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Bebop Spoken There

Peter Ind: "Rightly or wrongly, I didn't value his [Miles Davis] contribution that much." - (Jazzwise October 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".

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

Coming soon ...

SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

THURSDAY 24

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Abbie Finn Trio - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regent Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 7:30pm. Donations on the night. To book a table (max four people from one household/support bubble) visit: www.gosforthcivictheatre.co.uk.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

FRIDAY 25

SouLutions Sistas - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 8:30pm (7:00pm doors). £10.00. SOLD OUT!

SATURDAY 26

Boys of Brass - Tyne Bank Brewery, Walker Road, Newcastle NE6 2AB. Tel: 0191 265 2828. 7:00pm. £10.00. + £1.37 bf for table for two. Other packages available. See www.tynebankbrewery.co.uk.

SUNDAY 27

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Tel: 0191 691 7090. Free.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

CD Review – “Hybrid Harmony”- RJ & The Assignment

(Review by John Charles)

RJ (Reginald Johnson) is a Las Vegas-based pianist and keyboards player who has put together his band “The Assignment” and regularly plays across a number of Las Vegas venues.

A native of Chicago RJ learnt piano in church and later was classically trained at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas from where RJ secured a Master’s degree in Jazz Piano Performance.  RJ has played with many soul and blues artists including Jennifer Hudson, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy and has recently toured with Boys II Men.

Hybrid Harmony is RJ’s fourth album as leader and is an accessible hybrid mix of jazz and r &b with a soulful slant and a dash of gospel for good measure.  RJ, who looks like a youthful Nile Rogers, wrote and composed seven of the ten tracks on the album which is a mixture of vocal and instrumental tracks and I was particularly drawn to the vocal efforts.

Covering the instrumentals first, Autumn Steps is a reinvention of John Coltrane’s Giant Steps with great sax work from composer Julian Tanaka.  The title track Hybrid Harmony features RJ’s strong keyboards and My Mean Ol’ Aunt certainly has a mean funky groove.

Vocal efforts include an interesting cover of Tears for Fears, Everybody Wants to Rule the World with a bit of scat singing leading to sax and guitar solos. Self-compositions include a soulful Klaiton Johnson vocalising on I’m Tryin’ and a gentle jazzy Walk in Your Light (vocalist uncredited).

For me though the highlight of the album is a fantastic reworking of Andre 3000’s Prototype as featured on Outkast’s 2003 masterpiece Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.  RJ’s rolling piano provides a great backdrop to Klaiton Johnson and Aja Hawkins’ vocals echoing one another throughout the song.
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A solid effort by a relatively new artist  Link + CD  Baby etc. 
John C.

I’m Tryin’; My Mean Ol’ Aunt; Walk in Your Light; Hybrid Harmony; Prototype; Autumn Steps; Everybody Wants to Rule the World; Between Now and Never; Can’t Nobody; After Service.

Kiata Brown, Aja Hawkins, Klaiton Johnson, Alisha Webster (vocals); Jason Bolden, Donald Phillips (electric bass); Eric Runquist (upright bass); Johnny Johnson (guitar); JulianTanaka (sax); Terry Wesley (drums); RJ (piano, keyboards): Tom Schuman (auxilliary Instruments).

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