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Bebop Spoken There

Greg Osby: “I have my own style, my own attitude, my own opinions about things. I'm not a follower". DownBeat, February, 2024.

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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16221 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 103 of them this year alone and, so far, 47 this month (Feb. 18).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024

Fri 23: Mark Williams Trio @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 23: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 23: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 23: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 23: Salty Dog Trio @ The Greenhouse, Tynemouth. 7:00pm. £8.00. (£6.00. adv.). CANCELLED!
Fri 23: Crooners @ The Maltings, Berwick upon Tweed. 7:30pm. £30.00., £28.00.
Fri 23: Strictly Smokin' Big Band w Dennis Rollins @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Sat 24: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). Free (donations). A Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra event, all welcome.
Sat 24: Bradley Creswick’s Western Swingfonia @ Hexham Abbey, Hexham. 7:30pm. £15.00. A fundraiser for Hexham Abbey.
Sat 24: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 25: Musicians Unlimited @ The Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 25: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 25: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 25: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man + Lee Maddison @ Laurels, Whitley Bay. 4:00pm (3:30pm doors). £11.00., £8.80. inc. bf. SOLD OUT!
Sun 25: Bex Burch + Rachel Musson @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £11.00. Two solo performances. JNE.
Sun 25: Jazz Jam @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 27: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm (7:00pm doors). £12.00., £10.00. (adv.).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 29: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Olly Styles (saxophone).
Thu 29: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Josh Bentham (alto sax); Graham Thompson (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Monday, August 21, 2017

CD Review: Power of Peace by the Isley Brothers and Santana.

(Review by Steve T)
 Jazz is an ocean. Rock and roll is a swimming pool. I hang out on a lake. Carlos Santana, Guardian 2000.

(ST: For anybody who doesn't follow such things, when somebody like Carlos talks about rock and roll, he doesn't mean Elvis, Chuck and Little, but boy bands with guitars, generally British, and I'd stick them in a puddle.)

The album combines one of the greatest ever rock bands and one of the greatest ever soul bands, and to extend Carlos' metaphor once more, soul music is a well: it's deep, underground, hard to find, hard to get, but sustains life.
Santana has been very close to jazz throughout his almost half-century, and has played with Alice Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Alphonso Johnson, John McLaughlin and others.
Sadly, the album doesn't live up to its promise, but when you consider these bands peaked between the late sixties and early eighties, perhaps no great surprise.
Ronald Isley has been one of the most distinctive, soulful vocalists in music but is not the singer he was in the seventies, eighties, sixties, fifties, nineties or noughties.
Carlos and Ernie are two of the great post-Hendrix guitarists, but Ernie is relegated to that of a guest, with Carlos going through his regular traits, motifs and, I'm afraid, clichés. When he recorded a tribute album to John Coltrane with John McLaughlin, it was always possible to distinguish between the dexterity of the latter and the tenderness of Carlos, who Clapton once described as 'the most soulful guitarist of us all'.
Hendrix was a former guitarist with the Isley Brothers and had a massive influence on a young Ernie, and seeing him down on his knees playing Summer Breeze with his teeth was a highlight of my life. Sadly, Funkadelics’ Eddie Hazell is generally considered the great funk guitarist, but Ernie is every bit as good but under-rated these days.  
There are some interesting choices on the album, like Swamp Doggs’ Total Destruction of Your Mind. Swamp Dogg operates on the margins of soul, like a Sun Ra, Captain Beefheart or Tom Waits and, like his fellow jazz and rock weirdos, people like the idea of him as much as the music, and no bad thing either.
A beefed up, rocked up, funked up version of Stevie Wonders Higher Ground features the inevitable rap, a genre both groups have utilised in the past, and here it works helping make this the strongest track on the set.
Gypsy Woman was the first Impressions’ hit to be written and sung by a young Curtis Mayfield back in 1961. Here they seem to take Womack’s mid-eighties rendition as a starting point and take it a step or two further, but it doesn't really work. 
I Just Want To Make Love To You by Willie Dixon, who wrote almost all the Chicago Blues Classics, takes Muddy Waters psychedelic version, and is equally unsuccessful.
Carlos decided to record with Ronald when he heard the singer doing Bacharach/David songs 'making the listener hear familiar lyrics almost as if for the first time', and this songwriting pair are likely to become even more covered moving forward. However, they fail to bring anything new to What The World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love, lightweight even by the twee standard of pop music at the time, so some tasteful selecting and valid reinterpretation needs to be made.
Ronald Isley is one of the few singers who could have taken on Mercy Mercy Me, which closes side one (cassette, vinyl) of Marvin Gaye’s masterpiece, but not any longer. This version loses the What's Going On melody which sends a shiver through every soul fan but retains the doomsday coda.
God Bless the Child and Let the Rain Fall on Me are two stabs at Jazz and the latter is much jazzier and works much better.
Not even a missed opportunity; that would have been forty years ago. But if it puts both names back on social/media, some may go out and buy the Latin flavoured Abraxis or the jazz-rock of Caravanserai, both constant features of Sanata. Or albums by the Isleys, starting with 3+3 which formally added Ernie; an album which changed my life twice, and is the sort of album that makes you realise how just how ridiculous these silly lists of glorified pop records are.
Steve T.
Ronald Isley, Cindy Blackman Santana (vocals), Carlos Santana, Ernie Isley (guitars).
Featuring: Greg Phillinganes, Benny Rietveld, Tommy Anthony, Karl Perazzo, David Mathews, Kandy and Tracey Isley, Kimberly Johnson, Andy Vargos, Eddie Levert, Charles Boomer, Cornell Carter, Jim Reitzel.

1 comment :

Joe said...

Totally agree. The Isleys have never been the same since the breakup in 1983 that spawned the spinoff group of Ernie Isley, Chris Jasper and Marvin Isley. The Isleys could no longer write and record their own music. Once the Isley Jasper Isley trio ended, Ernie went back to Ron but the Isley sound continued on with Chris Jasper, who has released about fourteen albums of new music to date, all written and recorded by Jasper. If they were released as Isley Brothers albums, the gold and platinum albums would have continued for the Isleys until today. But Ron has had to depend on others to put out an Isley Brothers album, like Winbush and R. Kelly, and in this case, an Isleys/Santana album.

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