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Bebop Spoken There

Ambrose Akinmusire: “ I am certainly always aware of what the masses are doing. And when I see too many people going one way, I'm going another way - even when I don't know what's over that way". DownBeat, March, 2024.

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!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16233 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 115 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Feb. 23).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024
Tue 27: Meditative Soundscapes - Improvised Music @ Earthlings - Healing Cafe, Buckingham St., Newcastle NE4 5QR. 7:00-8:30pm. Feat. Johannes Dalhuijsen, Richard Herdman, Nick Bagnall & Michael Olatunji.
Tue 27: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm (7:00pm doors). £12.00., £10.00. (adv.).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 29: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Olly Styles (saxophone).
Thu 29: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Josh Bentham (alto sax); Graham Thompson (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

March
Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Wind Ensemble + Big Band + Jazz Combo + R&B Band @ Boiler House, Newcastle University. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 01: Joseph Carville Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 01-Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. From 8:00pm Friday. Weekend ticket: £20.00.
Fri 01: TBC @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blind Pig Blues Club.
Fri 01: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. £10.00. Day 1/3. Musicians Unlimited + Festival Band.

Sat 02: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £15.00.. Day 2/3. Senior bands in competition.
Sat 02: Frog & Henry @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.£10.00. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club. Superb Anglo-American band!
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: TBC. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 02: The Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Repas7 by Night, 7 West St, Berwick TD15 1AS, 07900 627562. Tapas Specials from 5.00pm - showtime 8.00pm.
Sat 02: Durham University Big Band @ Durham Students' Union, New Elvet, Durham. 7:30pm. £8.00.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. The band’s 25th anniversary gig!
Sat 02: John Logan @ The Dyvels, Corbridge. 8:00pm. Rat Pack-style swing.

Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £10.00.. Day 3/3. School & Youth bands in competition.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ the Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm. £7.50.
Sun 03: Alan Law Trio plays Ahmad Jamal’s At the Pershing: But Not for Me & more @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The music of Ahmad Jamal.
Sun 03: Alice Grace & Ben Helm @ St Francis’ Church, High Heaton, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. £12.00. (children free admission). A Children’s Society fundraiser. Two x 30 mins sets. Refreshments available, child-friendly event with participation of children encouraged!
Sun 03: Sax Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. Free (donations). Monthly workshop, all welcome (participant and/or listener).
Sun 03: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 03: ’58 Jazz Collective @ St George’s Venue, Park Road, Hartlepool. 3:30pm (refreshments from 2:30pm). £6.00.
Sun 03: Down for the Count: A Century of Swing @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: SH#RP Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Remy CB @ Blues & Bourbon, Nelson St., Newcastle. 9:00pm. Free. Newcastle University music student Remy Coulthard Boardman.

Mon 04: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 05: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Joe Steels, Paul Grainger, Michael Mather.

Monday, December 02, 2019

CD Review: Calum Gourlay Quartet - New Ears

Calum Gourlay (bass); Helena Kay (tenor sax); Kieran McLeod (trombone); James Maddren (Drums).
(Review by James Henry).

As a sort of a Scot, and a card carrying Fifer, my own old ears picked up on receipt of this CD. With a name like Calum Gourlay, this chap had to be one of the brothers, and possibly even a fellow Fifer. A little bit of research established that Calum is originally from Glasgow (well, I might forgive him that) but was brought up in Fife, even playing in the Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra (total redemption). And, two of his quartet also come from the proper North: Helena Kay (tenor saxophone) hails from Perth, and Kieran McLeod (trombone) is from Aberdeen. Like me, these three live in exile in England, committed to missionary work and waiting for the call from the blessed Nicola*. I pity the poor drummer in this quartet: coming from Sussex, James Maddren may rely on translators.

New Ears is a joy to behold, even down to the kitten on the album sleeve, which hides its new ears behind the CD. New Ears is Calum Gourlay’s first album as a bandleader, and is the debut release for the Calum Gourlay quartet.  Calum Gourlay leads a resident big band in the Vortex Jazz Club in London, and all four members of the quartet play in the big band. All are relatively recent alumni of London jazz conservatoires and already have impressive CVs.

The quartet is unusual in composition, lacking traditional chordal instruments. Devoid of this conventional comfort, tenor saxophone, trombone and bass have to work together to create the chordal control and continuity cherished by our conventional ears. The playing is tight and one soon ceases to miss the comping control of piano or guitar. The ensemble work is so precise that the music begins to evoke the big band that begat this wee band. There are also extended improvised sections, where James Maddren holds the group together allowing the other three to weave skilfully together, and more often than not Calum Gourlay joins in with the improvisation as an equal to the two horns.

All seven tracks are original works, written by Gourlay especially for the Quartet. For me the stand-out track is Blue Fugates, an extended blues composition, inspired by the Blue Fugates of Kentucky. For the curious, Blue Fugates aren’t birds, trees or mountains. Rather, Blue Fugates are a clan of people in the backwoods of Kentucky who inherited the blood disorder methaemoglobinaemia, which gave their skin a curious blue hue (an unusual inspiration for a tune, but check it out on Wikipedia if you want to know more). Be Minor, the opening track, has a folky feel and the head becomes an ear-worm after a few listens. Solstice has a slow, brooding quality: one imagines the long days of mid-summer.    

Although generally melodic, and never straying far from conventional forms, New Ears isn’t always an easy listen. After a few tracks one develops new ears, and the going gets easier. After a few listens everything makes sense, and it gets better and better. Calum Gourlay has a rich deep bass sound, perfectly complimented by Helena Kay and Kieran McLeod on horns. James Maddren is the glue that holds the album together. New ears are the result.
James Henry.

*Sturgeon, of course.

Available on Ubuntu Music: UBU 0043.

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