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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

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 @ Prohibition 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.

Thu 09: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 09: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00.
Thu 09: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Tim Garland Quartet @ Sage Gateshead – October 21

Tim Garland (tenor, alto saxophones, bass clarinet), Ant Law (guitars), Jason Rebello (keyboards), Asaf Sirkis (drums, percussion).
(Review by Steve Tolstoy/photo courtesy of Pam Young).
It was clear from the off this was something of a homecoming for Tim Garland. Turns out he used to teach music in Newcastle, lived in Whitley Bay for a time and recorded at Sage Gateshead while they were still finishing off the roof. This was home turf and it showed in his relaxed demeanour and infectious enthusiasm.
It was also obvious that this wasn’t a headliner and his band, but a real live super-group. His excitement at them ‘kicking your (his) ass each night’ was palpable, overflowing regularly through the night, whooping and clearly into their solos, leading the applause as he provided genuine backing with his various percussion objects. When you consider he played with Chick Corea for seventeen years, that these musicians plainly still blow him away ought to tell you something.

He set the scene for opener Best Day of your Life, maybe a slight exaggeration but a good day and a glorious band who put on a great show. It began with soprano and acoustic guitar before bursting into a fusiony, Latiny groove which flowed through the whole set, some beautiful real piano from Rebello.
Following the solos he took it back to the melody in the first of regular moments of jouissance, generally as he took it back to the head, reflecting what a great writer of melody he is.
Part of the dynamics of this group is the absence of bass which they address in various ways between them. Being something of a philistine in this regard, and with nothing emulating a Hammond, I wasn’t sure how it would all hold together, but they had it covered, and then some, Ant Law, possibly due to the absence of Hammond, taking on the bulk with his not quite so secret weapon, the eight string.
Some guitarists play bass like a guitarist but not Ant Law, and in a band with such loud echoes of Return to Forever and Weather Report, he’s mixing it with the best there’s ever been.
A duo followed with an extended sax intro before some chord textures on Fender Rhodes, but had he not told us in advance, I don’t think I’d have recognised it as Good Morning Heartache, which is maybe how it should be.
Most of the gig was taken from their excellent current album One, referring to ‘the unifying power of music’ and the next piece was Foretold from the album, sans Egyptian percussion but with some tampering to his tenor.
It featured the remarkable Asaf Sirkis on drums and percussion, effortlessly keeping the whole thing together, seemingly able to hold down multiple complex rhythms in tandem, gradually escalating to a percussion bombardment, Laws’ eight string laying down the bass incessantly throughout.
Next up Tyne Song dedicated to a working river (with equally famous fog) as he gloated he’d been talking about it on his nationwide tour but now it was right outside. It’s a great piece featuring a lovely subtle side to Laws’ playing, slowly turning up the heat before Tim came back in, utilising the full range of the sax.
Set one concluded with Sama’I for Peace, soprano evocative of exotic cultures but loads of plain old fusion, another Fender Rhodes solo, and all his solos throughout, on acoustic and electric were brilliant and thoughtful, before another drum outburst sent us to the break satisfied but with the relish of more to follow.
More of the same doesn’t remotely do justice to a night of great musical variety but works as a qualitative statement.
Eternal Greeting he told us referred to the infinite potential for improvisation, particularly with musicians of this calibre, though he explained it far more eloquently than I can, betraying an inquisitive intelligence. He’s also really hip, more so as he moves into the coolest decade, your fifties (obviously).
Putting his whole body into it he was like Sonny Rollins, Ant Law bringing a Spanish influence on acoustic, no doubt reflecting the reverence its composer has for Chick Corea.
Following Colours of Night, he asked Rebello to demonstrate the Fender Rhodes sound (actually on a Roland) and he played the theme from Taxi by Bob James, informing us the instrument was developed for traumatised veterans returning from Vietnam, and how ironic that it became a mainstay of Jazz-rock,. Although I suspect most people now think of Bob James as one of the architects of smooth Jazz, I was reminded how widespread it was in Jazz-funk.
We got some conical singing/ scatting from Sirkis which I’ve heard Trilok Gurtu do and somebody in Shakti (though presumably not John McLaughlin) but he seemed particularly skilled at it. He also does a little on the album.
Blues for Little Joe for his son who was in the audience though he’s no longer little, was a great group performance, and they all finished together.
A bass clarinet solo version of Black is the Colour of Her Hair, with some effects making it sound quite exotic though he forewarned us that classical musicians refer to the instrument as the ‘random note generator’.
Prototype for Bill Bruford who, he told us, played with Yes, Genesis and Earthworks though, since he was in King Crimson on and off for over twenty years, my guess is Robert Fripps’ probably now looking for Mr Garland. ‘We want to hear some more guitar’ he spoke for all of us, though he wasn’t expecting Happy Birthday for his fiftieth two days earlier as his wife brought out a cake. Then we got some more guitar and this man knows his progressive rock guitarists, his perfect clean sound justifying his position as one of the finest Jazz guitarists in the land, and one with a keen ear for exploration.
One for the son meant the encore needed to be one for the daughter; Bella Rosa renamed Rosa Ballerina to avoid confusion with a Newcastle restaurant of the same name, and in F sharp to reflect the pitch of her screaming at birth.

A handful of empty seats so next time, which probably won’t be too long, we must make sure it’s a sell-out.

1 comment :

Hugh said...

Excellent review, Steve, for a superb gig. Could well be lining up for my choice for gig of the year...

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