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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).

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".

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.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Cellar Boys + Miss Jubilee & Her Yas Yas Boys + Ethan Leinwand + Paradise Harmonians Dance Orchestra + Galaxie Girls + Dani Webber @ Bix Fest, Racine, Wisconsin - March 15

(Review by Russell)

Early Sunday morning - eight o'clock or thereabouts, that's early at a jazz festival - the Bix Fest hotel was fast approaching lockdown. The restaurant, bar and pool were closing, room service was being withdrawnit was so very quiet. Across the highway the local DQ remained open, needs must, a burger and fries the order of the day. On an unseasonably mild mid-March Wisconsin day it could be expected that families by the score would be up with the lark eager to consume another order of four (Ma, Pa, Chuck and Tammi) triple cheese burgers (with fries) for breakfast but not today. Clearly Trump's unrivalled oratorical skills were getting the message across to Ma and Pa. 


The Shake 'Em Up's no-show meant a further re-jigging of the weekend's schedule. At noon a hardy band of Bixians didn't know it but they were in for a treat - one of the most memorable performances at this or any other Bix Fest was about to begin. Ethan Leinwand sat down at the upright piano and, for an hour or so, set about playing a selection of barrelhouse numbers which threatened to steal the show at Bix Fest 2020. 

From Jimmy Yancey's State Street Special to Little Brother Montgomery to Clarence Lofton to Western Union Blues Leinwand knew his stuff. What's more the St Louis based pianist and self-styled 'preservationist' spoke engagingly of his subject(s). Texas pianists like Robert Shaw and Pinetop Burks (the Santa Fe Group) were brought to life as Leinwand illustrated the contrasting regional styles and schools from the Lone Star state pianists to the St Louis, Missouri practitioners to the Chicago blues specialists. Blues, barrelhouse, boogie-woogie, the styles, the very terms, Leinwand suggested were largely interchangeable. To your correspondent's ear Little Brother Montgomery's Cooney Vaughn's Tremblin' Blues sounded remarkably 'modern', whatever, it will live in the memory. Leinwand's 'accompaniment' took two forms; one, good old footstompin' and two, a cameo appearance by Dave Bock on trombone playing as a duo with our master pianist on Mary Johnson's Muddy Creek Blues. It had been a wonderful hour of piano blues. 

Check out Ethan Leinwand at: www.ethanleinwand.com  

Saturday's double header - Chicago's Cellar Boys and Miss Jubilee - reappeared Sunday to form the day's core entertainment. This time round the Cellar Boys opened the show with Miss Jubilee closing Bix Fest 2020. The Cellar Boys played a whole new load of tunes with the band once again firing on all cylinders. I've Found a New Baby, Johnny Dodd's Indigo Stomp (Andy Schumm hot clarinet), Chicago songbird Roya Naldi singing You Call it Madness (but I Call it Love) accompanied by pianist Paul Asaro, Sunday was every bit as good as Saturday! 

The Cellar Boys' regular Sunday evening gig at Chicago's Honky Tonk went the journey (victim of the virus) meaning they weren't in a hurry to get away and as a finale they temporarily lifted the gathering gloom with a corking Depression Stomp.

In between the Cellar Boys and Miss Jubilee and Her Yas Yas Boys, trumpeter Peter Ho assembled his Paradise Harmonians Dance Orchestra to play a spirited, entertaining set of dance numbers. The ensemble's weekly rehearsal session in Chicago sees some members travel a distance - Milwaukee down to Chicago is a bit of a hike but that's commitment for you! At one point thirteen, perhaps more, were on stage. As the Chicago hotshots were around they swelled the ranks. So, we had a 'territory' rehearsal band augmented by the likes of Dave BockJohn Donatowicz and Natalie Scharf! Peter Ho was delighted to have them on board as the orchestra played to an appreciative (dancing!) audience with a set list including Fletcher Henderson's Shanghai Shuffle and, as Ho wryly noted, Cheer up (Good Times are Comin')

The Galaxie Girls (think small budget Busby Berkeley) and Dani Webber did their thing during the afternoon and, to close the concert element at this year's Bix Fest, Miss Jubilee & Her Yas Yas Boys took to the stage one more time. As they did on Saturday the St Louis outfit scored a hit with the Racine crowd. From the opening number (Merline Johnson's Sold it to the Devil) to Bessie Smith's Oh Daddy Blues to a set-closing take on Big Bill Broonzy's Do Me Any Old Way, Miss Jubilee had 'em up on their feet applauding.

An end-of-the-pier feel set in. Ballroom tables were being collapsed, the PA loaded into the pickup truck, it was near lockdown. Pizzas, a slice of Bix Fest cake and a beer then an 'I was there' moment. Not yet ready to head down to Chicago, Andy Schumm, best known as an exceptionally gifted brass and reeds player, sat at the upright to play a few tunes, principally for himself and his fellow musicians. Roya Naldi, coat buttoned ready to go, wandered over, squeezed onto the piano stool, sharing it with Schumm. Mic packed away, Ms Naldi sang to/for herself. Guilty mused Naldi as John Otto strolled across the floor, clarinet in hand. Peter Ho wanted to play piano, Schumm obliged, picking up a mellophone as Naldi sang I'm Somebody's Sweetheart Now

Pianist David Boeddinghaus appeared, Ho moved over (now on trumpet with cap casually thrown over the bell) with Dani Webber tapping on the sprung dancefloor to After You've Gone. This was right out of They Shoot Horses, Don't They? It had been a memorable Bix Fest for all the right reasons, the jazz, the people, and, sadly, for one not so good reason, an outbreak of something or other but let's not dwell on that, after all, Bix Lives!  
Russell      

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