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Farewell Blues

R.I.P. HRH Queen Elizabeth ll (1926 - Sept. 8, 2022).
R.I.P. Trevor Tomkins (1941 - Sept. 9, 2022).
R.I.P. Gordon McGregor (Sept. 11, 2022).
R.I.P. Ramsey Lewis (1935 - Sept. 12, 2022).
R.I.P. Pharoah Sanders (Oct. 13, 1940 - Sept. 24, 2022).

Bebop Spoken There

Larry Klein: "- in a certain way - Leonard [Cohen] is the greatest songwriter ever." - (Jazzwise October 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

14581 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 859 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Sept. 21).

From This Moment On ...

September

Sat 24: Revolutionaires @ Ushaw, Durham. Rhythm & blues. 6:00pm.
Sat 24: Archipelago + SA Malley + Taupe @ Bobik’s, Punch Bowl, Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sat 24: Knats @ Arthur's, Fenwick's, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Sun 25: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 25: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 25: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. CANCELLED!
Sun 25: Skylla + Pete Wareham-Ruth Goller-Will Glaser @ Bobik’s, Punch Bowl, Jesmond, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 26: Lewis Watson Quartet @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Tue 27: Beth Clarke @ British Legion Club, West Jesmond, Newcastle. 1:00-4:00pm. Free.
Tue 27: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).
Tue 27: Black is the Color of My Voice @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. One woman stage play (the life & times of Nina Simone).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 28: Battle of the Bands @ NE Volume Music Bar, Yarm Lane, Stockton. Doors 6:00pm. Tickets: £5.00. adv., £6.00. on the door. Participants inc. Milne Glendinning Band.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 28: Black is the Color of My Voice @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. One woman stage play (the life & times of Nina Simone).
Wed 28: Laura Jurd @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 29: Ushaw Ensemble @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:10pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 29: Czajka & Puchaz + Mark Solborg + Anthropology @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Thu 29: ‘58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: La Sonora Boreal’s Latin Jam Session @ The Globe, Newcastle (7:45pm). Free (donations). Latin jazz performance & jam session.
Thu 29: Peter Morgan Trio @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 30: Adam Johnson @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 30: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 30: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 30: Pete Churchill & Noel Dennis: Exploring the Jazz Metaphor in Leadership & Management @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 2:30-4:00pm. Workshop.Tickets: £3.30 (inc. bf). A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: FILM: Bird (Dir. Clint Eastwood) + Swing Bridge (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 6:30pm.
Fri 30: Orphy Robinson + Maniscalco-Bigoni-Solborg + Nicole Mitchell + Binker Golding-Alexander Hawkins-John Pope-Paul Hession @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle (7:00pm). A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: Ushaw Ensemble @ St Mary’s Church, Holy Island. 7:30pm.
Fri 30: Alter Ego @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Fri 30: King Bee @ The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, Independent, Sunderland. 9:00pm. £22.50. DJs + King Bee.

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. 

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