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Bebop Spoken There

Robert Plant: "The only reunion we [Led Zeppelin] are likely to have is in a chip shop in Camden Town" - (i July 7).

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Roland Kirk: "A person can't appreciate freedom unless he's been in prison." - (Down Beat May 18, 1967).

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

Posting a comment

If you experience any problems posting a comment, as I understand some readers are, then email it to me direct, stating which post your comment relates to - lanceliddle@gmail.com. Alternatively, try the Anonymous button but please sign your name!
Apologies for any inconvenience, this is due to circumstances beyond my control.

Today Monday July 16

Afternoon.

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

James Morrison Quartet - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £23.00. (£19.00. concs.). (Durham Brass Festival).

Northern Monkey Brass Band - Shotton Hall, The Green, Old Shotton, Peterlee SR8 2PH. 6:00-9:00pm. Free. Big BRASS Bash (Durham Brass Festival).

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

Thursday, November 17, 2011

CD Review: Ben Williams - State of Art

A significant first album with his State of Art, celebrated bassist Ben Williams has given us a mellow flame to curl up in front of in our misty autumn darkness.
A graduate of Juilliard and reflectively nurtured by mentors, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Wynton Marsalis, his devotion and generosity radiates out from the heart of the album like a Yuletide log fire, along with reflections of his heroes, Miles, Monk, Duke, Bird and of course, Mingus.
I liked that the album isn't all about ME, with 6 tracks out of the 11 by other composers/songwriters, all lovingly crafted by Williams the arranger. 
I have to say I loved The Lee Morgan Story, by rap emcee John Robinson with a beautifully sidewinding tribute trumpet played by Christian Scott. This is jazz as storytelling with a latin, hip hop feel - the tragic tale of a horn legend cut down on stage...."It was a gun that ended his life....." fired by his own girlfriend - he was only 33.  
Home, Ben's opening track is a nice dark continental groove, drifting into Brazil. Some great clippy guitar work from Matthew Stevens against the cool tenor of Marcus Strickland left me wanting more.
Meanwhile I wasn't so sure about the treatment of the Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson tracks (Part Time Lover & Little Susie), not enough content to do justice to his arrangement skills in my opinion, although the short bass intro for the latter, credited to Ben, is blissful.
Overall it seems that Ben is maybe over modest and needs to really dive into his own pieces with as much ingenuity and gusto as he's devoted to the other arrangements. 
Speaking of which, the treatment of Goapele & Jeffry Bhasker's Things Don't Exist is superb with the string quartet woven skillfully into the frame with Strickland's soprano and Gerald Clayton's piano sounding like an unlikely duet between Garbarek and Bill Evans. Then a fitting finale with John Blackburn & Karl Suessdorf's Moonlight in Vermont - a wonderful tone poem with Ben on evocative electric bass and the perfect way to say goodnight. 
Thanks for this Ben, a great start to an album career!
George Milburn.
Ben Williams - State of Art now available on Concorde Jazz label.

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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: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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