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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.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Marcus Miller + Ashley Henry Trio @ London Jazz Festival, Royal Festival Hall November 12


Marcus Miller (bass/vocal); Alex Han (alto); Marquis Hill (trumpet); Pasquale Styrizzi (keys); Alex Bailey (drums).
(Review by Jude)
Anyone who knows me and my obsession with Mr Miller will expect more objectification than objectivity from this review, however, I’ll try to keep a cool head.
Blown away by Marcus Miller’s visit to Sage Gateshead, on the Afrodeezia tour, and only one night after seeing Pat Metheny’s storming 2.5 hour slot in Hull, could this live up to our expectations?
Indeed it could. Starting the set with a new and funky tune, Marcus was in upfront mood from the off, rapping on the mic, slapping and soloing as superbly as you would expect. The band, a quintet, is slightly sparser than on the previous British tour, but the groove is, if anything, even more impressive. This was clearly demonstrated in several tracks from the previous album – Hylife (again with Miller vocalising in places), B’s River and the astounding cover of Papa Was a Rolling Stone.
These retained Miller’s and (superb) altoist Alex Han’s soloing, with fiery trumpeter Marquis Hill echoing Hugh Masakela lines on the afrobeats of Hylife, and keyboard player Pasquale Strizzi adding unsettling harmonic undertones via his heavily modulated keyboard sound.  Drums from Alex Bailey were powerful and funky, with the beat always developing, never static.  The arrangements were harder and edgier than previously, and the tunes took on a new life.

The gospel-inflected Preacher’s Kid featured a touching introduction from Miller, reflecting on how his father (the eponymous preacher’s kid) is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, but can still recognise his son as they look so alike. It also brought forth reminiscences of his father’s pride when Marcus first got the call to join Miles Davis at the age of 21. And we thought that 26-year-old Ashley Henry, from the support set, was a young lion! Rich, sonorous bass clarinet from the band leader, and a stunning reworking by the horns of the vocal harmonies of the original recording made this an incredibly moving performance: they literally took it to church.

Aside from new pieces and selections from Afrodeezia, there was a superb reinvention of the chord structure for Night in Tunisia, and a searching, eerily reharmonised, version of Tutu, the tune Miller wrote for Miles Davis back in the 1980s. Again, Strizzi’s heavily phased keyboard sounds, moving in and out of pitch, added an extra layer of tension and power to this majestic piece of music.

A triumphant set, leading to an inevitable encore.  Miller returned to the stage alone, to sit atop a monitor and perform a transcendent solo version of the Jackson Five’s I’ll be There (as first heard on the Renaissance album but, as always, with fresh and astounding improvisational lines throughout).  Joined again by the band, Miller rounded off a truly stunning evening with the storming, flamenco-esque Blast.  The only regret is that the Royal Festival Hall isn’t all that well set up for dancing. I, and my companions on the balcony, did our best with space between the rows of seats.  
Jude.

This Sunday evening performance also featured an impressive support slot by up and coming young British pianist, Ashley Henry (with a storming trio). Poised and powerful, there were times when Ashley Henry reminded me of Robert Glasper; at other times, the woman sitting next to me commented that there were echoes of Ahmad Jamal. Impressive.

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