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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).

Archive.

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.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

CD Review: Ethan Iverson Quartet with Tom Harrell - Common Practice

Tom Harrell (trumpet); Ethan Iverson (piano); Ben Street (bass); Eric McPherson (drums).
(Review by Lance)

Maybe I shall hear it Sunday,
Maybe Monday, maybe not
Still I'm sure to hear it one day
Maybe Tuesday will be my good news day.

As it happened, Friday turned out to be my good news day...

Over the years I've been impressed by the volume of CDs issued by Herr Eicher on his ECM label most of which have received rave reviews in DownBeat, Jazzwise - even within these pages - and yet, somehow, Cupid's arrow has, in the main, landed short of my heart - until now that is.

The arrival of an ECM package automatically puts my brain into delegating mode and, for once, that delegated reviewer turns out to be me!

Recorded live at NYC's Village Vanguard in 2017, this is as close to perfection as you'll get. Only two originals which is indeed a rarity for an ECM album (paradoxically, the previous ECM issue reviewed by Chris also contains some standards) but, so what? Let's hear what guys can do with other peoples music - you don't compose a tune you can't do something with yourself!

My adaptation of Ira Gershwin's words are no coincidence as the first number is, in fact, The Man I Love and Harrell handles Ira's brother George's melody with ease. The tone is round and full - like Chet Baker with balls - and the lyricism comparable. I can see why our man Noel Dennis digs both Tom and Chet, he sort of draws them together.

Wee, which if memory serves me right also sails under the title of Allen's Alley - and Google says I am right - is a bebop belter. Fats Navarro guides Tom down the alley before launching him into the brave new world that was.

Every trumpet player who ever lived has had a crack at I Can't Get Started and few, if any, have surpassed Bunny Berigan's 1937 version. Tom doesn't try, instead he offers a laid back reading before giving way to some reflective piano from Iverson.

Iverson, needless to say, is mega effective behind the trumpet ace. His dark chords beneath Harrell's take on Sentimental Journey give it an almost Monkian feel.

Out of Nowhere bounces along merrily and Polka Dots and Moonbeams gets deserved vocal applause from the audience. The album notes draw parallels between  this one and the versions by Lester Young - the virtues of spareness and song are in both. Of course, it's wise not to take too many liberties with a song about 'a pug-nosed dream' otherwise you might end up becoming pug-nosed yourself! 

All the Things You Are; I'm Getting Sentimental Over You and I Remember You complete the GASbook material and Iverson's two originals - Philadelphia Creamer and Jed From Teaneck - provide some blues to make this album just about perfect. Bass and drums don't seek the spotlight, they didn't need to - their presence was felt.

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