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Bebop Spoken There

Ethan Iverson: "I asked Bertha [Hope] if she ever used the word "contrafact" to describe the process of writing new tunes over old changes, and she replied, "Of course not. The only people who used that word went to a university to learn about jazz."" - (Jazz Times March 2020).

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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".

COFID- 19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Dan Garel Quartet @ Holy GrAle, Durham - August 15


Dan Garel (alto sax); Mark Williams (guitar); John Pope (bass guitar); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell)

It was billed as the 'Daniel Garel Quartet' but as it was a Thursday not a Sunday the 'Dan Garel Quartet' seemed like a better fit. Twelve months on from graduating Dan returned to Durham to meet up with old buddies Mark Williams, John Pope and Russ Morgan to play two sets in Holy GrAle on Crossgate.


Holy GrAle had something to celebrate...the craft tap, bottles and cans emporium first opened its doors exactly four months ago. Coincidence or not, what a way to mark the occasion with a top notch post-bop alto saxophonist firing on all four cylinders! The basement performance space is what you'd call snug. Put a four piece band into the brick-built, arched low-ceiling cellar (no room for a piano nor a double bass - spike or no spike) and there is just about enough room to fit in a 'select' audience. If you'd been led blindfold up Crossgate and negotiated the stairs you could have been forgiven for thinking you were in a jazz club on Rue de la Huchette circa 1959. Cool students, students trying to look cool, sitting on uncomfortable chairs, sitting on the floor (Yeah, man). Ah, a giveaway...no berets and the accent was more Home Counties than Left Bank, this was Durham 2019.
 
It was to be an evening of GASbook, modern jazz standards and Garel originals. You Stepped Out of a Dream for starters - a thorough alto saxophone workout. Fantastic. Garel's Symmetries (first heard when Dan played it in Newcastle with Group Theory) gave John Pope a first look at the material as he took the first of several accomplished bass solos. To think he was sight reading it as he went - amazing!

Tadd Dameron's Lady Bird then Recorda Me with Dan diggin', superb playing, unison lines from Dan and master guitarist Mark Williams a veritable wonder. Irving Berlin's How Deep is the Ocean? (a favourite of Dan's) rounded off a fabulous first set.

A short interval, a pint of Durham Brewery's real ale lager Helles Lager, a bit crack with BSH's Steve T and it was time to descend once again into the subterranean depths. 

A searing opening statement on a Garel original signalled the resumption of the standing-room-only gig. Out of Nowhere, a blues - Monk's Blue Monk - let Mark Williams loose. Those who know Mark's playing will appreciate the phrase: He went off on one. Every time MW winds up it is a truly remarkable experience. Dan showed his appreciation.

Garel's Circling Hours illustrated our band leader's compositional talents and all too soon we were into the last two numbers - Elvin Jones' Giraffe and Hank Mobley's This I Dig of You. More sensational playing from Dan, Mark, John and, the man hidden at the back of the cellar, drummer Russ Morgan.

Dan and John will do it all again on Sunday at the Globe in Newcastle, this time in the company of Francis Tulip and Matt MacKellar. 7:30 start, get there early, it's going to be something special.     
Russell

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