Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

John Pizzarelli: "There were three shows I saw at the Brendan Byrne Arena that had a huge impact on my storytelling. They were Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen. I loved the way that they had something to say about the songs they were singing, so I began to develop stories for my act." - (Hot House Jazz Guide February 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".

Wednesday January 27



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, October 27, 2009

Cluny Double Bill a Game of Two Halves

Alister Spence Trio: Alister Spence (pno/electronics), Joe Williamson (bs), Tony Buck (dms).
Bevan, Morris, Lash and Buck: Tony Bevan (sop/ten/bs sax), Joe Morris (gtr), Dom Lash (bs), Tony Buck (dms).
Driving home, Art Pepper was playing on the car stereo - "Fascinating Rhythm". It was so relaxing after what had gone before at the Cluny that it was difficult to reconcile the fact that the both came under the heading of music.
Perhaps that is what is so wonderful about music - its sheer diversity.
Take tonight; two bands almost as far from each other as they were from Art Pepper yet still sailing under a flag of convenience called jazz.
First up to the plate was the Alister Spence Trio. Aussie Alister writes music for the movies and the impression gained was that tonight's program was ultimately aimed at a big(gish) screen soundtrack. One could almost say, that this is the love scene, this is the car chase, this is the fight, the guy falling off a cliff etc.
Spence is a talented pianist - no doubt. He has been likened to Paul Bley but there was some Cecil Taylor in there too. I think he's still evolving. That his direction isn't my direction is as much a criticism of myself as it is of Alister. Williamson on bass had some clever tricks with the bow which I've seen Andy Champion do better but when he did get around to a semblance of normality he was okay.
Drummer Buck played with both bands - more...
Bevan, Morris, Lash & Buck were a different teapot of turbot. When Bevan tuned up I was impressed - some bands forget although I suspect that, with this outfit it doesn't matter too much.
They went for the jugular from the off blowing an opening number that lasted over half an hour.
Bevan stretched out on tenor, curved soprano and bass sax. He has an incredible techique although in situations like this it is a licence to blow unhindered by chord progressions and other obstacles. At times he made the big instrument sound like a piccolo - at other times a wind-powered musical buzzsaw.
The ensembles were Bedlamic - if the leader of the previous band ever has to do a soundtrack for a film called "Nutcase Convention" he could well find his inspiration here - after a few minutes I was ready to audition for the lead role.
Why do contemporary bands take so much of their material from the sounds of the farmyard?
Buck had no problem in being passed from one band to the other giving the skins the thrashing of a lifetime. Lash too had some frenetic moments that rocked the boat yet through it all one man stood alone withstanding the slings and arrows around him - Joe Morris on guitar.
Joe, from Connecticut, mixed it in the meleé and emerged unscathed and able to play some of the most musical, nay even lyrical, solos of the session.
I left slightly shell-shocked yet, I must confess, there were moments of excitement that are still circulating the adrenalin around a couple of hours later.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

We were at the Cluny to see the double bill,and laying fault with my musical taste and uneducated ear after over 40 years of going to jazz concerts,count me out after this one!.Someone making a cacophany of electronic sounds and making the sound of a saxophone unrecognisable and calling it music is beyond me.Where has harmony,rhythm,and melody gone?
If musicions want to self indulge in music? sounds! like we heard that evening,it would be preferable if they did it in there own front room and didn't ask me to pay money for the dis-pleasure of goimg to listen to it under the guise of a)Music and b)Jazz

As a consequence we left the Cluny early that night alongside one or two others. Numbers of which the Cluny can ill afford!

Blog archive