Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Charles McPherson: “Jazz is best heard in intimate places”. (DownBeat, July, 2024).

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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16590 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (July 14).

From This Moment On ...

July

Sat 20: Snake Davis & Helen Watson Duo @ Chopwell Community Centre NE17 7HZ. 7:30pm. £17.50.

Sun 21: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 21: Salty Dog @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free. Sun 21: The Big Easy @ The White Room, Stanley. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: Ben Crosland Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Nomade Swing Trio @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm. £10.00. Tickets from Tully’s of Rothbury or at the door (cash only). A Coquetdale Jazz event.

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: The Ronnie Scott’s Story @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Thu 25: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Garry Hadfield (keys); Noel Dennis (tpt); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).
Thu 25: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: Stuart Turner @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Fri 26: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.
Fri 26: Bold Big Band @ Old Coal Yard, Byker, Newcastle. 9:30pm. A Newcastle Fringe Festival event.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Album review: AuB - AuB

Alex Hitchcock (tenor sax/synth)
Tom Barford (tenor sax/synth)
Fergus Ireland (bass/synth)
James Maddren (drums) 

AuB (pronounced ORB) are a London based quartet led by two young tenor players,  Tom Barford and Alex Hitchcock, teamed up here with a top rhythm section of Fergus Ireland (bass) and the estimable James Maddren (drums) seen in these parts most recently with Trish Clowes' band My IrisThis, their debut album on the adventurous Edition Records, is a seriously ambitious venture with top players aiming to break new ground. The “blurb” warns of an uncompromising approach, and to think “Phronesis meets Polar Bear”. 


There is certainly a rhythmic drive and depth reminiscent of Phronesis, with the added power of interlocking twin sax lead, but to my relief with great artistry and sensitivity – no showing off for its own sake here!  The undoubted intellectual seriousness is reinforced by the name, AuB, derived, as the mathematically literate among you will recognise immediately, from set theory – meaning literally “A union B”, two sets joined together, often depicted as two overlapping circles on a Venn diagram.  This is an apt analogy, as the twin tenors add up to more than the sum of their parts, as indeed does the whole band.  I’m sure the two sax players have different styles, but I didn’t try to unpick the “union” - just enjoyed the ride, as they took turns to lead, support, chase and combine 

First track Not Jazz was misleading ... it was definitely jazz to my ears!  Five minutes of high energy interlocking tenor lines seemingly effortlessly jet propelled by the section deluxe. The shorter Valencia is more thoughtful, opening with lingering and gorgeous twin sax over bass, boosted by slinky off-kilter, delightfully accented, drum part.  

Calvados introduces electronic effects to the mix, with ethereal tenor floating over menacing synth sounds and grimy backbeat. The shorter Dual Reality is reserved for the twin tenors as its name suggests, beguiling counterpoint hinting at the leaders’ classical backgroundin a delicate, immaculately played and wholesome composition.  
Ice Man is more moody, giving space to Ireland to lay down a very musical bass lead followed by tenor, all interwoven with Maddren’s ever shifting sands of time.   Doggerland is a standout, perhaps aptly named after the ancient union of our island with Europe now lost under the North Sea? This starts with saxes in union weaving a meandering melodic line over insistent drums, evolving into a passionate solo sax break, tastefully enhanced with reverb and highlighted with synth stabs before clarifying to a powerful acoustic finale.  

Overall, as powerful and accomplished a debut as you could wish for, from a new and prodigiously talented intersection of players and composers. If this is their first effort, where might they end up?!   Highly recommended to check them out for musicality, mature composition, chops, the works.  Watch this space, and I’d love to see them soon in a sympathetic space such as Sage 2?! 
Chris K 
Currently availableCat No (CD): EDN1155Format: CD & Download from www.editionrecords.com. 

No comments :

Blog Archive