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Bebop Spoken There

Willie Jones lll: "I often wondered what it would be like to play with Clifford Brown or Lee Morgan. For me, Roy Hargrove was the closest thing to that." - (JazzTimes, November 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".

'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! --

Postage

13683 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1402 of them this year alone and, so far, 18 this month (Dec.5).

From This Moment On ...

December

Sun 05 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 05: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 05: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 05: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 05: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 7:00pm.
Sun 05: Knats @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 06: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 06: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ o/s The People’s Kitchen, Bath Lane, Newcastle 7:00-7:30pm.

Tue 07: Classic Swing @ The Ship Inn, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Tue 07: Customs House Big Band @ All Saints Church Hall, Cleadon. 7:00pm.
Tue 07: Dilutey Juice @ Little Buildings, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Tue 07: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Dean Stockdale; Paul Grainger; Tim Johnston. NOTE EARLIER START!

Wed 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 08: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 8:00pm. Concert performance. Free admission.
Wed 08: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00-9:30pm. In the bar.
Wed 08: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 08: Durham Uni Big Band + Durham Uni Jazz Soc Big Band @ Durham University Students' Union. 8:00pm.

Thu 09: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £22.00. Xmas lunch. Tel: 0191 691 7090.
Thu 09: Hot Club du Nord, Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Peterlee. 7:00pm (doors). £10.00. + bf.
Thu 09: Tenderlonius + Knats @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.00. (£10.00. inc food).
Thu 09: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 09: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 09: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 10: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £22.00. Xmas lunch. Tel: 0191 691 7090.
Fri 10: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: Secret Night Gang @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Fri 10: Jack Logan (replacement for Alter Ego) @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sat 11: Paul Skerritt @ Newcastle Central Station. 11:00am. On the concourse.
Sat 11: Life Drawing & Live Jazz @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Lindsay Hannon & Martin Douglas. Book via: www.cobaltstudios.co.uk.
Sat 11: Boys of Brass @ Branding Villa, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 12 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 12: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 12: Hot Club du Nord @ Hurworth Grange. 2:30pm. Festive Special! SOLD OUT!
Sun 12: Glenn Miller Orchestra UK @ Stockton Globe. 3:00pm. Ray McVay & co.
Sun 12: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 12: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 12: Sue Ferris Quintet (Musicians Unlimited’s Xmas Party) @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 4:00pm. Tickets: £6.00.
Sun 12: Jason Isaacs Big Band @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 5:00pm.
Sun 12: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 7:00pm.
Sun 12: Larry’s Brass Band @ The Vigilant Inn, South Shields. 7:00pm. Free. Brass band playing Xmas tunes!
Sun 12: corto.alto @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 12: Under the Surface @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Jay Phelps Quintet: Projections of Miles @ Harrogate International Festivals - September 13










Jay Phelps (trumpet), Brandon Allen (tenor), Rick Simpson (piano), Mark Lewandowski (bass), Shane Forbes (drums).
(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Matthew McKernon)
Prelude
This was never going to be nice and concise. In Jazz, Miles is my man. I wish it were otherwise and I had some lesser known tucked away to thwart the mass media situating him (with Hendrix and Marvin) amongst the usual juvenile poster-boy icons, but no, it's Miles.
When I was reading his autobiography in the early nineties, I filled in the gaps in my collection, which was everything apart from Bitches Brew, Kind of Blue and the Miles and Tadd Dameron Quintet: Paris 49 (which I bought cos I love/d the cover) featuring a young James Moody who I saw at a Newcastle Jazz Festival in the early eighties - anyone?
Miles is one of those artists, and there are a number in Jazz, where, just when you think you have the measure of them, you discover another album which leads to other albums and you're off again. I've had over fifty and there's still more I need.
What may be surprising is that, while I love it all, I'm more Gil Evans and Second Great Quintet than Kind of Blue and Bitches Brew.
The venue was Spiegeltent, a Big Top type erection on a large grass area in the heart of Harrogate, one of the poshest towns in the North of England; cabaret tables at capacity or very near to with a rough head-count of maybe a hundred.
A little over a tenner, around ninety minutes to Harrogate, a town I know quite well, this one was never in doubt.
Side One
I'm not actually hung up on bygone formats but I love the idea of people in their thirties wondering what a side one is.
The first part, Phelps told us, was pre-1960 Miles beginning with When Lights are Low with our man showing a lovely subtle touch when playing muted, the upright acoustic piano sounding ever so slightly old fashioned and out of tune, giving a nice retro touch and Brandon bringing real power.
Boplicity followed, which found itself on the Birth of the Cool album in ‘49, and not suffering at all from being reduced from nonet to quintet. This seems to be the favourite selection from those historic recordings, Miles choosing it to play with Quincy Jones at Montreaux following Gil Evans' death, and the Durham Alumni Band playing it in Sunderland during this year’s Big Band Festival.
Next up, If I Were a Bellhe said from 54 but I'm guessing it wasn't released until ‘56, opening his trumpet up, alternating with tenor and piano during fours with the drums.
I haven't played Blue in Green in years but I don't recall a bass intro, trumpet un-muted nor a sax shading it. Thought I might lift FDTs' copy to check but decided the uncertainty of memory was all part of the fun. Brandon seemed even more forceful than Trane’s original on this beautiful ballad but it worked, with even the missing note from towards the end of the original disappearing. 
All Blues meant no So What but it was great anyway though, once again, doesn't Miles remove the mute for his solo? Some new posturing, Brandon crouching while Jay points his trumpet down, lining up the two, comping during a lightning fast piano solo.

Prelude to Side Two
The Second Great Quintet. The freedom in this band is far greater than is generally recognised, perhaps because one thinks of the 'school' of Free Jazz, led by Ornette Coleman and including Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra and others. Like Trane and Mingus, Miles’ recordings are often considered more peripheral and I like the term Freebop, though I have no idea who coined it.
The group were initially overshadowed by the presence of Trane in the first quintet who had become Miles' major rival, as well as the huge impact and unprecedented commercial success that In a Silent Way and particularly Bitches Brew would have in the immediate aftermath of the Second Great Quintet. 
Consequently, it has taken much longer for this formidable combo to seep into the consciousness of Jazz hegemony, but in recent years I have read and heard several commentators claiming that this was the greatest Jazz group of all time.

Side Two
As lightning lashed around the structure, Shorter’s Prince of Darkness to open and one of Miles' many nick names, though I don't know which came first. 
Shorter again, who became crucial in the band, with Pinocchio and great to hear it played properly again. Yes I know there's no such word in Jazz but Weather Report’s effort on Mr Gone (a title some used to illustrate Shorter’s contribution to the album) was lacklustre and seemed unfinished and I've heard other inadequate versions recently.
Nefertiti, title track of my favourite SGQ album, found the rest of the band more or less sticking to the melody while the drummer was off doing all sorts of doodling, and it seems incredible that Tony Williams was still a teenager at the time of recording, though I believe by this time they no longer needed to lie about his age to get him into venues.
Another piece I should know but didn't, followed by Some Day my Prince will Comewhich Phelps said should have been part of the first set, but as far as I understand it, the song was recorded during this period but not released until years later. Anybody? He showed real feel and beauty in his trumpet playing and it featured the only bass solo of the night which was great; it's just when you get one every piece and they ain't got PC or Ron Carter.
ESP, another Wayne Shorter song and title track of their first album, brought things to a close about ten hours earlier than I would have preferred.

Epilogue
Were this an evening of commercial music they would have been called a tribute band. Although I have no problem with the idea per se, and have seen some fine Zappa and Prog tribute bands, not to mention Bjorn Again, I prefer to think of them as being like an orchestra, and nobody expects Stravinsky or Boulez to turn up and start waving their drumstick around.

Afterword
I had planned to stick Bitches Brew in the car but for some reason changed my mind. As I stood contemplating the world after the gig I suddenly remembered I'd put Herbie Hancock’s Speak like a Child in, which leads with his own version of Riot, one of the killers off the Nefertiti album; not as strong as the quintet version but both from ‘68 so I don't know which came first, but another delight for the journey home.
When I got in FDT was practicing for Friday and asked what it was like. What do you think?
Steve T.

1 comment :

Steven T said...

Incidentally, had I been hung up on bygone formats there's no way I could have amassed 50 Miles albums (let alone 60+ Zappa albums and multiple albums by hundreds of artists) so whatever the alleged vinyl revival that's constantly in the media is about, it isn't music.

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