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Farewell Blues

R I P Terry Shannon - November 5, 1929 - October 29, 2022
R I P Oliver Soden - ? - November 6, 2022
R I P Top Cat Daphne - ? - November 24, 2022.
R I P Louise Tobin - November 11, 1918 - November 26, 2022

Bebop Spoken There

Michael League: "We flew back from Europe, and the second gig we [Snarky Puppy] did was in Arcata, California. There were two people. And one of them was the bartender." - (DownBeat December, 2022)

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

14836 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 1085 of them this year alone and, so far, 84 this month (Nov.28).

From This Moment On ...

November

Tue 29: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

Wed 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 30: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Wed 30: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 30: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 30: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

December
Thu 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 01: New York Jazz Night feat. Zoë Gilby @ The Keys, Yarm. 7:00pm. £30.00. (inc. meal). Tickets from Skiddle. Gilby w. Noel Dennis, Mark Williams & Andy Champion.
Thu 01: Bold Big Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Cluny 2.
Thu 01: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm. Paul Skerritt & James Harrison residency.
Thu 01: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 02: Swing Manouche @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00.
Fri 02: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: Helen Walker (French horn/trumpet) & Caroline Guirr (piano) @ St. Andrew's Church, Corbridge. 2:00pm. Duo concert by two members of 'The Wild Women of Wylam'. Part of the annual Christmas Tree Festival.
Fri 02: Durham University Big Band + Durham University Jazz Orchestra @ Kingsgate Bar, Durham Students' Union, Dunelm House, Durham. 7:00pm. £3.00. & £2.50. Fundraiser for Coppafeel.
Fri 02: Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm.
Fri 02: Alligator Gumbo @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm. Xmas party.
Fri 02: Struggle Buggy's Almost Xmas Party @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 03: Jake Leg Jug Band @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 03: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Liane Carroll. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 03: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Sat 03: Remi Harris & Tom Moore @ Amble Parish Hall, Northumberland. 7:30pm.
Sat 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. Xmas party.
Sat 03: Ray Johnson, Richard Herdman & Jude Murphy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Sun 04: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 04: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 04: Remi Harris & Tom Moore @ Bowes & Gilmonby Parish Hall, Co. Durham. 7:30pm.
Sun 04: Liane Carroll @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. adv., £12.00. door.
Sun 04: Let Spin + Ceitidh Mac @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Jesmond, Newcastle (8:00pm).

Mon 05: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 06: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (table reservations 0191 386 5556). Feat. Johnny Murphy (keyboards).

Saturday, March 21, 2020

CD Review: Oded Tzur - Here Be Dragons

Oded Tzur (tenor sax); Nitai Hershkovits (piano); Petros Klampanis (double bass); Jonathan Blake (drums).
(Review by Martin P)

These musicians were unknown to me, apart from Jonathan Blake who I recall seeing with the Mingus Big Band at Brecon, I think. 

According to the ECM website, Oded Tzur is from Tel Aviv but is now based in NYC. This is a style of jazz that I used to listen to a lot in the '80s and '90s, much of it on ECM. Artists like Terje Rypdal, Tomasz Stanko, Charles Lloyd and Nils Petter Molvaer. I'm not saying necessarily that they are musically similar, just that there's a certain "sound". I started to get a bit tired of the style and this album reminded me why. 

Tzur has a sound somewhat reminiscent of early Andy Sheppard but without the latter's purity of tone and fluidity. His solos seemed to me to be unfocused. Hershkovits' piano is often what my wife calls "plinky-plonky music" (you've guessed, she's not a jazz fan). The bass and drum parts are largely unobtrusive, which in my book is usually a compliment for rhythm sections. However, some of the bass solos were so quiet that, listening in the car, which I appreciate is not a particularly complimentary environment for music, there were times when I couldn't be sure if the track had finished. My biggest gripe with this album, though, is that most of the tracks are played at a stultifying slow tempo. 

At the first listening, I thought that maybe this album had promise. By the time I got to the end of the fourth track, I wasn't just bored, I was starting to get a bit irritated. 

My criterion for judging an album by a band I haven't heard before is "Would I go to watch them live?" In this case, only if I hadn't slept for 3 nights.
Martin.

Here Be Dragons is currently available on ECM 2020.

1 comment :

Chris Kilsby said...

Aha! Another example of the wonderful differences between listeners in their response to new music.

I was keen to read Martin's review, having listened to the album a couple of times after reading Jazzwise's 4* review - awarded Editor's Choice, and lauded as "having classic written all over". The rest of the jazz establishment are also falling over themselves praising Oded Tzur and his quartet for "A beautiful musical concept perfectly realised" (London Jazz News). Martin is clearly not so easily impressed!

I have to say I also began as a sceptic with Tzur, and my first forays listening to this and previous albums left me largely unmoved. His music is "high chamber jazz" and meditative in the extreme. He is a storyteller, not a headline grabber; his music is tender poetry, not slogans. A whole album played "As If Every Note Was A Choice Of Life" is bound to be hard going!

His tone on tenor is also an acquired taste. Tzur has followed a very deliberate path to developing a smooth, sliding and (very) distinctive tone, apparently influenced by the Indian bansuri (flute).

Forewarned by this knowledge, listening to this stuff in the car is not the best strategy! As Martin acknowledged and found, this is bound to lead to frustration. Recent listening in the peace and quiet of home (one benefit of these Covid times) revealed a lot more to the music (to my ear at least!) - lyrical intensity and subtlety.

Not just from Tzur (love or hate his tone) - this is a top notch band too. I'm a fan of Hershkowits (though not so much as my son, who spent months transcribing one of his rhythmically baffling solos - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcRRAZ9rMq8). I find Hershkovits' playing here a very engaging part of the album - not "plinky plonky" at all!

Anyway, each to his own as they say. While I'm not convinced this is a classic album yet, there is remarkable beauty here. I'll listen again, when in the right frame of mind with time to relax, and I'd certainly go to see them play (whenever that might start up again.....).

Chris K

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