Total Pageviews

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

Kenny Barron: "During the pandemic I got to do a lot more cooking. As long as you can read you can cook." - (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

14845 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 1094 of them this year alone and, so far, 93 this month (Nov. 30).

From This Moment On ...

November

December

Fri 02: Swing Manouche @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00. SOLD OUT!
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.
Mon 05: Sia Ahmad & Raymond MacDonald @ Blank Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Tickets: £5.00. from www.seetickets.com. Live recording session - note no late admissions. BYOB.

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

Wed 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 07: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 12 noon-3:00pm.Free. New!
Wed 07: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 07: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 07: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Last one of the year, resuming Jan 26.
Thu 08: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 08: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm.
Thu 08: Christmas Crooners @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm.
Thu 08: Musicians Unlimited @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. £5.00. on the door.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Album Review: Ambrose Akinmusire - On the Tender Spot of Every Calloused Moment

Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet), Sam Harris (pianist), Harish Raghavan (bass), Justin Brown (drums)
(Review by Chris K)

The fifth Blue Note recording from this young (38) Californian, already feted as the trumpet player of his generation. 

What does it take to be anointed as the leading contemporary player in the 2020s? 

Expect startling technique, raw power, modern relevance and political messages: after all he played on Kendrick’s To Pimp a Butterfly and has torn it up with Kamasi Washington.  So, is he a “West Coast Get Down” version of his close contemporary, New Orleans born Christian Scott?  Scott is a top player with distinctive style and agenda, but Akinmusire has extra gears. In addition to high energy hip hop, post-bop and free experimental blasts, he also draws oblique lines through the ethereal spaces opened up by Kenny Wheeler and mapped out by the European School. 

As long ago as 2012, our editor-in-chief salivated  “such is the beauty of his tone that tenderness abounds with each note he plays”. This is also evident in his contribution to the excellent ECM 2018 Where the River Goes from the guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, where I think he simply steals the show from the leader with playing of staggering beauty and sophistication.

His latest album, eleven of his own varied compositions, on the tender spot of every calloused moment is centered on the powerful and political face of his activity, examining the modern African-American experience and evaluating what the blues means in 2020. This is often uncompromising and intense modern music, carried off with confidence and serious chops by a first rate band, all making distinctive contributions.  But there are many beautiful and introspective episodes too, most notably the blues ballad Roy, a moving tribute to the late Roy Hargrove.

Breathy and swirling trumpet kicks off the opening track (the longest at 8 mins),  Tide of Hyacinth,  before a tumult of drums and bass gives way to a helter-skelter of interlocking piano and trumpet. Justin Brown’s tempestuous drumming is a revelation here and throughout. Even when flat out, though, he and Raghavan on bass lock in to hold it all together in an exhilarating but tight trajectory, with Akinmusire flying fierce and free on top. The track peaks with a startling proclamatory vocal in Yoruba by Cuban guest singer Jesus Diaz.

The second track, Yessss, is much slower, starting with arco bass, building to a masterpiece of trumpet improvisation over a complex brew, where Sam Harris on piano combines telepathically. The high register of the trumpet is unleashed here to sublime effect, never losing sight of musicality.

Cynical Sideliners is a lovely 2 minute interlude featuring the fresh voice of Genevieve Artadi with sensitive keyboard accompaniment, followed by the more avant-garde and time-stretching Mr. Roscoe (consider the simultaneous), named for Roscoe Mitchell of The Art Ensemble of Chicago.

An Interlude (that get’ more intense) does what it says on the tin - portentous plucked bass,  building with roiling drums through to a full on romp. Even at full tilt though, tunes are evident, shining through the maelstrom. Another standout is reset (quiet victories&celebrated defeats),  with a pure, high and heartbreaking trumpet line gliding over skittering percussion and  punctuating bass.

Akinmusire’s compositional style is very varied here, so Blues (We measure the heart with a fist) indulges in spaced out conversations,  and effects on trumpet and piano,  before gradually growing into a “post-modern blues”.  The album closes with a thoughtful Fender Rhodes reflection, Hooded Procession (read the names outloud).

The top track though is Roy, and the album is worth it just for this. Reverend, spine tingling, bluesy and above all exquisite ensemble playing.  This should be on every music syllabus everywhere!

As Archie Shepp, no less, said earlier this year, “This is the Cat!”

Wholeheartedly recommended: an exciting album, brimming with ideas, building up a serious catalogue of composition and playing for the remarkable Akinmusire.
Chris Kilsby

Released June 5 on CD and digital formats with a vinyl release to follow on August 28.
 Scheduled for the Jazz Café (London) Jan 14.

1 comment :

Russell said...

A most positive review. The line-up appeared at the 2012 Gateshead International Jazz Festival (Walter Smith III was also with Akinmuire at Sage Gateshead) and two years earlier (January 2010) AA was in John Escreet's band in Sage's Northern Rock Foundation Hall. The band included David Binney, Matt Brewer and Nasheet Waits!

Blog Archive