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Bebop Spoken There

Greg Abate: "So many sounds are ugly now. There are no harmonics, no chords. What do people hear these days? Why do things have to change from that good music?" (JazzTimes June/July 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:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14378 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 597 of them this year alone and, so far, 2 this month (July 2).

From This Moment On ...

July

Sun 03 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 03: Ruth Lambert & Martin Craggs @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Wild Women of Wylam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jazz Jam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 04: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 06: Michael Bublé @ Durham County Cricket Club, Chester le Street. Doors: 5:00pm.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 06: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 07: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 07: Lara Jones + Echo Juliet @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 07: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free admission (donations).
Thu 07: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 08: Alex Clarke Quartet @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00.
Fri 08: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 08: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.

Sat 09: Jazz Stage @ Mouth of the Tyne Festival: Zoë Gilby Duo (12 noon); Vieux Carré Jazzmen (1:35pm); Harmony Brass (3:10pm); Ruth Lambert Quartet (4:40pm). Outdoor stage adjacent to Tynemouth Priory.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The Bad Plus + Binker & Moses @ Sage Gateshead - November 8

The Bad Plus: Ethan Iverson (piano); Reid Anderson (bass); David King (drums).
(Review by Steve T).
Five superb musicians in two bands, each band inciting a fascinating discussion about the current state and possible future direction of Jazz. 
The Bad Plus have hit upon the idea that they can use multiple modern pop music and rock music in the way that Jazz musicians have always used the Great American Songbook. This itself was nothing new in that many of the 'great' classical composers stole melodies from European folk music, much of which is long since forgotten.
In my view, the Great American Songbook are amongst the greatest songs ever written and, at least prior to Sinatra, were not automatically associated with specific artists. In my view, neither of these statements are necessarily true of modern pop music. However, they feature melodies: verses and choruses which people of a certain age know, which gives them a head start playing Bad Plus music. In other words, I believe the song to be less important than what the artist does with it.
The Bad Plus covers repertoire is varied, ranging from Stravinsky to Johnny Cash, and no two people will agree on which originals are good and which are naff, but this doesn't seem to be a reliable guide anyway; I never imagined I could enjoy versions of records by Blondie and Nirvana.
Furthermore, reading notes on their albums the band don't make qualitative statements about the songs they cover but talk about lovingly or ruthlessly deconstructing them.
Tonight we got deconstructed versions of songs by Cindy Lauper, Crowded House, Kraftwerk and Johnny Cash, the latter stretching my theory to the limit. There was another piece which sounded like a famous classical piece I couldn't name but turned out to be an original, possibly influenced by it. Furthermore, as so often happens, the band originals worked equally as well as the more familiar covers. 
When they announced the last number, it seemed as if they'd only just arrived but, on checking, they'd been on for over an hour. In a frail voice, which could have been Paul Simon, bass player Reid Anderson sang about how cold Gateshead is but where they come from is even colder and, if Trump wins the election (and writing this at 5am it's almost certain he has), they'll be coming to live here.
An encore and a few left but they were all back for a second encore, a rarity for a band these days which earned them rapturous applause.

Economic conditions have factored prominently in the history of Jazz, in the evolution of the standard quintet when so few bandleaders could maintain big bands, and the Hammond trio where (mostly but not exclusively) guitarists could have one person playing Hammond in place of bass and piano.
In the current climate, particularly in this country, it is far more financially viable to play as part of a duo. If one is a piano, clearly that will make a huge difference, and there are things you can do with two guitars, but how does it work with sax and drums? 
Binker and Moses: Binker Golding (tenor sax) and Moses Boyd (drums).
Binker and Moses did three pieces over about thirty minutes. The first and last were particularly free-form, though a few minutes into the first, it settled into some good old 4/4, though clearly with lots of embellishment. The middle piece was far more melody driven, and one of those things that sounds like you've always known it, complete with Latin style rhythms, but I felt would have benefited from a bass. The final piece had them both going full pelt and could have so easily been a mess, but the extraordinary musicianship and telepathy between them ensured it never faltered. 
The template for sax and drums must be Interstellar Space by Coltrane but I confess I could never get away with it, though I've been promising myself for years I'd revisit it. I think every Joe Lovano album I've ever heard has a sax/drums duo and it works really well so I think a track on an album and a support spot is fine, but I'm not sure if it's sustainable over an album or for a major headline act.
A good night - Irene and James Birkett agreed - and plenty to talk about.   
Steve T.

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