm. £9.00., £5.00. child.

Tyne Valley Big Band - TORCH Centre, Corbridge Road, Hexham NE46 1QS. 7:30pm.

Billy Bootleggers All Star Band - 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.

Friday, March 02, 2018

CD Review: Kit Downes - Obsidian

Kit Downes (pipe organs) + Tom Challenger (tenor saxophone on track 5)
(Review by Russell)
An album of pipe organs! Improvising jazz pianist Kit Downes also plays the church pipe organ, or rather he did. As a child, he sang in a cathedral choir in Norwich and took lessons with the organist showing an aptitude for improvising. He has maintained an interest in the organ, occasionally visiting churches to play the instrument. In November 2016, Downes recorded this CD on three organs in three churches.

The instruments, of varying dimensions, have their individual characteristics and Downes sought to highlight the differences in his compositions written for the three site-specific organs. In the album’s liner notes Downes explains that at a lower volume the instruments’ subtleties are readily revealed, as opposed to their capacity at full-throttle to be utterly overwhelming. Ten tracks; eight of them are Downes’ compositions, one is co-written with his father Paul Downes and one is an arrangement of  Black is the Colour. The latter is markedly ‘traditional’ compared to Downes’ compositions on which he improvises freely. The CD (recorded at St John’s in Snape, Suffolk, St Edmund’s in Bromeswell, Suffolk, and Union Chapel, London) was recorded close up to the instruments ‘so you can hear all the mechanical noises…’

Saxophonist Tom Challenger is heard on one track – Modern Gods – which, on first hearing, could be Downes, but is most definitely tenor saxophone. This ECM release, as one has come to expect, is beautifully recorded and the CD’s artwork is typically that of the German label.
Obsidian by Kit Downes is released on ECM (ECM 2559 5782651).             

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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.