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Bebop Spoken There

Maurice J. Summerfield: "Over dinner one night Barney [Kessel] told me about his seminar The Effective Guitarist, and in 1972 my company presented the first of twelve annual UK seminars in Newcastle upon Tyne." - (Just Jazz Guitar, September 1997)

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.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

15087 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 106 of them this year alone and, so far, 4 this month (Feb. 1).

From This Moment On ...

February

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 02: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests: Dave Archbold (keys); Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewwitt (alto sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Dilutey Juice @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Smoove & Turrell @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £25.00.
Fri 03: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibiton Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 04: Alligator Gumbo @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 04: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: John Pope - Up Your Rhythm Game. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 04: King Bees @ Grainger Market, Newcastle. 6:30pm (doors). Live music, comedy, DJs, food stalls. £10.00. advance, £15.00. on the door. Blues band King Bees on stage 9:45-11:15pm. A Great Market Caper event.
Sat 04: Jives Aces @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 04: Renegade Brass Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors).
Sat 04: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00.

Sun 05 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 05: Rivkala @ Cumberland Arms, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Sun 05: Jive Aces @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Sun 05: Dale Storr @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 05: Jam No.13 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students alike).

Mon 06: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 07: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums). Jam session reverts to a first & third Tuesday in the month schedule.

Wed 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 08: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Free. TBC.
Wed 08: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 08: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 08: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

CD Reviews: Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane and Matthew (son of Jimmy) Garrison - In Movement. Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard and Steve Swallow - Andando el Tiempo.

 (Review by Steven T)
When I was offered a pair of ECM albums to review I declared upfront that I have a love/hate relationship with the label. I generally hate them but occasionally stumble across one I really like.
Lightweight and boring, meaningless meanderings and pointless doodling claim the no camp, but believers, who like the European classicism, will point out that it's all done with incredible taste, which could be a contradiction in terms.
In a sense, it's an easy review since most people won't take a blind bit of notice; they'll either already have them or couldn't be paid to take them for fear of contaminating their collection.
This pair didn't quite fit my usual criteria; I couldn't say I hate the Carla Bley insomuch as I don't care sufficiently, which may be worse. So far, I don't particularly love the Jack DeJohnette, though there's a lot about it I really like, and perhaps room for that to grow through repeated listening.   
When I first saw the Bley album I thought I already had it but, following exploration, realised that the album sleeve is almost identical to her previous album, Trios. I couldn't remember anything about it and when I couldn't find it I realised I must have sold it.
In the spiel, it claims that the album (Trios) 'further reveals itself each and every listen' which I mustn't have given it the opportunity to do. We all know that some music, often the best music, requires repeated listening, which sneaks up on you, and we all pour scorn on music you hear twenty seconds of on the radio and then can't get it out of your head. But how many times do you need to play something before you can say you just don't like it? And how much music are you missing out on while you persevere? I use the power of three from the 'charmed' girls (which I watch for the intelligent scripts, innovative direction and quality acting).
I've been listening to lots of strange and varied music for many years and if I haven't got it after three plays, that's it. It's not an exact science and the odd thing may slip through but it's the best system I've come up with.
The claim is that Bley is more composer than pianist, though she's blissfully ignorant about right or wrong ways of writing songs, and this is why she plays less notes; the music is big band reduced to a trio and perfect chamber music. But comparisons to Duke, Monk, Miles and Mingus are just wishful thinking on a grand scale.
Sheppard is great but there are lots of his own albums available. A legendary British guitarist visiting the North East claimed ECM label boss Manfred Eicker wants music to listen to on a Norwegian mountain top, and a lot of it sounds like horns blowing down the fjords, though it could do with a bit more rape and pillage. 
The Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane are covers of Trane senior, Miles and Earth Wind and Fire at their funkiest best, I'd have bought this anyway, even before I found out bass guitarist Matthew Garrison is son of bass player Jimmy from Ravi' fathers most celebrated group.
'No pressure then' could go on Ravi Coltrane' headstone and you have to admire him for piling it on playing with these two. The shared history and anticipation of the blending of tradition and innovation are palpable and it's to their credit that, while the earth doesn't move, they just about pull it off.
Couple of slowies to kick off though Trane senior's Alabama is far from slight.
'Two Jimmys' (Garrison and Hendrix) picks up the pace with a pumping five string bass line, hi-hat  and some Hendrixesque soundscapes from Garrison junior's electronic looping evoking mid/late sixties hippiedom. Just before the four minute mark, sparse, syncopated drumming teases the listener into thinking it will kick in fully but as subtly as it builds, it fades leaving you wanting more.
DeJohnette switches to keyboards for Kind of Blue's almost masterpiece Blue in Green with the music, as on all the covers, sneaking in and out of the song form, but it's a disappointment, though a bold statement to use 'hallowed material' as an interlude.
The more you wanted after 'two Jimmys' comes in the form of Serpentine Fire, best track on EWFs finest album. A short bass intro brings in bass drum, bass guitar growling once again and the bass drum is back in, this time with sax. After a few subtle hints, three minutes in we get the familiar melody from the source material before a great sax solo and then back to the melody. No pressure but what a fine player Ravi is and his solo albums, without exception, are well worth it, but don't expect your world to change.
Rashied is a tribute to Rashied Ali who did a duet album with Trane senior in his late period called Interstellar Space. It's also a duet with drums and Ravi playing impressive sopranino and is livelier than I remember Interstellar Space, though I probably need to revisit it. An album may be too much and most Joe Lovano albums seem to have a track of drums/ sax duet which works well.
It's back to the piano for DeJohnette on album closer 'Soulful Ballad' which similarly doesn't work. Ironic that the tracks which work the least are those with the Bley format of piano, bass and sax.
The album claims to have a very C21st sound which isn't locked in to any genre, which makes it difficult for the layperson to review, with so little to relate it to. By way of having a go: Weather Report, and Miroslav Vitous ' ECM albums are ones I've particularly enjoyed and, would you believe Led Zeppelin circa fourth album for shared sonic soundscapes; check out John Bonham' drums on 'when the levee breaks' . 
Bley will only be of interest to followers of the artist and/ or label while anybody who likes ECM, Ravi and/or Jack DeJohnette, or is in to the whole Trane oeuvre, will want to check out the latter. Anybody who isn't familiar with ECM should certainly give it a go and you could do worse - much worse - than start here.
Steve T.
Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison - In Movement available now on ECM 2488.
Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard and Steve Swallow - Andando el Tiempo available now on ECM 2487.


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