Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

George "Big Nick" Nicholas: "This band [George Adams-Don Pullen Quartet] is a bitch on roller skates, baby. They'll run you over if you ain't ready" (JazzTimes April, 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! --

Postage

14250 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 469 of them this year alone and, so far, 69 this month (May 19).

From This Moment On ...

May.

Wed 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 25: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 25: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 25: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 26: Deep Pope + Garner & Pope @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.00.
Thu 26: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 26: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 26: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 26: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 26: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 27: Alice Grace Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Fergus McCreadie Trio @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.

Sat 28: Whitley Bay Carnival: Northern Monkey Brass Band (1:00-1:45pm & 4:00-4:45pm); Baghdaddies (2:00-2:45pm & 5:00-5:45pm) @ Spanish City Plaza Arena, Whitley Bay. Northern Monkey Brass Band (2:30-2:45pm) @ Rainbow Corner (Marine Ave.), Whitley Bay.
Sat 28: Jack Logan & the Swing Section @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 29 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Hartlepool United Supporters’ Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Groovetrain @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 29: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Allendale Village Hall, Northumberland. 7:30pm.
Sun 29: Two of a Mind: Sue Ferris-Steve Summers Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.
Sun 29: Cedric Burnside @ Cluny, Newcastle. Superb Mississippi hill country blues!

Mon 30: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

CD Review: Adam Baldych Quartet - Sacrum Profanum

Adam Baldych (violin & renaissance violin; Krzysztof Dys (piano,  prepared upright piano & toy piano); Michal Barański (double bass); Dawid Fortuna (drums, crotales & gran cassa).   
(Review by Chris)

A landmark album from one of jazz’s first rank of new masters - the 33-year-old Polish violin virtuoso’s fifth release as leader on ACT records. His virtuosity has not been in question since he burst on the scene: "Without doubt the greatest living master of violin in jazz. His potential knows no bounds" said the FAZ after the 2011 Jazzfest Berlin. I’d say his potential is realized here with authority, confidence and genius to spare.

Virtuosity is, of course, no guarantor of musicality, and his pyrotechnic style and firebrand attitude draw mixed reactions. Defining his genre is futile, as he freely uses and extends classical and (Polish) folk idioms, while if you were expecting jazz violin à la Stephane Grappelli (or the more contemporary style of Jean-Luc Ponty) think again!  His music is technically astonishing, but also deeply lyrical and rhythmically complex. Classical listeners may find his tone reedy and “skaty”, while many find his work overpowering and over-emotional. I was stopped in my tracks on first hearing the staggeringly beautiful “Letter for E” from The New Tradition (2014).  The first albums indulged Baldych’s passion, with no concessions to the listener. This release is notably more disciplined, with shorter (from 1:14 to 6:28), well-crafted and varied tracks, resulting in a more accessible and effective package, while retaining the power, emotion and jazz chops of previous outings.

This album matches Baldych with well-established, self-confident players from native Poland. Although previous piano partner, the Norwegian Helge Lien, was a complementary and responsive foil, I sense this quartet is a more balanced and powerful vehicle, with all the players allowed space to contribute and shine.   The main departure here, though, is the material, with five originals paired with five “classics”, ranging across nine centuries!  The selection strongly reflects the title, with medieval sacred works to the fore.

The opener is a short version of Tallis’ Spem in alium (1570), more usually performed by eight choirs of five voices. While the polyphonic complexity is inevitably absent, here (and in other tracks) the spacious and lingering feel, and purity of voices of the originals, is retained and amplified, framed with rich contributions from the band, including the sonorous thunder of the gran cassa. The second is Virga ac diadema, by Hildegard of Bingen (c 1200 believe it or not). This brings the piano of Dys to the fore, with a first full-on workout for the whole band.

The third is an original despite the title, Profundis, and takes off in syncopated, loping folk style. Concerto for Viola and Orchestra is then a complete contrast, starting with dark percussion, and more free form throughout.  This is based on the complex and challenging piece by the little known (to me at any rate!) Tartar composer Sofia Gubaidulina, from 1996.

Track 5 is a return to smoother waters, based on Bogurodzica, a Polish hymn from the 13th century, with a catchy and familiar theme, closing with a high energy work out propelled by some excellent drumming.  Next is a suitably languid, elevated version of the well-known Allegri Miserere, with piano and violin both perfectly capturing the rarefied vibe. Repetition fast forwards 600 years, with an up to the minute jazz-rock style of arpeggiated violin underpinned by meaty, shuffling percussion (the family drummer tells me this is because the underlying sub-division is odd, 5/16 ...). The album closes more contemplatively with Jardin, with contrasting pizzicato violin.

While this album is as far from straight ahead jazz as you can imagine, I would strongly recommend it to any music listener, as an excellent and varied introduction to the remarkable music of Adam Baldych.  I can only hope he is on Sage’s shopping list before he gets too big!
Chris Kilsby
Release date: 29/03/2019 ACT 9881-2

No comments :

Blog Archive