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Bebop Spoken There

Jim Keltner: “I was snatched right out of the jazz world. I shouldn't say snatched, I went willingly, I ran. From $85 a week to $250 a week, that gets your attention." - (JazzTimes, September 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

13,715 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1132 of them this year alone and, so far, 76 this month (Sept. 21).

From This Moment On ...

September

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 23: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall 8:00pm. .
Thu 23: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside, Gateshead. 8:30pm. .

Fri 24: Perdido Street Jazzmen (with Frank Brooker reeds, Eugene Farrar trombone, Brian Bennett banjo & Phil Rutherford sousaphone) @ Darlington Market Square, Darlington. 11:00am.
Fri 24: Sue Ferris Quintet @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: FILM: Jazz on a Summer's Day + Swing Bridge Trio (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 7:00pm.

Sat 25: Silent Music Seeing Sound + Spinningwork @ Newcastle Arts Centre. 6:30pm. Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music (NFOJIM).
Sat 25: Knats @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 26: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. .
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. .
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. .
Sun 26: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:00pm.
Sun 26: Sax Appeal @ The Blue Bell, Hill Street, Corbridge NE45 5AA. 4:30pm. Free. .
Sun 26: David Gray Flextet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: Nubiyan Twist @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

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

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 30: Mainly Two @ Newcastle University. 1:15pm. ONLINE ONLY (YouTube).
Thu 30: Shiver + Run Logan Run @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm. NFOJIM.
Thu 30: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 30: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.

Fri 01: Robert Mitchell @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. NFOJIM.
Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Warmer Than Blood + Kit Downes + Ceitidh Mac @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:30pm. NFOJIM.
Fri 1: Knats + Hand to Mouth @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free but ticketed.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Noel Dennis Quartet @ Gala Theatre, Durham - Oct. 12


Noel Dennis (trumpet/flugel); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review by Jerry/Photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair).

Regular readers will be unsurprised to learn that, before this gig, I thought I knew nothing about Miles Davis despite his iconic status. To avoid disappointment, I did my homework – Wikipedia and YouTube (scholarly and thorough, as always!) – and was surprised: familiar (to me) musicians were referenced, notably Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock and recognised titles emerged such as Freddie Freeloader and So What? I knew these tunes and liked them.

My unconscious familiarity with Davis is perhaps a measure of the man’s influence? I found, too, that his was a musical journey from bebop to “modal” jazz to jazz-fusion with two landmark albums, Kind of Blue and Bitches Brew, on the way. Noel Dennis drew attention to this journey in his connecting comments between numbers at the gig which featured selections from both those albums. The themed gig, the connecting commentary and, above all, the quartet’s superb playing made for a happy blend of stuff I didn’t know I knew and stuff I didn’t know I liked so much. Not bad for a rainy lunchtime in Durham!
“A simple-ish tune he liked to play a lot” introduced Solar, from 1954, and was played here on flugelhorn. During piano and bass solos, Dennis watched his fellow musicians appreciatively, a pattern which recurred throughout the gig. I noted “lots of smiles in the audience” – also a recurring pattern as those more knowledgeable than myself recognised their favourites beautifully played. A footnote on Solar (more scholarship!): despite the fact that its authorship is disputed, the opening of the tune is featured on Davis’s tombstone!

So What? from Kind of Blue (1959) made me smile with recognition – not because it is “one of the best examples of modal jazz music” (Dorian mode – not that I understand that) but because sandwiching the improvised middle where the trumpet really takes off you have a simple bass-led riff which has the feet tapping straight away. Simple is probably “deceptively simple” composition-wise, but it works for me!

Blue in Green is quieter and slower - Morgan on brushes, Dennis muted - comes over as a simple, bluesy melodic ballad. As with Solar the authorship here has been queried with Bill Evans being credited with much of the composition. Noel Dennis made specific reference to Evans and his influence making Davis’s music more accessible to lovers of classical stuff. Today’s pianist will have been gratified to have been mentioned in the same breath!

Sticking with blues, I felt immediately comfortable with All Blues which, after a catchy bass intro and some trilling piano shouted “12-bar blues” and transported me to my mis-spent youth.  It is, of course, 12-bar blues with knobs on (mostly minor 7th knobs – thank GCSE Bitesize for this detail, not that I understand it!).

I was less comfortable when I saw Bitches Brew on the set-list! My YouTube extract earlier had elicited a wifely grimace which is only normally seen when I buy a very hoppy beer at the pub. She hates the smell! I needn’t have worried because, although this brew with its trumpet wails, gargles and spikes is as hoppy as the craziest of Estonian craft-beers, it is also just as intoxicating. It arrived unannounced with a long bass intro then Morgan’s mallets followed by harp-like electric piano and finally the trumpet. By this time my wife was as hooked as was I - me and the near-capacity crowd. We remained entranced for the rest of the six or seven minute excerpt (which was all a one-hour concert format allows).

On his journey, Davis never lost touch with his jazz antecedents and, according to Dennis, loved playing and recording jazz standards. Love for Sale (recorded by Davis in 1958) aptly illustrated this and afforded a solo opportunity to Russ Morgan during which all three fellow musicians looked on appreciatively! The closing number, The Theme also illustrated this, based as it was on Gershwin’s I’ve got Rhythm. Hectic rhythm with bowed bass and another drum-blast for good measure brought loudly appreciative applause suggesting (as is often the case at this venue) that the audience would happily sit for another hour if they could.
Jerry
More photos.

1 comment :

JERRY said...

Superb photos: I want that camera!!!!
JERRY

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