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Bebop Spoken There

Dick Katz: "Carmen [McRae] would say some pretty caustic things but, so what? There aren't any people who don't talk caustically to each other at some time unless they're Mother Teresa." - (Lesley Gourse: Carmen McRae Miss Jazz - Billboard Books 2001, 2020)

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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".

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11,772 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 912 of them this year alone and, so far, 49 this month (August 13).

Coming soon ...

August

Saturday 15: Anth Purdy - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Purdy’s solo ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’ show. Limited capacity.

Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, 27 Sunniside Rd., Gateshead NE16 5NA. 8:30pm. Free.

Friday 21: Lindsay Hannon - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Book Review: 30-Second Jazz - Lead editor: Dave Gelly.

My first thought upon reading the blurb attached to this 150pp tome was the oft-misquoted, apocryphal, anecdote variously attributed to Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, "Lady, if you've gotta ask, don't mess with it!" This may have been a reasonable reply back in the swing era of the 1930s when jazz, or swing, was relatively straight forward foot-tapping stuff, albeit often at odds with what classical concertgoers had been brought up on.
The position today is more complex. Many older jazz fans often struggle to cope with this ever developing form of music and the younger, pop orientated, musician/listener encountering our music for the first time must be even more confused. After all, the mainstream media gives little or no coverage to jazz and some schools don't even have a music dept. and if they do..! What is sure is that, in the future, Jazz ain't going to have many 'Working Class Heroes".
Edited by saxophonist and award winning writer Dave Gelly MBE, with contributions from Charles Alexander; Kevin LeGendre; Chris Parker; Brian Priestly and Tony Russell, 30-Second Jazz takes the reader through 50 half a minute sections from it's African-American roots through to today's globalisation. Along the way, styles are explained, key figures recognised, ground-breaking albums acknowledged, how the musicians are doing it (improvising), instruments used and, as mentioned in the previous post, the difference between Scat and Vocalese - Ella and Dizzy cited as examples of the former and Annie Ross's Twisted re the latter (I'd have included James Moody's Moody's Mood) and much much more.
Of course 50 x 30 seconds, in this case means a lot more than 25 minutes! Most chapters you will probably want to spend 25 mins on exploring the tributaries - 3 second riffs and 3 minute improvisations.
Even a 'Johnny-Know-All' like myself discovered things I didn't know at all, Like Urzula Dudziak who mingled jazz rock with Polish folk song - I'm going to Google her  later.
There's a lot of impressive photo montages too but it's much more than a 'Coffee Table' book.
Gelly says, "My hope is that readers will have some idea of the vast variety of music which now comes under the label of 'Jazz', in particular, its long history and world-wide spread."
This should be in every reference library and school music dept.
Lance.
30-Second Jazz - Lead editor: Dave Gelly.
Published Ivy Press, February 2016. £14.99.
ISBN: 978-78240-309-8.
The book will be launched at Ronnie Scott's on February 24 and will include an hour long talk and a Q & A session with Dave himself.

1 comment :

Hugh C said...

Thanks Lance - sounds good - it's already on my wishlist!

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