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Bebop Spoken There

Clare Teal: "If you're brought up in a working-class family, you haven't got money for records so everything you get hold of, you treasure, learn to love, and I loved those Ella tapes." - (Radio Times 23-29 January 2021)

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

Postage

12,399 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 118 of them this year alone and, so far, 118 this month (Jan. 25).

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Album review: Cowboys and Frenchmen - Our Highway

Ethan Helm (alto sax/flute); Owen Broder (alto/baritone sax); Addison Frei (piano); Ethan O'Reilly (bass); Matt Honor (drums).

"The flute player is called Ethan and the bass player is also called Ethan."
"Oh really?"
"No, O'Reilly!"

I began this review with that old chestnut just to be different as the album itself is quite different - in the nicest possible way, I hasten to add.

The difference is in the form of some video footage (which can be purchased separately) that I had a reviewer's privilege of being able to watch whilst at the same time listening to the band playing live at SubCulture in NYC. The film was shot in those pre-pandemic days when the band were touring and gigging across the United States.

New Year, New Lockdown, New Music (2)

Paul Edis presents the second of his solo piano live streams tonight at 8:00pm. To watch on YouTube click on this link.
Paul, whose recent trio album Snakes and Ladders has been receiving rave reviews, will be playing a mix of standards and original compositions.
Lance

Monday, January 25, 2021

Antonio Forcione live stream from Ronnie Scott's - Jan. 25

Antonio Forcione (guitar); Matheus Nova (acc. bass guitar); Jansen Santana (perc.).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew).

Difficult one for me. It really needed a guitar specialist to elaborate on the technical aspects which, at times, were quite amazing. Forcione is a brilliant and possibly unique guitarist in the way he merges the music of so many cultures - Italian, African, Brazilian, Spanish, Portuguese, Cuban - and presents the end product as jazz. Which it most certainly is, possibly subtitled world jazz.

Opening with an unaccompanied Heartbeat it became obvious that this man's technique was his own as he played some fantastic things with both hands on the fretboard faraway from the soundhole.

Album review: John Pope Quintet - Mixed With Glass

John Pope (double bass); Jamie Stockbridge (alto sax); Faye MacCalman (tenor sax/clarinet);  Graham Hardy (trumpet/pocket trumpet); Johnny Hunter (drums).

Having seen this band a number of times live and being a big fan it was with some excitement and trepidation when I placed their inaugural CD Mixed with Glass into the player. I needn’t have worried within just a few bars I knew this album was a winner and that it was going to deliver the musical experience I had hoped for.

The CD was recorded over a weekend in October on the New Jazz and Improvised Recordings label partially set up to compensate for the cancellation of the 2020 Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music.

Album review: The QOW Trio

Riley Stone-Lonergan (tenor sax); Eddie Myer (bass); Spike Wells (drums).

The QOW Trio assembled, originally, to explore their love of Sonny Rollins’ piano-less trios of the 1950s but expanded their interest to encompass other big voiced tenorists with a full phat sound. The best sax trios have a rhythm section that pushes and prods the leader on and never allows the listener to wonder if there should be another horn or a pianist in the band. You need a monster bassist and a propulsive drummer, just like the QOW Trio. There is occasional space here, but the sax echoes into it and there is no sense of anything missing. This is music for the middle of a pandemic, recorded in one afternoon, where the band have shut out whatever lockdown we were in at the time and have convened to just blow. Cobwebs have no chance.

The Glenn Crytzer Quartet in the year 1931 - Jan. 24

Glenn Crytzer (guitar, vocals); Mike Davis (trumpet); Ricky Alexander (clarinet); Andrew Hall (double bass)

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, written in the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash, opened this week's NYC Sunday afternoon session by the Glenn Crytzer Quartet (2:30 EST, 7:30 GMT). Band leader Crytzer is well versed in all aspects of the live stream, ever the genial host, songs from 1931 in the spotlight. All of Me with Crtyzer taking a first vocal along with a rarely heard verse for good measure, followed by Just Friends, clarinetist Ricky Alexander soloing fluently. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord live streaming from The Globe - Jan. 24

Emma Fisk (violin); Bradley Johnston, Dave Harris (guitars); Bruce Rollo (bass). 

(Screenshot by Russell)

What is there to say about The Quintet of the Hot Club de France that hasn't already been said? Come to that, what is there left to say about Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord?

Both bands have more or less exhausted superlatives and, although the music may date back to the years either side of WWII, it somehow retains its relevance today - particularly in the hands of Emma and her trusty crew. 

I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me - the opening number. Emma, Brad, Dave and Bruce - you'd better believe it as myself and 95 others watching certainly are! 

Jimmie Noone in "Block Busters"


Reading Russell's review of this week's Sunday Service by clarinetist Adrian Cox I note that in next week's SS Cox pays tribute to Jimmy Noone.
Noone, who died in April 1944, made an appearance earlier that year in a B movie, Block Busters, with The East Side Kids a.k.a. The Bowery Boys. In the above clip, Noone and his band can be seen playing Apex Blues and Boogie Woogie.

He really was a nice clarinet player.
Lance

Album review: A second review* of The Royal Bopsters - Party of Four

Jazz vocal group, The Royal Bopsters, have just produced their second release - Party Of Four - which also includes veteran vocal bopsters, Bob Dorough and Sheila Jordan as well as bass giant Christian McBride on selected tracks. 

A master class of vocal jazz artistry, The Bopsters project vocalese in tight, intricate harmonies on a disc containing drama and  multi-layered harmonies that draw much inspiration from classic vocal groups of yore. These include Lambert, Hendricks and Ross (The Bopsters' 2015 debut CD, included guest spots from both Ross and Hendricks), the Hi Los, and The Manhattan Transfer. POF exudes  a deeply swinging  amalgam of vocal virtuosity with precise but fully breathing arrangements that effectively combine the yin and yang of this discipline.

The Sunday Service celebrates Johnny Dodds - Jan. 23

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals)

Indigo Stomp from 1929, a Dodds' trio recording with Lil Armstrong (Hardin) and an unknown bass player, opened today's programme. Preacher Cox dedicated today's service to Keith Nichols, described by our host as 'a font of knowledge' when it came to early jazz matters. The Armstrong connection continued with Perdido Street Blues and a counter melody rendition of High Society (Cox saying we had to imagine a band around him). At this point no fewer than 112 Facebook parishioners were watching on.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Album reviews: Gemma Sherry - Let's Get Serious & The Songs I Love

Let's Get Serious: Gemma Sherry (vocal); Rick Germanson (piano); Paul Bollenback (guitar); Eric Wheeler (bass); Joseph Doubleday (vibes); George Coleman Jnr. (drums).

The Songs I Love: Gemma Sherry (vocal); Billy Woodman (piano); Mike Waite (bass); Patsy Gamble (tenor sax).

Gemma Sherry, a New York based Aussie singer began her musical career as an alto saxophonist. Her first idol was Art Pepper and, maybe it's with the advantage of hindsight, but her voice, for me, evokes the fragrant feeling of Art's early recordings. I hope she takes that as a compliment!

KSTV: Live Playback. Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers "Buhaina's Delight" - Jan. 23


James Copus (trumpet); Daniel Higham (trombone ); Alec Harper (tenor sax); Will Barry (piano); Ferg Ireland (bass); Will Cleasby (drums)
.

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

As on the Blue Note album, Backstage Sally  got the ball rolling (I wonder what became of Sally?) with the horns kicking ass from the off. Barry likewise and Cleasby adding a touch of Blakey's percussive power.

Not surprisingly, Wayne Shorter's ballad Contemplation featured Alec Harper who was in his usual fine form. Amazing how, over the course of these live streams, he's so comfortably stepped into the shoes of, among others, Stan Getz, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and, tonight, Wayne Shorter.

Aycliffe Radio Playlist for tomorrow (Jan. 24 @ 6:30pm)

(Press release)

Nina Simone Why?; Tees Valley Jazzmen.

Tom Stevens pick: J.J. Johnson & company; Buddy Rich Big Band; Syd Lawrence.

George Gershwin, Ella Fitzgerald; Louis Armstrong; Ben Webster; John Pope Quintet;  Al Jolson; Art Blakey + Terence Blanchard; Benny Green; Tees Valley Jazzmen - Ace In The Hole.

Tribute to USA and inauguration of the new President: American Patrol; Sydney Bechet; Wynton Marsalis Talking Democracy; JALC (Jazz at the Lincoln Center) with Wynton Marsalis; JALC + Wynton Marsalis.

Mike Dixon

There'll be some (radio) changes made (starting Sunday 24)

In its wisdom the Beeb decided to part company with Clare Teal. The presenter's Sunday evening jazz and big band programme on Radio 2 had already been halved from two hours to one and when her contract wasn't renewed it didn't take long for jazz singer Teal to be snapped up by the opposition. Starting this weekend, The Clare Teal Show will be broadcast on Jazz FM every Sunday at 7:00pm. 

Meanwhile, Newton Aycliffe's community radio station's Jazz Time is moving to a new time start time. In this year of the pandemic Aycliffe Radio presenter Mike Dixon has been online every Sunday at six o'clock. It can't be easy putting together a programme from home with the studio out of bounds, let's hope the new start time - 6:30pm - brings better fortune. Log on to: 
www.ayclifferadio.co.uk
Russell

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