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Farewell Blues

R I P Terry Shannon - November 5, 1929 - October 29, 2022
R I P Oliver Soden - ? - November 6, 2022
R I P Top Cat Daphne - ? - November 24, 2022.

Bebop Spoken There

Michael League: "We flew back from Europe, and the second gig we [Snarky Puppy] did was in Arcata, California. There were two people. And one of them was the bartender." - (DownBeat December, 2022)

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

14806 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 1074 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (Nov.24).

From This Moment On ...

November

Sat 26: Rat Pack - Swingin' at the Sands @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 7:30pm.
Sat 26: Jean Toussaint @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Sun 27: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 27: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 27: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 27: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 27: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. Sitters-in & audience welcome.
Sun 27: Nu Civilisation Orchestra @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Sun 27: Jamil Sheriff's Five Gold Rings @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 28: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 28: Jeremy McMurray & Friends @ Billingham Catholic Club. 7:30pm. £5.00. at the door. A SVP fundraiser for Xmas food hampers.

Tue 29: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

Wed 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 30: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Wed 30: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 30: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 30: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

December
Thu 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 01: New York Jazz Night feat. Zoë Gilby @ The Keys, Yarm. 7:00pm. £30.00. (inc. meal). Tickets from Skiddle. Gilby w. Noel Dennis, Mark Williams & Andy Champion.
Thu 01: Bold Big Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Cluny 2.
Thu 01: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm. Paul Skerritt & James Harrison residency.
Thu 01: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 02: Swing Manouche @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00.
Fri 02: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: Durham University Big Band + Durham University Jazz Orchestra @ Kingsgate Bar, Durham Students' Union, Dunelm House, Durham. 7:00pm. £3.00. & £2.50. Fundraiser for Coppafeel.
Fri 02: Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm.
Fri 02: Alligator Gumbo @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm. Xmas party.
Fri 02: Struggle Buggy's Almost Xmas Party @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Blind Pig Blues Club.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mediocrity Everywhere! Not Here. Kamasi Washington @ Manchester Academy. June 28.

Kamasi Washington - Tenor. Ryan Burrow - Trombone. Brandon Coleman - Keyboards. Miles Mosley - Acoustic Bass. Tony Austen - Drums. Ronald Bruner Jnr - Drums. Patrice Quinn - Vocal. Ricky Washington - Flute, Soprano.
(Review by Steve T/Photo top left by Faye MacCalman/stage photos by Francis T)
This was the claim of bass player Miles Mosley during his showcase piece Abraham and there's no argument here. Next to this, all current Jazz, and pretty much all current everything seems mediocre, and there was certainly nothing mediocre about this, so no apologies for another lengthy review.
This was always a no-brainer for me and the only question was when and where: Glasgow on Monday or Birmingham on Wednesday. Both proved impossible and I'm afraid, right now Kamasi Washington trumps Tim Richards.
Set opener My Sweet introduced the frontline and the best trombone solo of the night, his bone increasingly interfered with, transforming its sound like I've never heard before on this instrument.
We also got the first solo from the man himself. He started slowly and I wondered whether he was more bandleader, composer, visionary (a question put to him later by Early Bird Dan Lawrence but left hanging) but his solo grew and grew and I heard Coltrane, through Sonny Rollins back to Coleman Hawkins in this most forward thinking of Jazzmen.
Next piece Final Thought showcased keyboardist Brandon Coleman aka Professor Boogie. Playing mostly clavinet, an instrument made famous by Stevie Wonder though put to best use by Chris Jasper in the Isley Brothers, but the first time I've heard it put through a wah wah. His solo climaxed with the horns coming in behind the Profs' frantic antics.
Next up, Patrice Quinn who remained onstage throughout, with her strange dancing and gesticulating, grinning and giggling to herself. Joined by Ricky Washington - the leader’s father - on flute and later soprano, it was at its best winding down to piano, cymbals and voice, replaced by tenor then flute.
Kamasi claimed that Miles Mosley plays bass like no one on earth and, from my experience, he told the truth. Playing acoustic he had it echoing and making all kinds of strange sounds before whisking up a seriously funky groove worthy of its electric lovechild. Part singing part rapping (known in reggae as sing-jay), he sounded eerily like George Clinton and the whole thing was like a massive funk jam before an almighty bass and clavinet funk-off.
A massive drum dual followed by two extraordinary practitioners, Ronald Jnr taking the honours for me as he seemed to provide the syncopation for the funkier moments.
Another song, another drum pileup and Kamasi, eloquent and witty throughout, regaled like a high priest, though more Sun Ra than Courtney Pine, asked if we'd like another. Silly question, two, three! We'll see he said.
Patrice Quinn was back up for The Rhythm Changes. A Billie Holliday reincarnation or trying too hard? Not a particularly great singer and, in terms of verse/chorus, not particularly great songs, I wasn't sure; it's on a knife edge, the site of so much great art, where people like Trane, Hendrix, Bird, Linda Jones and Jaco precariously walk a tightrope between bad-taste and greatness.
By the end everybody was on their feet, many had piled to the front to plead for more. A bit of a double fault (and a lone tennis reference) in my view when they played a 100 mph run through of brief solos. The place was ripe for a huge jam, they have the material and it wouldn't have been out of place. A minor quibble though.
Kamasi Washington is at the vanguard of a movement you feel could take over the world. Known as the West Coast Get Down, it includes Trane nephew Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamarr, Thundercat and, beginning with Miles Mosley album Uprising in September, material from each of the individual band members here.
Kamasis' own epic album - erm - Epic was unanimously heralded, both by the Jazz press and the broadsheets, as the best album of last year though, at three hours including choirs, monologues and allsorts, it's patchy though brilliant at its best.
It was great to be a senior citizen at a gig again, though worrying to have so many feeling that having the music wasn't sufficient, and they needed something to snuggle up to or pin on a wall as well, and were prepared to pay three times as much for.
However, I think everybody felt they were part of something important; mixing rock and funk, just like the late sixties and seventies, but representing the history, present and future of the music simultaneously, in a way Robert Glasper, Christian Scott and Terence Blanchard, lacking a focal point, haven't quite managed. Terence Blanchard was great at the Sage doing something similar, but must negotiate his past, and feels the need to walk backwards across the stage and turn his back on his audience to accompany his electrification. Perhaps now they have a figurehead.
Gig of the year so far? Gig of the year! 
Steve T.
NB. No space to do it justice but if you're into Indo Fusion with a touch of African, check out Sorathy Korwar who got things off to a fine start.

1 comment :

Steven T. said...

Incidentally, the photo with Francis Tulip and Dan Lawrence was taken on Dans phone by the girl who is playing tenor at the Bridge on sunday - I'm sorry I forgot her name but she was with John Pope. Couple of others there from the North East we recognised too.

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