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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 2024.

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, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...

May

Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Baghdaddies @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sat 25: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 4:30pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sat 25: Paul Edis Trio w. Bruce Adams & Alan Barnes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:30pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sat 25: Nubiyan Twist @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 25: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 26: Bellavana @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 11:00am. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

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

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