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Bebop Spoken There

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Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Today Saturday January 18

Afternoon

Jazz

Early Bird Band - Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192. 11:00am.

Evening

Adrian Cox Quartet - Watchtower Gallery, West End, Berwick TD15 2HE. 8:00pm. £10.00. Cox touring new CD ‘Now is Spring’.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Ray Stubbs R & B All-Stars - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Interview with Tom Harrison

Bebop Spoken Here talked to saxophonist Tom Harrison about his forthcoming album and his visit to the Jazz Café this Friday (Sept. 30) as part of the David Lyttle Trio
BSH: Tom, although London based, you pop up here quite frequently. I think the first time I heard you was with DAGDA. Is it the semi-tropical weather, the beer or the friendly fan base you like about Newcastle? (Think carefully about your answer).
To be honest probably a combination of all the above! It’s true, I’m certainly partial to a pint of Radgie Gadgie in the rain with good people!

BSH: Is DAGDA still gigging or have you all moved in different directions?
Dagda was a great experience with a good bunch of friends, and I’m really proud of that project. It was a great learning experience for me too, on many levels and the first really big tour I’d done as a leader. It just felt right to end the project on a high after the tour. We’d been performing all over the country for over two years at the end of the album launch tour, and I just felt a change of direction was needed. That was when I started bringing ideas together for my forthcoming CD.
BSH: I recall one gig you did up here with Jean Toussaint. He must be an inspirational guy to work with?
That gig was a lot of fun! Jean has been an inspiration and mentor to many British jazz musicians for decades, so it’s a real honour to be part of that; to work with him, and learn from him too. It was great to have him on board for that tour. He gave me a lot of confidence to stay focused, keep searching for a sound (still searching!) and to be comfortable with the music I wanted to play. A lot of what the new album is about is due to Jean. It’s incredible to hear him play with his own bands, his sound, and the individuality he has achieved as an improviser is just incredible. Seeing his group Roots & Herbs play the music of his mentor Art Blakey was a total joy!
BSH: Your latest disc is an Ellington themed album with Cleveland Watkiss. I’ve been playing my pre-release copy and I’m impressed that you’ve managed to retain the Ellington feel without paying lip-service. It must have been a long process to get it just right.
Thanks for saying so! Before the tour and recording, I was working toward the album for almost 3 years - studying the music, learning the repertoire, and getting to grips with the work of the incredible artists who’d performed with Ellington. Those recordings are a treasure trove of incredible music. It was a joy to study the masters Paul Gonsalves, Ben Webster, and of course the great Johnny Hodges; not just as profound contributors to the Ellington legacy, but as bandleaders in their own rights too. Working with Cleveland, Robert, David and Daniel was fantastic too. They all have such individual approaches, and each guy brought his personality to the music too. It was very exciting! I’m really looking forward to getting out there and performing the music again this season.
BSH: David Lyttle is a frequent collaborator of yours – is he the Strayhorn to your Ellington?
I work with David a lot yes, but I definitely wouldn’t want to compare myself to Duke Ellington in any way whatsoever! I am very close with David and we do work together a lot on both music and business projects. I think we both like to discuss ideas and plan things out with people on the same wavelength, so it is a reciprocal thing.
BSH: In fact the David Lyttle Trio is in Newcastle this coming Friday at the Jazz Café. What can we expect?
We’ve been having a fantastic time on the road this week. We’ve been playing music from David’s MOBO-nominated album ‘Faces,’ as well as some more unusual jazz standards. Faces was a fantastic CD that incorporated elements of soul, hip-hop and other styles as well as jazz, so it’s been really interesting to play this music in a stripped-back jazz trio format. There’s lots of room for interaction in the saxophone trio line-up so we’re getting the opportunity to approach this music in a different way to how it was presented on the album. It’s a lot of fun!
BSH: Thanks Tom, look forward to seeing you on Friday and to reviewing your album Unfolding in Tempo.

Thanks, me too!

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