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Bebop Spoken There

Fergus McCreadie: "I think a lot of the best music is very political, and there are so many things going on in the world that I'm constantly angry at. But for me making music is not the space for that" (Jazzwise 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

14336 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 555 of them this year alone and, so far, 55 this month (June 19).

From This Moment On ...

June

Sun 26 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Outdoor (indoor if inclement weather).
Sun 26: Mississippi Dreamboats @ Springwell Village Community Venue, Gateshead. 2:30pm. A ‘1940s’ Weekend’ event (from 1:00pm).
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 26: Los Chichanos @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 27: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 28: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Dean Stockdale, Paul Grainger, Sid White.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 30: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 30: Lights Out By Nine @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:30pm. Free.
Thu 30: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

July

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Swing Manouche @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm (doors). £20.00.
Fri 01: 1920s Speakeasy w live jazz @ The Exchange, North Shields. 8:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Blind Pig Blues Club. 8:00pm.

Sat 02: Hot Fingers @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Steve Glendinning: Latin jazz. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 02: Talk: Storytelling & jazz as an expression of urban life @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:45pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sat 02: The Commandments + On Parole @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Geordie Jazz Man @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Screening of Abi Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.
Sat 02: The Delta Prophets Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Swing Manouche @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Swung Eight & King Bees @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Swing dance + ace Chicago blues band.
Sat 02: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Patrick Cromb @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

CD Review: Flying Machines – New Life

Alex Munk (guitar, vocals); Matt Robinson (piano, synths, Fender Rhodes); Conor Chaplin (electric bass); Dave Hamblett (drums).
(Review by Hugh C)
New Life is the second release from this London based band, their first, critically acclaimed, eponymous album having been issued in 2016.  New Life continues their trademark fusion of contemporary jazz with progressive rock.  This album continues their exploration with a mix of expansive through-composed material morphing into and out of group improvisation.

The first and title track, New Life, is a wake-up call with crashing guitar licks from Munk, worthy of any ‘70s stadium gig.  I suspect many a man (and the occasional woman) of a certain age will instantly begin to demonstrate their skills on an imaginary “axe” on hearing this track.  The main man is ably supported by the rhythm section to maintain momentum.   As the music decrescendos toward the final chord one fully expects a massive roar from the audience – but this is a studio recording.  Blink is improvised and again features fast licks on electric guitar with a great supporting bass line from Conor Chaplin – it ends all too quickly (a mere 51 seconds!).

Moondust has a less frenzied, more relaxed vibe.  Guitar is again to the fore, but much more of a jazz style with supporting harmony from Matt Robinson on keys and Conor Chaplin on bass.
Prelude to Elation starts with acoustic guitar and gentle accompanying wordless vocals, gently driven by Dave Hamblett on brushes.  This provides a short lead-in to Elation, a more substantial number and the longest on the album.  Solo guitar again commences this track with the gradual addition of other instruments.  An interesting mixture of tempi demonstrates Hamblett’s percussive skills and more expansive piano passages allow Robinson to stretch out.  Neat fretwork by Chaplin on bass is contributory to the overall sonic package – probably my favourite track on the album.

The fully improvised Standing Still commences with abstract guitar chords, synths and a gentle repetitive bass motif redolent of 20th-century space movies and best listened to while regarding Gabe Shaughnessy’s splendid pictures of the Veil Nebula which adorn the CD cover.  Kilter starts with solo guitar, over bass in a simple melody joined by piano and drums at a relaxed pace.  This track has the nearest thing to a bass solo, demonstrating Chaplin’s mastery of the instrument in a melodic style.

Fall In picks up the tempo again with Munk’s electric guitar in the ascendant, but with significant melodic contribution from bass and keys all driven by Hamblett’s powerhouse drumming.  In the centre there is a quieter interlude featuring Robinson on Fender Rhodes.  Bullet Train is the third entirely improvised track (no pun intended) and does bring to mind an image of a speeding locomotive followed by a gleaming string of carriages.  The music disaggregates towards the end (which is slightly unnerving in the context!) and segues into Take Time.  This final track slowly builds from atmospheric guitar chords over a simple drum beat and gradually gains more complexity with the addition of piano and bass. 

My initial reaction on playing the disc for the first time was – this isn’t Jazz!  Well, some of it probably isn’t, even by the most liberal interpretation of the word, but a significant part of the material on this CD is.  The jazz component and the remainder (progressive rock according to the record company press material) are both expertly crafted and skillfully delivered MUSIC, which is after all, what matters!

New Life is to be released by Ubuntu (UBU00017) on Friday 19 October 2018.  The launch is at Pizza Express in Soho on Monday 22 October.  I think this would sound great in a live setting – an opportunity exists to catch Flying Machines at the EFG London Jazz Festival on 25 November and then on tour in 2019*.
Hugh C.

* Tour dates.
            15 March – Birmingham Jazzlines
            25 March  - The Whisky Jar, Manchester
            29 March – Wakefield Jazz
            5 April – Derby Jazz
            25 April – The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen
            26 April – Edinburgh Jazz Bar
            7 May – St. Ives Jazz Club
            19 September – The Spin, Oxford
            23 October – The Lescar, Sheffield

Space in there for another NE gig perhaps? 
(Performed at Jazz Café February 2017)

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read Steve H's review of the 2017 Jazz Cafe gig.

The band is apparently named after Munk's father, Roger's career as an expert and world leader in the field of lighter than air technology. The company that he founded, HAV, are now flight testing the world's largest air vehicle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=n21nJIy3dlg

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