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Bebop Spoken There

John Scofield: "I like architecture that lends itself to improvisation." - (Jazzwise 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

13,837 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1254 of them this year alone and, so far, 66 this month (Oct. 23).

From This Moment On ...

October

Tue 26: Classic Swing @ Ship inn, Monkseaton. 1:00pm. The post-lockdown resumption of the band’s weekly residency will be fortnightly until further notice.
Tue 26: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 8:00pm. The post-lockdown resumption of the Black Swan’s fortnightly jam session.

Wed 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 27: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 27: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 28: J Frisco @ Newcastle University. 1:15pm. ONLINE ONLY (YouTube).
Thu 28: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 28: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 28: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 29: James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.

Sun 31 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon..
Sun 31: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. .
Sun 31: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Jam session..
Sun 31: Alison Rayner Quintet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

November

Mon 01: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music 2017 @ Black Swan Bar & Venue - September 30

(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
Julien Desprez took to the stage armed with a guitar and pedals and went straight into what I guess you could call an extended riff, lasting sufficiently long enough to make me wonder whether it would be the whole piece or even set. Europeans don't seem to have the same rush to get to the hook that we do, perhaps it’s a result of our preoccupation with pop music that we seem to do it better than the rest of the world.
Suddenly! he began striking the guitar intermittently, creating an explosion of sound. Long-suffering but eternally patient guitarist observer Mrs T joked he has anger management issues but another lady admitted to actually being a little scared. We were taken on a journey in sound utilising the full arsenal available to a modern day guitarist. He was up and down out of his seat like Westlife through a string of big key changes, when resolution was finally offered, it ended just as it had begun.
Is it Jazz? Is it music or just sound? Is all sound music? Was he playing guitar or could it just as easily have been a keyboard? Or a computer? Does it matter?
Artists generally say they prefer a response - any response - rather than indifference. They want us to love it but would rather we hate it than have nil response. Job done.
Next up, Schnellertollermeier (Andi Schnellmann (bass), Manuel Troller (guitar), David Meier (drums)a straightforward power trio, right? A bit more for the average music listener to hang on to. Very much a group effort, so more Cream than Hendrix, with the powerhouse drummer, obligatory in Progressive Jazz Rock. 
At times reminiscent of Discipline era King Crimson, there were lots of layers of sound, complex poly-rhythms, some bowed bass and much repetition, giving it an industrial feel, perhaps drawing on kraut rock or math rock, subgenres anathema to my field of expertise, maybe because they deliberately jettison any claim to soulfulness, so crucial to the tradition of Black American Music.
Rather than any Hendrix type blowout, the guitar sound remained more indie pop. A bit 'punk' my wife claimed, a major trigger word for me, but this wasn't punk at all, this was real. The crowds watching the pop/rock guitar covers band in the pub up the road, or Elvis with Nirvana at the 02 Academy would have done themselves a favour visiting the Swan instead of deluding themselves theirs was an act of rebellion.

Guitar joined by sax on the surface seemed more accessible than solo guitar but, when saxophonist Mette Rasmussen joined Julien Desprez, this proved the most difficult and challenging set of the evening.
Think Ornette and James Blood Ulmer on superskunk, turned up to twelve and furious over something. Steve H argued vociferously she's up with the best saxophonists he's ever seen anywhere ever and I have no argument with the level of virtuosity, but it's never enough on its own. Just when you thought they'd finished, they came back fiercer, faster, furiouser.
Not the sort of thing I would listen to more than once, but maybe that's the point.

Many, young and old, clearly couldn't get enough of this stuff but, those of us for whom this wasn't an entirely comfortable zone, Troyka (Chris Montague (guitar), Kit Downes (keyboards), Joshua Blackmore (drums) proved a welcome respite.
Not that their music is in any way straightforward or easily accessible. Lots of funky, syncopated drumming, lots of Progressive Jazz Rock and more pedals than a tandem tour, with weird sounds coming from guitar and keyboards alongside a warming approximation of a classic Hammond organ sound. If the earlier band were more Trio of Doom, that would make Troyka more akin to Lifetime.

So, much to cherish for anyone who likes John McLaughlin and/or Tony WIlliams and something for Jaco and Larry Young people too, Troyka also reminding me of post Jaco Weather Report at times.
Some had the night of their lives, others didn't. Some were sufficiently intrigued for it to be essential, others weren't. 

2 comments :

stevebfc said...

I had been looking forward to this gig from when it was announced Julien Desprez being one my favourite guitarists and Mette Rasmussen one being one of my favourite saxophonists and I certainly wasn't disappointed by either performer. I still stand by my hyperbole of the evening about how great I think the pair are. The opening solo set by Desprez was so dynmamic and creative that it did disturb my friend but the excitement of having no idea about what was going to happen next was for me exhillirating. As for Schnellertollermeier they were more Swiss rock and roll rather than Jelly Roll. Troyka had the disadvantage of coming on after the amazing Desprez/Rasmussen set so it took a while to adjust their stuff but a few minutes I managed to retune and enjoyed the rest of the set immensely

Steve T said...

Great - some discussion.
I remember I used to play Dancing Queen (my wifes of course) after Tranes 57 mins of My Favourite Things, 2 tracks off Judy Mowatts Black Woman after Petrushka, and Spice Girls after Ravel.
I guess you do it in reverse.

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