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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Tuesday May 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Kamasi Washington - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4461. 7:30pm. £30.00.

River City Jazzmen w. Maureen Hall - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NN. Tel: 01670 813983. 8:00pm. £5 (raffle inc.) Bob Wade, Gordon Solomon, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford, Tommy Graham.

Lindsay Hannon Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Saturday, November 03, 2018

CD Review: John McLaughlin and the Fourth Dimension with Jimmy Herring and the Invisible Whip - Live in San Francisco.

John McLaughlin (12 string double neck and 6 string guitars), Ranjit Barot (drums, konocol and vocals), Gary Husband (electric piano and synths), Etienne M'Bappe (bass guitar and vocals). 

James Herring (guitar), Jason Crosby (violin, Fender Rhodes and vocals), Kevin Scott (bass guitar), Jeff Sipe (drums and gong), Matt Slocum (Hammond B3 and clavinet).
(Review by Steve T.)

It's probably easier to think of this as a Mahavishnu Orchestra album and MO Mk 1 was, at least, first and foremost a live band. This is where they changed lives, mine included. Because John is a musician who never really looked back, while there's been plenty of bootlegs, legitimate live recordings of their repertoire are pretty scarce, with three of mixed quality finally getting approval a few years back.

As far as memory serves, this is the same set-list Francis and I saw in Chicago three weeks earlier (about this time last year). It's more or less a best of/greatest hits set - insomuch as such terms have any relevancy here - drawn from the three albums by the original line-up and Visions of the Emerald Beyond from Mk 2; my favourite album and his.


Meeting of the Spirits kicked things off, as it did when he unleashed their debut album on an unsuspecting world in 1971. Straight into Birds of Fire, title track and opener of their follow-up, which seems to have more weight than in the studio, with more power-house drumming and exchanging guitar solos from the two players, and Herring's would be perfectly blistering in any other company. 
     
Back to the debut for Lotus on Irish Springs, which here sounds like it could have been recorded ten years later, in very different times for John McLaughlin and fusion jazz. Dance of Maya is another heavyweight from the same album which leads into Trilogy, from Between Nothingness and Eternity, a live set from 73, released to fulfil contractual obligations, with a studio version eventually rolling up as the millennium drew to a close. Ranjit Barot provides the Indian konocal singing style many people in the West would have first heard in his next band Shakti.
Earth Ship and Eternity's Breath are two killers from the Visions of the Emerald Beyond - an album chocker full of killers - and, while brilliant, the shortcomings in the vocal department are more apparent than I remember from the live gig.
Also from that album, Be Happy was the encore in Chicago and closes this set following more konocal by way of introduction. I can still remember being grateful for the encore, and such an explosive piece late in the set, but also a tinge of sadness that it had to come to an end.
Out now and in your local record store (there’s still a few) for a mere £15. 
Hugely recommended.

Steve T.      

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