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Bebop Spoken There

Billy Cobham: "Miles said to us, 'Don't play in between takes,' so of course John [McLaughlin] played in between takes." - (JazzTimes, Nov. 2019).

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Today Friday November 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Sue Ferris Trio - The Merry Monk, 30 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1:00pm. £5.00. Pub adjacent to Bishop Auckland Town Hall.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening.

Mick Shoulder Quintet - Traveller's Rest, West Auckland Road, Darlington DL3 9ER. 8:00pm. (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Tenement Jazz Band - Theatre Hullabaloo, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 405405. 8:00pm. £14.00. Darlington NOJB.

Blues/Soul/Funk etc.

Ishmael Ensemble - Cobalt Studios, Boyd Street, Newcastle NE2 1AP. 8:00pm. £7.47.

Catfish Keith - Old Cinema Launderette, Marshall Terrace, Durham DH1 2HX. 8:30pm. £18.00. + £1.80. bf.

The Odels - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Reflections...

(Reflections by Lance/ Photo of Greg Abate courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair)

Is this the end of jazz as I  know it? The CDs that arrive daily from various points on the globe make me wonder if I'm not on the edge of a personal jazz Armageddon. 

Some albums I find difficult to identify as jazz at all although I suppose it is. Improvisation, originality and - most certainly - the sound of surprise is there and yet I find it difficult to equate it with the music that drew me to jazz in the first place.

The thrill of discovering the Eddie Condon, Muggsy Spanier bands. The Armstrong All-stars, Ellington, Basie, Goodman, Herman and, at home, the big bands of Ted Heath, Dankworth, Vic Lewis. Discovering Bird and Diz, the Jazz Messengers, Stan Getz, Tubby Hayes and so many more. Somehow, for me, the present has yet to catch up with the past. 

Many of the albums I receive are fantastic and I rave over them but, in the cold light of morning, I think, will I ever play these albums over and over again like I did with: Mingus Ah Um, Concert by the Sea, Ella Sings Gershwin (duo w. Ellis Larkins), Art Pepper Plus Eleven, Songs For Swinging Lovers, Jazz at Oberlin, Atomic Mr Basie, Historically Speaking the Duke? 

Will I ever hear anything to top the Newcastle City Hall concerts by Basie, Ellington, Hampton, Herman, Kenton, JATP, Gillespie, Brubeck, Ella, Oscar, Armstrong, Ory, MJQ, Miles, Maynard and so many more? Who knows? 

I'd like to think so but probably not. Admirable as the jazz courses at colleges across the land are - the end products, at a technical level, are greater by far than anything produced by, say Lester, Louis even Dizzy and most of the other jazz greats - but who can identify this new breed from hearing just one or two notes?
 
Nobody, and that's what's missing from so much of today's jazz. Or maybe it's me and I just need new ears!

Correction! Next Thursday (Nov. 7), at the Black Swan Arts Centre in Newcastle  JNE present Greg Abate with the Paul Edis Trio and thus lay waste to all of the above! Greg is the real deal do not miss it and, if you want more - and you will - Greg and Paul play a duo set at the Gala Theatre in Durham the following lunchtime. These are a couple of gigs you will miss at your peril - be warned! 
Lance.

3 comments :

shepherdlass said...

I know he's by now one of the old guard but I believe Kenny Garrett is a unique voice, which is probably why Miles worked with him so much in latter years

Chris K said...

Come on Lance, this must be a wind up? Trying to get some more traffic going on BSH?

A proper "youth of today" would just smile and post LOL and few emojis in response ;)

Still, since I'm not youth any more, I'll have a go, as I'm familiar with this line from my kids when I tell them that bands today aren't a patch on when I was a lad : Mahavishnu, Nucleus, Hendrix, Soft Machine etc - Steve T knows the score.

After some years of active listening to "new" music (post 2000?) I can make a few of my own (personal and flawed) observations. I guess these won't change what Lance hears - this stuff is all personal and a unique product of our own individual musical journey and history.

1. "Jazz" is wider, deeper and more "developed" now than in any previous era - far more diverse than the era of the one true authentic way of swing/bop (with its own British strand) so loved (justifiably of course) by Lance;

2. we have unrivalled and privileged access to live and recorded music now, and even if 1. (above) isn't true, then it seems like it to me ;

3. the changed nature of the music industry and streaming doesn't lend itself to a small roster of jazz "superstars" and heroes (and also makes it darn' difficult to make a living for musicians);

4. Lance may not recognise them, but even to my sceptical ears there are highly distinctive and unmistakable voices today, even playing in and visiting the North East! From the new wave of (under-5Os?) on the world stage I give you Tigran, Adam Baldych, Mehldau, Kamasi, Christian Scott, Yazz Ahmed, Snarky Puppy, Marcus Gilmore, Simcock, Avishai Cohen (x2!). I'm confident there are jazz listeners out there in abundance who could pass the two note test with these artists!

If he needs an introduction to some distinctive voices, then perhaps tomorrow's Jazz Record Requests special on ECM's 50th birthday (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0009zpp) would be a good reminder of some other"two-note" masters - Garbarek, Metheny and Jarrett?

Anyway, Lance, thanks as ever for the provocation, and my realisation that there is more than enough great music out there for all of us to enjoy. I hope you find what you're looking for in your pile of CDs, but remember that your first love is the most intense, and you're asking a lot to re-live that thrill again!

Chris K

Gordon Solomon said...

I know what you mean Lance. Thanks to the excellent college run jazz courses we now have a superb pool of jazz musicians, who as you say, are technically superior to the past players who you and I grew up with. But to me there is a lack of uniqueness and individualism that earmarked players such as Pee Wee Russell, Wild Bill Davison, Jack Teagarden, Benny Carter, Charlie Parker and many more. Obviously there are a few exceptions but I'm sure that you and I could identify literally dozens of musicians from the period of which you speak, simply because nobody else played like them!
Gordon Solomon.

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance