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Bebop Spoken There

Miles Kington: "If the intake of alcohol fails to improve a jazz player's performance, why do jazz listeners think it improves their appreciation?" - (Jazz Express October 1982).

Barbara Jay: "My first gig was at the Astoria, Charing Cross Rd. It seemed like a den of iniquity to me. All the Soho girls were there and the gigolos with their old women paying them to dance..." - (Jazz UK May 2008.)

Archives.

Today Sunday February 26.

Afternoon.
Mark Williams (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
More Jam - Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm. Free.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. Blues jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
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Evening
Maine St. Jazzmen - Seaton Sluice Social Club, Collywell Bay Rd., Seaton Sluice NE26 4QZ. 8pm. £4.
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Shaun Henderson Band - Quakerhouse, Mechanics Yard, Darlington. 6pm. £5.
Jazz Jam - Empty Shop, 35c Framwellgate Bridge, Durham DH1 4SY. 7:30pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

CD Review: Ben Lee Quintet - In the Tree

Ben Lee (guitars), Chris Young (alto), Richard Foote (trombone), David Ferris (organ), Euan Palmer (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
'Ben studied jazz guitar at Birmingham Conservatoire'. Since he and number one son are now acquainted I should be careful what I say. It's the best album in the world ever.
But seriously, there's an awful lot about this band and this album that I like: guitar, sax, trombone, sax and trombone, Hammond (almost), no piano, no bass - sorry guys.
He's also a fine composer, comparable with anybody around, and a good few years younger than most.
As a guitarist he cites Wes and Schofield as influences and I'd like to add Mike Walker, whether Ben realises it or not, who seems to be impacting on all the young guitarists in this country at the moment.
Away from Jazz, we're told he likes Radiohead and Nirvana, the latter with a track named after them on which he unleashes far more firepower than I've ever heard from Cobain
Further resonances I hear, which he may or may not be aware of, are prog rock, and more firmly within the genre than Radiohead, and seventies fusion, including specifically the funk end of things, and if he and/or trombonist Richard Foote haven't listened to the Crusaders with Wayne Henderson and Fred Wesley’s JBs, they should.
I almost hate to mention the Zee word (yet) again but I seem to hear him everywhere in contemporary Jazz. He asked the question 'does humour belong in music' and answered it in the affirmative, rather too often some might say. I agree and as an old, pre-teenage prog rocker, Genesis and Jethro Tull were also very effective at incorporating humour into their respective musical oeuvres.
Ben introduces some jocularity on the title track with some whistling before it develops into something close to ragtime, which illustrates his flair for melody but, at track two I found it premature.
There's also some joviality on track eight, Kickin' the Chicken and the album closes with some flippancy on Skateboarding on my Own, featuring spoken word, presumably from the man himself.
I hate to mention the Bea word (yet) again but, within mass culture this trend is attributed to Yellow Submarine. As an atheist who thinks the Bea word are more over-rated than Jesus, Yellow Submarine is the second best track on Revolver, and the best track is the only 'serious' record they ever made, I found three light-hearted stabs at humour on a debut album, brave.
Despite this minor reservation, it's a fine album with lots to appeal to guitarists, jazz fans and anyone with an interest in the rich tapestry of contemporary British Jazz. 
Moreover, everybody should buy every album by every guitarist who comes out of Birmingham Conservatoire.
This one's been out a week on Brummy's own Stoney Lane Records and the band are on a limited tour until mid-January.
Steve T.

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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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