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Bebop Spoken There

Veronica Swift: "I don't want to call myself a jazz singer anymore. I'm a singer and a storyteller.'" - (JazzTimes, December 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

13837 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 56 of them this year alone and, so far, 56 this month (Jan. 16).

From This Moment On ...

January 2022

Mon 17: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 19: Classic Swing @ Venue, Cramlington NE23 6UT. 1:00pm.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 20: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 20: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 21: Emma Fisk & James Birkett @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. POSTPONED!
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 21: John Law @ Durham Cathedral. 7:30pm. £20.00. POSTPONED!
Fri 21: Dean Stockdale Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £8.00. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 21: Jude Murphy & Dan Stanley @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sat 22: East Coast Swing Band @ East Bedlington Community Centre. 7:30pm. £5.00.
Sat 22: MGB @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. The Milne-Glendinning Band.

Sun 23 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 23: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 23: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 23: Anth Purdy: Swing Jazz Guitar @ Blues & Bourbon, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 23: Svarc Hanley Longhawn @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 24: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 24: Vels Trio @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

CD Review: Benjamin Croft – Ten Reasons To…

Benjamin Croft (piano, keyboards); Benet McLean ( violin); Andy Davies (trumpet, flugelhorn); Henry Thomas/Mario Castronari (bass); Tristan Mailliot/Saleem Raman (drums); Peter Miles ( voice)
(Review by Hugh C).

At age 7, Benjamin Croft began piano and trumpet lessons, later going on to study at Leeds College of Music.  His career has been eclectic since graduating, first playing on cruise liners and then moving to the US and touring the world as a session musician with several big-name acts.  He relocated to London in 2012, becoming a regular performer at London jazz venues.

10 Reasons To… is his first solo album of 12 original compositions and is a melange of styles and influences from his childhood onwards.  The CD artwork, by Andrew Skilleter, has a very ‘70s prog rock album feel, reproduced in the sonic landscape on the CD, which features a mixture of keyboard instruments including Steinway, Mini-Moog, Prophet 5 and Mellotron. 

100 Years at Sea Introduction opens the performance with an Edgar Allan Poe verse, The City in the Sea, voiced by the late Peter Miles (of classic Dr Who fame).  100 Years at Sea follows rapidly on, an upbeat slightly funky number with McLean’s violin to the fore.  One Million Years At Sea will take those of a certain age (and younger prog rock cognoscenti) straight back to the seventies with its synth sound. 

Bad Reputations continues the general feel, but with violin overlay – giving a distinct fusion, jazz-rock groove.  T.T.E (Time, Talent and Electricity) is the first of four tracks specifically dedicated to Croft’s keyboard heroes, in this case, Keith Emmerson, and with more of a jazz feel on Steinway piano, floating flugelhorn from Davies and prominent acoustic bass input from Castronari.  The Sycophant reintroduces the jazz-rock feel with a strong bass groove from Thomas on a Westone Thunder III over Mailliot’s rock drumming.

The Whispering Knight reintroduces the jazz feel with Davies on trumpet this time and Croft on Rhodes. No Oil For Sale (for Gustav Mahler) continues in the jazz vein, but with quasi-orchestral synth sequences.  The Legend of Bray (for Christopher Lee) features Thomas on acoustic fretless bass, this is probably the closest of all the tracks to a ballad with sweeping overlay by violin. 

Inside Immortality, at 1.29, is (ironically) the shortest track on the album but at least does lead swiftly into See You in Another Lifetime, a bass-heavy track with jazz-rock overtones (stadium jazz, rather than chamber jazz).  For Future Past (for Allan Holdsworth) closes the show with another vocal contribution by Peter Miles.  There is no stadium roar – this is very much a studio album: the band recorded at Livingstone Studios, London; the synths were recorded at Greystoke Studio and mixing was at The Nave Studios, Leeds.

Overall, this is an interesting album with a mixture of styles, including jazz.  Is this a jazz album?  Well – according to the constabulary, probably not, but it certainly features many styles of music that have been played under the jazz umbrella over the years.  Is it worth checking out – with an open mind about what might constitutes jazz? Yes.  The musicianship is superb from all quarters. The overall sound quality and flow are excellent, just don’t let the rozzers catch you listening!
Hugh C.
10 Reasons To… is available now.  Catalogue:  33 JAZZ275. 

PS: Those concerned with saving endangered species will be pleased to know that “No melodicas were used in the recording of this album”!

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