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Bebop Spoken There

Alan Barnes: "Normally you can cobble a set together with five guys on the back of an envelope over the first pint and it's just fine. Livestreaming isn't like that." - (Jazzwise July 2021)

Archive quotes.

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.

Postage

13,381 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 799 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (June 20).

From This Moment On

JUNE

Wed 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). POSTPONED!

Thu 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside 1:00pm).

Thu 24: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead (8:30pm).

Fri 25: Hot Club du Nord @ St Mary's Parish Hall, Barnard Castle. 7:00pm. Tickets: £15.00. + bf. A Barnard Castle Rotary Club event. POSTPONED!

Fri 25: Archipelago + Faith Brackenbury @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle (8:00pm). £10.00. & £8.00. Echoes to the Sky album launch. A GCT Jazz Club-Jazz North East co-promotion.

Fri 25 Alter Ego @ Traveller's Rest, Cockerton, Darlington (8:00pm). POSTPONED!

Sat 26: Tyne Valley Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham (3:45pm).

Sun 27: Vieux Carré Hot Four @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay (12 noon).

Sun 27: Noel Dennis Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle (8:00pm). £10.00. Advance booking essential: www.jazzcoop. A Jazz Co-op-Jazz North East co-promotion.

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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