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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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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.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Animal Society @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - March 8

Joe Williamson (guitar); Alan Benzie, Craig McMahon (keys); Gus Stirrat (bass); Graham Costello (drums).
(Review by Thomas Dixon/ Photos courtesy of Ken Drew – a JNE promotion).

Firstly, I’d like to say I can’t stand the typical ‘politely distorted’ fusion guitar tone, but bandleader Joe Williamson’s guitar had plenty of grit to it. Actually, there was nothing polite about the performance at all, just the way I like it!


No doubt due to the mix of genres influencing this group, they have a very modern sound, and although they are still improvising and navigating through chord changes, the aesthetic is completely different to most bands you’ll find on a Jazz club’s programme. Often just when I thought I was locked in with the pattern of the rhythm section, there’d be some ‘Djent’ style fills which would disrupt the tune and help shape the solo sections in unpredictable ways. There was a definite ‘Math Rock’ vibe - lots of shifting time signatures, heavy riffs and filthy half-time breakdowns which, as a reformed metal head myself, I absolutely loved.

Williamson promised us ‘wonderful and unique sounds’ from Craig McMahon, and he definitely delivered. The addition of a second keyboard player fills out the sound of the group and glues it together with a polish that most bands can only achieve by double tracking in studio recordings or by using backing tracks on live performances.

There was a great energy in the room throughout the night, plenty of back and forth between the band and audience, and the last tune of the first set Hieroglyph featured a drum solo from Graham Costello that had the crowd all shouting and cheering, something of a rarity from ‘Jazz’ gigs these days.
Thomas Dixon
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