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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

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.

Sun 10: Tusk X Yeah You @ Live Theatre, Newcastle. 12 noon. £10.00. All day event, line-up inc. Pat Thomas.
Sun 10: Jazz Stage @ Mouth of the Tyne Festival: Rendezvous Jazz (12 noon); River City Jazzmen (1:35pm); House of the Black Gardenia (3:10pm); Classic Swing (4:40pm). Outdoor stage adjacent to Tynemouth Priory.
Sun 10 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 10: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm.
Sun 10: Shunyata Improvisation Group @ Saltwell Park, Gateshead NE9 5AX. 1:00pm.
Sun 10: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 10: Anth Purdy @ Blues & Bourbon, Newcastle. 4:00pm.
Sun 10: Jazzframe @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Eris 136199 + Inclusive Principle @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle -

Martin Archer (Laptop, keyboard, bass clarinet + sop); Hervé Perez (reeds, electronics); Peter Fairclough (percussion) 
(Review/photos by Ken Drew)
This trio performed here early last year to huge acclaim and it was a very welcome return, this time as part of a Northern Line mini-tour.  Starting with a very quiet introduction with strong rhythms developing from Fairclough on percussion, with both Archer and Perez initially sat in charge of Laptops providing a variety of sampled and created sounds - chimes, animal sounds, birdsong, crashing waves etc along with generated-on-the-fly effects.  The filtered white noise plus the sound of ever-so-close seagulls was a little unnerving for those of us who live on the coast!   After a long slowly developing introduction, the soundscape was still evolving ...... was Perez doing 'live coding'? No matter - it was certainly a live and quite complex set of sounds being created in unison with Archer, and with Fairclough adding to the mix quite gently in the background.  Yet, alongside the two laptop & wind performers, Fairclough never failed to make his mark, giving us a masterclass in percussion often using deceptively simple strokes across the kit with tempos changing at will but always in concert with Archer and Perez.
The power of the performance got stronger as the piece evolved and developed in breadth and intensity, electronics giving way to ‘conventional solos’ on soprano sax (Perez) and bass clarinet (Archer) followed by new sounds still drifting in and out ... pipe organ tones ... a low swirling sound....  then a bluesy riff emanates from Archers sax and another brief sighting of seagulls. It was apparent that the initially quiet and slow introduction had been a prelude to what was now evolving as the trio took us on a musically rich and ever-expanding sonic journey.

Often the contribution of each Laptop was equal with no apparent lead. Was one driving the other, or were the creations of Perez providing the backdrop for Archer's more short and punchy staccato sounds? The increasing volume suggested the end was in sight, prompted by a very frantic section with Fairclough let off the reigns, then carefully fading, so ending this wonderful 40-minute long piece. What a journey we'd been taken on. It was certainly engrossing, quite intense at times, occasionally light-hearted and always full of sonic interest and adventure. And what a great ending!!
Whilst there were only three performers on stage, the music developed in complexity, yet somehow it remained accessible, challenging the audience to reflect on how such diversely short sections combined to make a solid, understandable yet lengthy piece.  This constantly changing and intriguing soundscape showed that the overall impact was more than just the sum of the parts.
-----
Han-Earl Park (guitar / pedals); Catherine Sikora (tenor sax); Nick Didkovsky (guitar / pedals)
It was 1 year and 6 days ago that Park played here, and following that performance Jazz North East were keen to get him back - but this time with a different trio, which made it all the more exciting.  After a short guitar introduction, rising in intensity, Sikora blasted in on sax.  The focus moved between all three, settling in nicely and establishing their credentials. Then Park played extensively with both hands mid-way along the neck of his guitar - fingers furtively creating various sounds accompanied by Sikora and Didkovsky. Park then followed the sax by tuning/de-tuning a string holding a single played note. Didkovsky embarked on a similar style, by creating swirling sounds with both hands busily striking the strings in the middle of the guitar's fretboard. A similar looking technique maybe, but with such a different resultant sound.

Both guitarists were using pedals, but nothing similar beyond that. Park, playing characteristically barefoot, predominantly used a swell pedal to provide a wide and active dynamic to his sound.  Didkovsky had a small range of pedals, including harmoniser, compressor and a couple more. These were never a focus of activity

but used quite subtly to shift the emerging sound into new areas without losing the guitar's base sound.  Well, maybe occasionally it did, but to good effect.  The pedals were never in the limelight, but the resulting sound certainly was, working perfectly to complement Park, and interworking with Sikora. The piece progressed with mostly different pairings working together and bouncing ideas off each other, the sax producing strong and occasionally extended solos with alternate guitars providing different backing effects, ending at around 30 minutes. Plenty time for another piece to follow, starting with Didkovsky providing a suitable rhythm to build on and develop. Park provided more jagged guitar sounds, Didovsky further demonstrated more techniques and timbres, with fleeting references to Fripp's characteristic guitar sound (well, to my ear at least !) and Sikora another extended sax-led section, oftentimes blasting to quite easily and delightfully fill the room.

Overall, this was quite an exploration of the instruments' sonic capabilities and the soundspace they occupied together. This was never more apparent than the ending of the second piece where Park and Didkovsky arrived at the same two notes and simultaneously left them hanging in mid-air for them to fade out naturally. This is of course how tunes are often written to finish, but judging by the look of surprise on the two guitarist’s faces, this had been arrived at telepathically from the natural flow of the piece, with both players poised to continue until it became apparent in an instant that they had arrived at the natural conclusion of the piece.

So, two excellent sets, both improvised, but each very different apart from the enthusiastic applause they each received.
Ken.

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