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Bebop Spoken There

Kenny Davern: "Now I like traditional jazz, but I don't like Dixieland per se, and the reason is that there's not enough ensemble playing or interplay." - (Melody Maker September 22, 1979)

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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".

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11,807 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1047 of them this year alone and, so far, 74 this month (Sept. 28).

Coming soon ...

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON.

OCTOBER

THURSDAY 1

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

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Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00 -10:00pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish. CANCELLED! Back on October 8

Smoove & Turrell (Unplugged) - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 7:00pm (6:00pm doors). £25.00. Limited capacity, book at www.hoochiecoochie.co.uk.

FRIDAY 2

Smoove & Turrell (Unplugged) - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 7:00pm (6:00pm doors). £25.00. Limited capacity, book at www.hoochiecoochie.co.uk. SOLD OUT!

Lee Bates - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm-10:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity. A Blind Pig Blues Club event.

SATURDAY 3

Emma Wilson Blues Band - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7DN. 8:00pm. Limited capacity, in the first instance register for the live stream (£5.45.) at: www.jazzcoop.

SUNDAY 4

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Tel: 0191 691 7090. Free.

Gerry Richardson Quintet - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7DN. 8:00pm. Limited capacity, in the first instance register for the live stream (£5.45.) at: www.jazzcoop. The band’s 25th anniversary celebrations!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

CD Review: Q4 - Uphill Struggle

Tini Thomsen (baritone sax); Nigel Hitchcock (alto sax); Fiete Felsch (alto/soprano sax); Björn Berger (tenor sax).
(Review by Lance)

Saxophone quartets are a rarity these days, at least in public. No doubt there are many who get together in front rooms, back rooms or unused bar rooms - indeed I was once a member of one myself! - but not many have a high profile. The 29th Street Saxophone Quartet and Itchy Fingers, the latter group with whom three of these players have been associated with (Felsch, who tutored Thomsen and Berger, the odd one out) and, nearer to home, Saxophonics are a quartet who also pop up from time to time.

Saxophone quartets are jazz's equivalent, I suppose, of the string quartet or the baroque ensemble, offering up intricate, intertwining lines. However, unlike the perfectly drilled big band sax section, the emphasis isn't on rich harmonies, matched vibratos or unison choruses, but on contrapuntal lines - a fugue for 'tin' horns so to speak.

When they do come together the harmonies are indeed rich but the big deal is the polyphony and the rhythmic impetus that drives them on without an actual rhythm section putting the boot in. 

Unfair to single out anyone in such an ensemble but, unlike a big band where it all hangs around the lead alto, in a sax quartet I always think the bari sax is numero uno. He/she is the anchor - drummer/bass combined as well as having to emerge from the deep to blow octopi tentacled solos which Ms. Thomsen does swimmingly. 

Tini and Nigel composed most of the tracks the latter soloing like the world-class player he is. The title track, Uphill Struggle, is only 20 seconds long but, if it had lasted longer their fingers would have either seized up or dropped off!

Sax players will love it, others will like it very much!
Lance.
Available via usual suspects.

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