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Bebop Spoken There

JD Allen: "...art in itself is now a luxury that you need a lot of finances to do." - (DownBeat October 2021)

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! --

Postage

13,822 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1239 of them this year alone and, so far, 66 this month (Oct. 18).

From This Moment On ...

October

Mon 18: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 18: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Wed 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 20: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 20: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 20: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 8:00pm.

Thu 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 21: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra.
Thu 21: Alter Ego @ St James' & St Basil's Church, Newcastle 7:30pm.
Thu 21: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 21: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 22: Mick Shoulder Quartet @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Quartet featuring Alex Clarke (BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year finalist).
Fri 22: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: Paul Edis Trio w Ruth Lambert @ St Cuthbert's Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 22: Michael Feinstein @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 22: Peter Morgan Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sat 23: Mary Coughlan @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 23: Têtes de Pois @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 24 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 24: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 24: Voices of Virtue Gospel Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 4:00pm.
Sun 24: Milne Glendinning Band @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

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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