Tracks played 26 April, 2019

Small hospital radio station big on jazz every Friday 4 ’til 6pm (GMT)

Sounds Like Jazz is a Gosport Hospital Radio production and these are the tracks played on the above date:

  • Jupiter by the Echoes of Ellington Jazz Orchestra from the album Jazz Planets, 2018
  • Giant Steps by John Coltrane from the album of the same title, 1959
  • No Stars (I’m Fancy Free) by Ella Fitzgerald from the album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook, 1958
  • Oleo by Miles Davis from the album Miles Davis Live at Olympia, 1960
  • Catch and Release by Nick Hempton from the album of the same name, 2015
  • She Did it Again by Michel Petrucciani from the album The Blue Note Years, 1993
  • East of the Sun (And West of the Moon) by Jazzmeia Horn form the album Social Call, 2017
  • 317 East 32nd St. by Allison Neale from the album I wished on the Moon, 2015
  • Sonny’s Playground by George Coleman from the album A Master Speaks, 2016
  • Pussy Cat Dues by Chris Biscoe from the album Profiles of Mingus, 2010
  • I Won’t Dance by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong from the album Ella & Louis Again, 1959
  • Rest Easy by Chris Biscoe & Allison Neale from the album Now & Then, 2015
  • Frenesi by Charlie Sepulveda & The Turnaround from the album Songs For Nat, 2018
  • Leila’s Blues by Gigi Gryce from the album Saying Something, 1960
  • Social Call by Jazzmeia Horn from the album of the same name, 2017
  • Life’s A Ball by Andre Previn from the album 4 to Go!, 1963
  • Waitress Winking by the Andrew Linham Jazz Orchestra from the album Weapons of Mass Distraction, 2016
  • Claudeti by the Duduka Da Fonseca Trio from the album Duduka Da Fonseca Trio Plays Dom Salvador, 2018
  • I’m Going Down by Jazzmeia Horn from the album Social Call, 2017
  • Take Five by the Sachal Studio Orchestra from the album Sound of Asia

Two of a Mind Quartet

The Two of a Mind Quartet is co-lead by saxophonists Chris Biscoe and Allison Neale and I had the pleasure of hearing them live at Southampton Jazz Club on Tuesday, 16 April, 2019 – off the quartet only Chris Biscoe was an unknown quantity to me.

Chris Biscoe + Jeremy Brown + Matt Fishwick + Allison Neal = Two of a Mind

The evening was to be largely built around the band’s interpretations of the work of Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond and in particular the albums Blues in Time and Two of a Mind. The first set began with Allison Neale counting them in on “Standstill” with all players taking a solo at some point. What struck me immediately was the the wonderful musical interaction between Chris and Allison whether playing in unison, harmony or counterpoint.

The next tune was the title track from the 2016 album release Then and Now and this really did swing. There was a really nice extended solo from Allison before bass player Jeremy Brown showed us all what he was capable of. “Easy living” was next with a bowed bass opening. This is a blues number and Chris’ baritone sax really shone on this one, enhanced by the subtle playing of Allison on alto.

“Line for Lions” (a Mulligan and Getz number) was another swinger with alternating playing between the two saxophonists broken up by some fine drum work from Matt Fishwick. Matt’s drumming was brought to the fore on the closing number of the first set where he and Jeremy Brown got to play off each other to great effect.

“How Deep is the Ocean”, as arranged by Allison Neale, kicked off the second set with the Chris Biscoe penned “Rest Easy” following on – both these tracks can be found on the aforementioned album release. Next came the Hoagy Charmichael tune “Skylark”, which for me was the tune of the evening.

Chris had only been listed as playing the baritone and alto sax but for “Skylark” he used the alto clarinet. This is not a familiar instrument in this country and I really don’t understand why not – as I had not seen, or heard this instrument before I had to ask Chris what it was. The tone is beautiful, warm and rich and brought something different to this well known and well loved tune. Unfortunately the alto calrinet does not appear on the Then and Now album but can be heard on another of Chris’ albums Profiles of Mingus.

Victor Herbert’s “Indian Summer” followed with a very subtle Bossa Nova beat from Matt Fishwick. “The Way You Look Tonight” was the penultimate tune of the evening and this was where Matt was really allowed to let rip with an extended drum solo – such a lot of drumming with minimal movement. The second set, and the evening, ended with the Gerry Mulligan composition “Blight of the Fumble Bee” a great number that the band appeared to enjoy playing as much as the audience enjoyed hearing it.

This was an evening of well written music played very well by musicians who engaged with the audience and each other. The MC for the evening commented that Allison Neale, when not playing, was smiling in appreciation throughout the gig and that was infectious. The following morning the first CD in to the player was Then and Now and while no studio album can match a good live performance it was still good to hear a number of the tunes again … and again.

“Whelmed” by Freestone

Saturday, 6 April, 2019 saw Tori Freestone appear live at the Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham. I had been looking forward to this event since the calendar was released. Sadly my anticipation of a good evening’s of live jazz was not met in full.

I purchased the last album released by the trio back in 2016. I like the album and agree with the album reviews like this from Jazzwise magazine:

Freestone’s hypnotically inventive improv is a deeply personal one and ‘El Barranco’ proves she’s a tenor saxophonist worthy of more recognition”  

The performance started with the title track from the 2016 album and was played well. The second track had a Cuban influence and was OK but I felt that drummer Tim Giles was a little self-indulgent on his drum solo, which did little to add to or enhance the music being played – I have to say that I am not a huge fan of the drum solo unless played with a subtlety befitting the tune.

“Oh Shenandoah” was the next tune to get an outing and I have to say that it was well played and quite clearly Tori has a genuine respect for folk music. Next was a jazz standard and while it was introduced I was unable to hear what was said due to poor diction and lack of effective microphone sound levels.

The set finished with “Crosswires”, I believe, which was an amalgamation of the opening tune of the evening with another. The tempo was slightly quicker, which I liked, and the bass playing of Dave Mannington was very enjoyable, as it was all evening. The break was interesting in that the audience was very quiet and I could hear little talk about the first act.

The second set started off with El Mar de Nubes, the title track from the forthcoming album release before moving on to tracks from the albums In The Chop House and El Barranco. Unfortunately the pattern of playing was already well established and there was little variation in what was heard. For me there was an over-reliance on repetitive riffs that did not lead anywhere.

After the performance I spoke to others who had attended the event and the general feeling about the performance was that it was lacklustre. There were signs that something was going to break out of the constant riffing but then it just faded away. I suppose that the best thing I can say about this particular gig is that I did not, as I have done in the past, walk out. I so wanted to enjoy the evening but the feeling of “whelmed” – neither over or under – was the abiding one.

N.B I am fully aware that “whelmed” is not a word that can be found in the dictionary but I hope that you catch my intended meaning.

Tracks played 12 April,2019

Small hospital radio station big on jazz every Friday 4 ’til 6pm (GMT)

Sounds Like Jazz is a Gosport Hospital Radio production and these are the tracks played on the above date:

  • Soul Sister by Warren Wolf from the album Convergence, 2016
  • It’s Not Unusual by Wendy Kirkland from the album Piano Divas, 2017
  • Muhammad’s Market by Omer Avital from the album Abutbul Music, 2016
  • Two of a Mind by Gerry Mulligan & Paul Desmond from the album by the same name, 1962
  • Honeysuckle Rose by Cate Cody from the album Swing Brother Swing, 2011
  • Turnaround by Joshua Redman from the album Wish, 1993
  • Subconscious -Lee by The Nigel Price Organ Trio from the album Heads & Tails, 2011

Tracks played 5 April, 2019

Small hospital radio station big on jazz every Friday 4 ’til 6pm (GMT)

Sounds Like Jazz is a Gosport Hospital Radio production and these are the tracks played on the above date:

  • Baby’s Vibe by Ark Ovrutski from the album 44:33, 2014
  • Could Be by Pol Omedes from the album Mallorca, 2016
  • Don’t Worry Be Happy by Wendy Kirkland from the album Piano Divas, 2017
  • I Just Couldn’t Take it Baby by Ruby Braff & His Men from the album Easy Now, 1958
  • Groovin’ High by Carlos Henriquez from the album Dizzy Con Clave, 2018
  • I Won’t Dance by Cate Cody from the album I Hear Music, 2016
  • Ande by Louis Smith from the album Here Comes Louis Smith, 1996
  • Ad Infinitum by Burak Bedikyan from the album Awakening, 2016

Loud and clear

Since childhood I have always had hearing difficulties but add to that age then the inevitable happens, I need to wear hearing aids.

I am now the owner of NHS provided digital hearing aids. They have taken a bit of getting used to but I can now hear and no longer have to over rely on the use of the pro-noun what did you say?

So what does this have to do with listening jazz music? What I was not aware of, prior to my fitting, is that you can have up to four settings on the type of hearing aid I now have and setting number two is music.

I was listening to the album Abutbul Music by Omer Avital ( a good album and a great live act if you ever get the chance to see them) when I remembered the music setting on my hearing aids; what a difference. The tone changed, for the better, the overall sound changed and I could hear the music in a way that really did enhance the listening experience. Now I need to try them out at a live performance to find out whether or not the effect of the music setting changes my perception of the music I am hearing. I will let you know.

Tracks played 29 March, 2019

Small hospital radio station big on jazz every Friday 4 ’til 6pm (GMT)

Sounds Like Jazz is a Gosport Hospital Radio production and these are the tracks played on the above date:

  • Goodbye Mumbai by Renee Rosnes from the album Written in the Rocks, 2016
  • Razztwizzler by Tom Barford from the album Bloomer, 2018
  • Lulu’s Back in Town by Gig from the album Street, 2000
  • Bogo by Gianni Bardaro & Pierluigi Villani from the album Next Stop, 2016
  • Deeply Dippy by Beverley Beirne from the album Jazz Just Wants to Have Fun, 2018
  • Afro Jazz ’88 by Tomoyoshi Nakamura Quartet from the album Sense of the Cool, 2013
  • Is She by Evaristo Perez Cajon Jazz Trio from the album Cajon Jazz Trio, 2014
  • Day in Day Out by Edana Minghella from the album All or Nothing at All, 2016