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Bebop Spoken There

Pat Metheny: "The best guitar player I've heard in maybe my entire life is floating around now, Pasquale Grasso." - (Vintage Guitar Magazine February 2016)

Archive quotes.

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".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Postage

13,359 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 777 of them this year alone and, so far, 51 this month (June 13).

From This Moment On

JUNE

Wed 16: Washboard Resonators @ Punch Bowl Hotel, Jesmond, Newcastle (8:00pm). SOLD OUT!

Thu 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside (1:00pm).

Thu 17: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead (8:30pm).

Fri 18: Jazz Jamaica @ Sage Gateshead (8:00pm).

Sat 19: Jude Murphy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle (8:00pm).

Sun 20 Knats @ The Globe, Newcastle (8:00pm). Advance booking essential: www.jazz.coop. SOLD OUT. Livestream available from £7.50.

Mon 21: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). POSTPONED!

Wed 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). POSTPONED!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Favourite - Richie Kamuca by Roly Veitch

I suppose we all have favourite players - someone who's playing just registers with you in a special way. One of mine is tenorist Richie Kamuca. He was not an innovator - he was one of those players content to develop his own personal style within existing frameworks - a west coast type tenor with a strong Pres influence. Apparently, he was a very sensitive, lovely guy with a great love of all jazz music and loved by the musicians/fans who knew him.

I first discovered Richie in the 70s due to my liking for Dave Frishberg's music. I bought a Concorde album 'Drop me off in Harlem' which also featured Kamuca (duetting with Frishberg) and in a trio format with Ray Brown/Herb Ellis. A great album sadly not available on CD. Then I bought 'Richie' - an emotional album made when he was terminally ill. Richie died of cancer aged only 46, back in 1977. It features some lovely intimate music and delightful guitar from Mundell Lowe. Nick Ceroli and Monty Budwig complete the quartet. A very moving album!

Kamuca worked with all the west coast greats and also with Herman & Kenton. Herman described him as his prettiest tenor player - when you consider the other great tenor players in those herds that is high praise. I'm just hoping someday Mosaic issue a box set of all the best Kamuca stuff and pay him the tribute he deserves.

When I walked into the Side Café a few months back and heard Vasilis Xenopoulos start up, for some reason, my immediate thoughts were 'Kamuca'. It just seems like here is a present-day version, at least in my imagination. Not that Vasi sounds like Kamuca but there was just the same sort of feeling about it. That night when he played with the Paul Edis Trio was a bit special. So, in summary, I would recommend anyone who likes that Pres/Sims/Cohn/Getz tradition of tenor playing to check out Richie's moving, sincere and beautiful playing and also get along to check out Vasi next time he is up here.
Roly

4 comments :

Lance said...

A very good description of a fine musician. I recall seeing him with Shelly Manne at Newcastle City Hall March 1960. You'd have loved that concert - Jim Hall was on the bill with Jimmy Giuffre and he also played in the group that backed Ella.
Getting back to Richie, I first heard him on record when he blew half a chorus in the middle of Tormé's "Lady is a Tramp". He said more in those 16 bars than some guys do in 16 choruses!

Anonymous said...

For years, Art Pepper and Johnny Hodges were my favs in jazz. Then one day about 6 months ago, (I know, I know, what took me so long), someone posted "Bill Perkins & Richie Kamuca - Tenors Head On (1956) @320" - and I downloaded it.
Well, I have been on the hunt for anything & everything "Kamuca" ever since. I still cannot believe what his playing does to my soul. I have never heard anyone who moved me more.
Anyway, I'm posting to say that I agree with you about this wonderful man and his music, who has touched me so deeply. Thanks for sharing your own thoughts about Richie with all of us ...

Anonymous said...

Just listened to a snippet of " My one & only love" by him. As a non musician I had never heard of him, but I am here to say that you guys all know a great musician when you hear one,and I know a great tune, so thank you for introducing me to some lovely sounds!

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Matt is so moved by Richie - that's just how I feel. It's funny how one player can really touch you like that. After all there are other greats - Zoot Sims, Al Cohn (saw him with son Joe at C/House) & Getz of course. But Kamuca just seems to play with deeper emotion - well it registers that way with me anyway.
Bix also had the same effect on me.

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