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Bebop Spoken There

JD Allen: "...art in itself is now a luxury that you need a lot of finances to do." - (DownBeat October 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

13,822 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1239 of them this year alone and, so far, 66 this month (Oct. 18).

From This Moment On ...

October

Wed 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 20: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 20: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 20: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 8:00pm.

Thu 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 21: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra.
Thu 21: Alter Ego @ St James' & St Basil's Church, Newcastle 7:30pm.
Thu 21: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 21: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 22: Mick Shoulder Quartet @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Quartet featuring Alex Clarke (BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year finalist).
Fri 22: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: Paul Edis Trio w Ruth Lambert @ St Cuthbert's Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 22: Michael Feinstein @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 22: Peter Morgan Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sat 23: Mary Coughlan @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 23: Têtes de Pois @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 24 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 24: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 24: Voices of Virtue Gospel Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 4:00pm.
Sun 24: Milne Glendinning Band @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 25: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

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.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

CD Review: Fred Hersch Trio ’97 @ The Village Vanguard

Fred Hersch (piano), Drew Gress (bass) Tom Rainey (drums)
(Review by Dave Brownlow.)

In July 1997 jazz piano master Fred Hersch took his trio with Drew Gress and Tom Rainey into the iconic Village Vanguard nightclub in New York for the first time as a band leader rather than as just a sideman. The three Friday night sets of the week-long engagement were recorded but never released. 

Now, twenty-one years later, Fred has chosen to do just that and provide us with his favourite moments from this occasion in the form of the eight tracks on this CD – a mixture of Gasbook standards and original pieces. This is, in fact, the only “live” recording of this particular group and at this time, they were determined to make a name for themselves on the world stage. 

There was a freshness plus vitality and confidence about their playing and a ‘togetherness’ only forged by regular, consistent work and the performances are razor-sharp with the arrangements played to perfection. It has to be said that some of this music is on a par with moments from the Evans and Jarrett trios with strong interplay, creative virtuosity, intensity, tension and release.

Cole Porter’s Easy to Love is an engaging opener where Fred dissects and disassembles the famous old song before reassembling it in a lively, exciting fashion, building his solo in attacking style. An imaginative bass solo leads to a tense ending.

A ten-minute-long My Funny Valentine leads with a dynamic bass solo from Gress which brings his admirable technique and musicianship to the fore then the trio builds up before concluding with a “locked hands” piano solo.

A “cheeky” Three Little Words rattles along optimistically, cheerfully incorporating a ‘call and response’ section from piano and drums.

Fred’s own Evanessence provides a tribute to the late Bill Evans and his legendary appearances at the Vanguard with LaFaro and Motian. Here, Gress takes on the intricate melody high up in the register of the bass – not an easy thing to do ‘in-tune’ and at swift tempo. Bravo!

Dress’ original Andrew John begins with a ruminative, at times atonal, piano section leading to a meditative exploration of the theme and chords where each player contributes sensitively and thoughtfully.

Harry Warren and Mack Gordon’s I Wish I Knew is played in similar fashion to the great Jarrett “Standards Trio” version with lots of dynamic and rhythmic shifts. Here, tension builds through the bassist playing in ‘two/four’ rather than the conventional ‘four/four’ and the drummer’s compulsive drive.

The Hersch original Swamp Thang has a deep bluesy groove. Amazingly, we’re still finding ways to present ‘the most-loved jazz chord sequence of all time’ in different ways – a fundamental core of this great music from Leadbelly to the New Orleans of George Lewis to Lewis Watson, or from Coleman Hawkins to Ornette Coleman and beyond with everything in-between!

Finally, You Don’t Know What Love Is is at a frantic pace where the three ‘virtuosos’ thrill with this show of ability, creativity, flamboyance and intensity.

This CD further cements Fred Hersch’s place in the ‘pantheon’ of jazz pianists in a career lasting so far over thirty years, in which time he’s received a staggering number of  awards, lavish praise and where he continues to take the history of jazz music further and further forward.
Dave B.
The Fred Hersch Trio’97 @ The Village Vanguard will be available from Palmetto Records or from fredhersch.com on December 7.


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