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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.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Patrice Williamson Celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Ella Fitzgerald’s Birth on New Album

This album, somehow got sidelined owing to our designated reviewer being taken ill so, because of the short time between now and the release date which coincides with the First Lady's centenary , I've posted the press release in full stressing that I wholeheartedly concur with all that is written - Lance.
(Press release)
Williamson and guitarist Jon Wheatley conjure the swinging chemistry of the First Lady of Song and Joe Pass. Album due out on April 25.
“Patrice Williamson isn't a singer, she's a one-woman jazz sampler.” Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes
“Ms. Williamson has a beautiful low alto voice that could be likened to a smooth single-malt scotch..."   C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz.

April 25, 2017 will mark the 100th anniversary of an event that would have a profound impact on jazz and American song: the birth of Ella Fitzgerald. While the centennial of the First Lady of Song will doubtlessly be celebrated in myriad forms, few will prove as heartfelt or sincere – or as long in gestation – as Comes Love, the new album by Boston-based jazz vocalist Patrice Williamson. For the occasion, Williamson teamed up with guitarist and fellow Berklee College of Music faculty member Jon Wheatley for a set that pays particular homage to Fitzgerald’s landmark duo with guitar great Joe Pass.

Due for release on Ella’s birthday, April 25, on Williamson’s own Riverlily Records and produced by pianist/composer Helen Sung, Comes Love features a dozen Songbook classics originally either recorded by Fitzgerald and Pass on one of their four studio albums or performed live by the duo during the course of their notable collaboration. Williamson and Wheatley never resort to sheer imitation (not that such a thing would even be possible given their two inimitable models), but instead conjure the warm elegance and graceful swing of the originals through the alluring chemistry of their own inviting rapport.

"I started listening to recordings of Ella during my sophomore year in college, and I haven't stopped." Williamson says.  "Jon has a vast knowledge of all the great jazz musicians and jazz guitarists, including Joe Pass. Our goal was to present how Ella and Joe have inspired our own musical development."

Fitzgerald and Pass first joined forces in 1973 for Take Love Easy (from which Williamson takes four of the tunes on Comes Love, including her renditions of Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” and Billy Eckstine’s “I Want To Talk About You”). They would enter the studio three more times over the next thirteen years, releasing Fitzgerald and Pass…Again in 1976, Speak Love in 1983 and Easy Living in 1986. A number of live performances have also been released from that period, revealing the pair’s genuine camaraderie, incisive wit and impeccable taste.

While Williamson can wax rhapsodic about much of Fitzgerald’s work (and dreams of following Comes Love with a series of tributes, each exploring a different facet of Ella’s career from small bands to orchestra), she found herself particularly drawn to her work with Pass due to its vulnerability and purity.
"I loved the simplicity, vulnerability and command the duo had without the assistance of bass and
drums. Some of the first recordings I heard of Ella were with big bands. So, stripping down to one accompanist allowed the pureness of her sound to come through clearly.  Joe provided harmony (chords) and bass.  Ella added melody and emotion.  They both had impeccable time, so together they delivered rhythm and swing. Their performances always sounded whole and complete which is a testament to their brilliance."

Comes Love has been lurking in the back of Williamson’s mind for nearly 17 years, conceived at the turn of the millennium as she realized that Ella’s centenary was fast approaching. But the seeds for the idea were planted long before, during the singer’s childhood in Memphis. Her earliest memory of Ella came through the iconic vocalist’s early-70s commercials for Memorex cassette tapes (“Is it Ella or is it Memorex?”), but she truly fell in love with Ella’s voice as her choir director father played his cherished LPs for his music-loving daughter. “I liked the music,” she recalls, “but I really liked how Ella scatted because I thought it was silly. That built the foundation for this inspirational person in my life.”

Williamson’s tastes turned more to the popular music of the time – Prince, Madonna, Janet Jackson – as she entered high school, but while studying classical flute at the University of Tennessee she fell in with the jazz crowd, who she says were “much more fun” than her classical classmates. Wanting to sing with her new jazz friends, she rediscovered her passion for Ella and began taking lessons. “I remember telling my teacher, ‘I want to scat like Ella,’” she recalls. “She looked at me and said [sternly], ‘Well, girl, you’re gonna have to work.’ Ella was there when swing and bebop were evolving, and she’s a talent that we haven’t seen again in the jazz vocal world. I just thought, ‘Challenge accepted.’”

Encouraged by UT faculty jazz pianist Donald Brown, Williamson headed to New England Conservatory to focus full-time on her voice, under the guidance of award-winning RCA recording artist Dominique Eade. She’s since become a favorite at Boston’s celebrated Regattabar, joined the faculty at Berklee College of Music, traveled the world singing in such far-flung locales as Seoul, South Korea; Singapore; New Delhi, India; and Perugia, Italy; and co-founded the vocal trio E.S.P. with fellow singers Emily Browder and Sandi Hammond. Both of Williamson’s independent recordings, My Shining Hour and Free to Dream, have received high praise from jazz critics around the country.

When she began searching for a collaborator to help her realize Comes Love, Williamson quickly discovered that Wheatley was on everyone’s short list of recommendations. One listen to his understated, lyrical playing on the album reveals why, as does a resume that includes stints with jazz greats like Ruby Braff, Herb Pomeroy and George Masso. Williamson ran into the guitarist (in her telling, it’s nearly an ambush) in the copy room at Berklee, and the two forged an almost immediate connection. “We played a little bit in his office and that’s all it took - I was in love,” Williamson enthuses. “That first little jam session was eye-opening because I was suddenly singing songs that I’ve been singing for the last 20 years in a completely different way.”

Helen encouraged Patrice to choose a personal theme for the album.  Williamson, having recently ended an incredible relationship, chose songs with melodies and content that held a personal resonance.  She found this process to be remarkably cathartic. 

Beyond the tribute to Ella, Comes Love uses Songbook standards to loosely trace the story of a long-term relationship coming to an end. A narrative shared by Ella and Patrice: "I've had some wonderful love affairs and some that didn't work out. I don't want to dwell on that and I don't want to put people down, but I think of all the fabulous places I've been, the wonderful things that have happened for me, the great people I've met - that ought to make a story."  - ELLA FITZGERALD

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