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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

13,806 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1223 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Oct. 13).

From This Moment On ...

October

Fri 15: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm..
Fri 15: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm..
Fri 15: Sue Ferris Quintet @ Traveller's Rest, Cockerton, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 15: House of the Black Gardenia @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sat 16: Women Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Julija Jacenaite: Improvarium..
Sat 16: Emma Fisk & James Birkett @ St Mary's Church, Monkseaton. 7:30pm..
Sat 16: Triptych @ Sage Gateshead. 7:45pm. Trio with live visuals by Lisa Delarny. .
Sat 16: Rendezvous Jazz @ Memorial Hall, Ponteland. 8:00pm. Guest Ian Wynne (piano)..

Sun 17: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 17: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club. 1:00pm.
Sun 17: Shunyata Improvisation Group @ Unitarian Church, Newcastle. 1:30pm.
Sun 17: Vula Viel @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 18: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

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: 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: Sue Ferris Quintet @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 22: Michael Feinstein @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 22: Peter Morgan Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

CD Review: Bonsai – Bonsai Club


Rory Ingham (trombone); Dominic Ingham (violin, vocals); Tony Comeau (piano, Fender Rhodes, synths); John Lee (bass, vocals, piano, synths); Jonny Mansfield (drums, vibraphone, percussion, synths)
(Review by Hugh C)

Bonsai* (formerly Jam Experiment) are a London based band formed in 2014.   Comeau, Lee, Mansfield and the Ingham brothers operate in a collective manner, with no designated leader.  The music on the CD is composed by Dominic Ingham, Joe Lee and Jonny Mansfield.  Bonsai Club offers just over 37 minutes of high octane music – so I’m not sure if it counts as a compact CD or and extended EP.  According to Rory Ingham “Bonsai Club is about the joy of returning to a place where you feel content; no matter how much it transforms, it always feels like home”.

The title track Bonsai Club introduces would-be members to what is to come – hold on tight and enjoy the ride!  Mansfield’s fast, repetitive drumming sets the pace on the majority of tracks and (in the words of the press release) “a plethora of synths” are employed throughout.  Vocals are to the fore, both written lyrics and vocalese.  The Crescent, a jaunty number, features Ingham’s trombone against a driving backbeat rhythm, interspersed slower synth-rich passages before vibraphone takes us out.  Tin mines in a more contemplative vein with lyrics by Mansfield.  Ingham’s violin and Comeau’s piano start BMJC in almost Ceilidh style, before the rhythm section kick in and take over the party, Ingham asserts his presence with fine bowing over the driving pulse towards the finale.

Quay features a melodic violin solo to start, joined by resonant trombone all over a steady beat and background chords, this develops into an almost funk-style with fine bass playing by Lee and an atmospheric contribution by Comeau on Fender Rhodes.  This is probably my favourite track of the album, but is slightly spoiled by a fade at the end – why do they do that (it’s not as if they’ve run out of time!)?  Back to business with Hop – The Hip Replacement, more lyrical bass playing by Lee, with instrumental contributions by both Ingham brothers on trombone and violin respectively (in compensation this has a false ending before the real ending a few bars later).  Itchy Knee brings you back to reality before the final Bonsai Reprise.

Bonsai Club is one of those genre-defying albums that is difficult to categorise – there are any or all of jazz, fusion, prog rock, hot-club style violin (you name it, it’s there, basically).  A very interesting listen, well put together and a fine exposition of musical talent.  The CD is released on the highly respected Ubuntu label (UBU0031) and is available now at only £10.

Bonsai Club are on tour – dates here.  They can also be heard on BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Now (available for the next 21 days).
Hugh C

*From the Japanese bon (tree) and sai (planting)

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