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Bebop Spoken There

Maurice J. Summerfield: "Over dinner one night Barney [Kessel] told me about his seminar The Effective Guitarist, and in 1972 my company presented the first of twelve annual UK seminars in Newcastle upon Tyne." - (Just Jazz Guitar, September 1997)

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!"

Postage

15087 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 106 of them this year alone and, so far, 4 this month (Feb. 1).

From This Moment On ...

February

Sat 04: Alligator Gumbo @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 04: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: John Pope - Up Your Rhythm Game. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 04: King Bees @ Grainger Market, Newcastle. 6:30pm (doors). Live music, comedy, DJs, food stalls. £10.00. advance, £15.00. on the door. Blues band King Bees on stage 9:45-11:15pm. A Great Market Caper event.
Sat 04: Jives Aces @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 04: Renegade Brass Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors).
Sat 04: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00.

Sun 05 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 05: Rivkala @ Cumberland Arms, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Sun 05: Jive Aces @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Sun 05: Dale Storr @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 05: Jam No.13 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students alike).

Mon 06: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 07: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums). Jam session reverts to a first & third Tuesday in the month schedule.

Wed 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 08: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Free. TBC.
Wed 08: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 08: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 08: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 09: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 4:00pm (this week only). Free.
Thu 09: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00.
Thu 09: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 10: Alan Barnes w Dean Stockdale Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 10: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 10: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: Alan Barnes w Dean Stockdale Trio @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £12.00.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

CD Review: Kit Downes - Dreamlife of Debris

Kit Downes (piano/organ); Tom Challenger  (tenor sax); Stian
Westerhus   (guitar);  Lucy Railton (cello); Sebastian Rochford (drums) 
(Review by Chris K)

The last of three piano led albums marking ECM's 50th birthday, the latest evolution of Kit Downes' modernity sees him travelling towards the final frontier in space - it's jazz, Lance, but not as you know it!  More precisely, the Debris of the title refers to The Rings of Saturn, obliquely inspired by W.G. Sebald's 1995 book of that name - actually a meditative account of a walking tour of Suffolk. Make no mistake, this and Downes' previous works are cerebral and nuanced - the Bublé fan club beware!

His previous ECM offering, Obsidian, (reviewed here on Bebop Spoken Herewas essentially experimental solo church organ music. This latest mixes similar organ treatment with piano, augmented with sax, cello, sparingly used guitar and even more sparing drums. Downes' previous work, notably with Troyka,  follows more conventional jazz form, and until his last two albums I might have bracketed him alongside the similarly virtuosic and creative Gwilym Simcock.  His recent ventures, however, are into Phillip Glass and liturgical territory - slow, sparse and drawing on rich clouds of experimental effects and eerie soundscapes.

The opening track, Sculptor, features sax interweaving with revolving piano, later merging with organ harmonies. Circinus is a smoothly textured drifting dream created by legato cello, sax and organ. Pinwheel another reverie of piano, sax and cello, embellished by celestial cymbals. The longest track, Bodes, runs over 12 minutes of more varied drama, moving through nightmarish episodes of abstract cello over organ drones.

The one track not penned by Downes is M7, written by his wife, the bassist Ruth Goller and played here on solo organ. This comes closer to a "tune", with intriguing arpeggiated patterns pierced by haunting clanger-like pipe whistling. Twin features stately sax lines over slowly evolving organ harmonies, and the album closes with Blackeye finally setting the austere organ against Seb Rochford's chunky beats.

Although painted with a palette too slow and austere for some jazz tastes, this is a beguiling blend of harmonies, sounds old and new, shrouded in ethereal and delicate beauty.  Downes is surely an exciting celestial body to track across the heavens!
Chris Kilsby
Released on 25.10.2019 ECM 2632

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