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Bebop Spoken There

Neil Hopper, House of the Black Gardenia: "We had the idea when we first started that we would be like Tuba Skinny or something, but that didn't really suit us." - (NARC November 2020)

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".

Postage

12,000 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1140 of them this year alone and, so far, 87 this month (Oct. 27).

Coming soon ...

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON.

OCTOBER

FRIDAY 30

Neil William & Ben Holland - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm-10:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity. Jazz standards from the 1920s & 30s.

SATURDAY 31

Alice Grace & Pawel Jedrzejewski - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm-10:00pm. £10.00. Online booking (to book a table). Limited capacity. Alice & Pav join a multi-bill of entertainers (magician etc) to celebrate Prohibition Bar’s fifth anniversary. SOLD OUT!

Monday, October 22, 2018

CD Review: Lionel Loueke - The Journey.

(Review by Max Goodall)
Benin-born guitarist Lionel Loueke is a composer and performer of fierce originality and individuality. For The Journey, his first release on French label Aparté, Loueke has reached deep into his rich pool of influences and musical interests, drawing out a really engaging album full of deep understated musicality.

Having performed with a who’s who of jazz throughout his career, the guitarist features an impressive roll call of high calibre musicians. The influence of Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista is particularly present, especially on tracks such as Bawo. The album, however, also features bassist Pino Palladino, Patrick Messina (solo clarinet of the Orchestre National de France), cellist Vincent Ségal and violinist Mark Feldman.

Baptista’s Brazilian percussion deeply permeates the album. However, it is Loueke’s African heritage which most constantly infuses The Journey’s musical makeup, particularly in the vitality and insistency of its rhythmic element.  Loueke says “I wanted the rhythmic foundation for this very special album to be deeply rooted in African rhythms and instruments… the foundation of my pulsation comes from my birthplace.”

 Loueke’s 15 original compositions on the album undulate between deep, intuitive ballads and more up-tempo, dance-flavoured tracks. The changes of gear, however, feel natural, and the album retains the sense of a coherent whole work. In fact, the flow between different feels and styles gives a really satisfying narrative feel to the album, journeying through Loueke’s musical world, and living up to the album’s title. Moreover, Loueke manages to find a way to blend his disparate influences into a harmonious whole. A first listen during a particularly sun-drenched morning revealed itself to be the perfect to explore this album.

Loueke’s playing throughout is understated in the best sense of the word. The complex textures he weaves in tracks such as Molika, and the networks of overdubbed guitar on Bawo (undoubtedly the album’s standout track) provide a soft textural bed for his similarly understated vocals to float above. Although, the contributions of percussionists such as Baptista are significant in the creation of The Journey’s sound-world, many tracks are rhythmically driven by the percussive native of Loueke’s highly original playing. His round and soft nylon tone defines the album’s sound. This is an album for lazy afternoons, relaxing within Lionel Loueke’s perfectly judged blend of elements.
Max
The Journey is released on Aparté Music AP184 on Nov. 2 2018.

Lionel Loueke (vocals, guitar); Pino Palladino (bass); Cyro Baptista (percussion); John Ellis (soprano saxophone); Christi Joza Orisha (percussion); Robert Sadin (keyboards); Dramane Dembélé (peul flute); Mark Feldman (violin); Patrick Messina (clarinet); Étienne Charles (trumpet, percussion); Ferenc Nemeth (percussion); Massimo Boclati (bass).

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