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Bebop Spoken There

Victor Wooten: "People don't expect to have bass players get together and sound like music and not just like a bunch of elephants" (JazzTimes April, 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! --

Postage

14226 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 445 of them this year alone and, so far, 45 this month (May 13).

From This Moment On ...

May.

Sun 15 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 15: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne, nr. Newton Aycliffe. 1:00pm.
Sun 15: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 15: James Kitchman & Bruno Heinen @ Hexham Abbey. 7:30pm. £12.50. (ticket inc. admission to Abbie Finn Trio concert). Hexham Jazz Festival.
Sun 15: Trish Clowes’ My Iris @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. adv., £12.00. door.
Sun 15: Abbie Finn Trio @ Hexham Abbey. 9:00pm. (£ see above). Hexham Jazz Festival.

Mon 16: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 16: Swing Manouche @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Tue 17: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Abbie Finn.

Wed 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 18: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 18: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 18: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 19: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 19: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Thu 19: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 19: 58 Jazz Collective @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. TBC.

Fri 20: Andrea Vicari Trio @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Vicari (piano), Andy Champion (double bass), Abbie Finn (drums).
Fri 20: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 20: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 20: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 20: Swing Bridge @ Garden House Coffee, Hallgate, Hexham. 4:05pm.
Fri 20: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Fri 20: Customs House Big Band w Ruth Lambert @ Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm.
Fri 20: Andrea Vicari Trio @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £12.00. Opus 4 Jazz Club. Vicari (piano), Andy Champion (double bass), Abbie Finn (drums).

Sat 21: Elkie Brooks @ Whitley Bay Playhouse. 7:30pm.
Sat 21: Jools Holland’s R & B Orchestra @ The Hippodrome, Darlington. 7:30pm.
Sat 21: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 22 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 22: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 22: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 22: Abstract Orchestra plays J Dilla @ Wylam Brewery, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Sun 22: Panharmonia @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 23: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

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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