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Bebop Spoken There

Charles Lloyd: "I'm raring to go out to play, because I know I'll find something to explain the inexplicable." (DownBeat August 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

14454 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 732 of them this year alone and, so far, 30 this month (August 11).

From This Moment On ...

August

Mon 15: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 15: Stu Collingwood Organ Trio @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Tue 16: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).

Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 18: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 18: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Thu 18: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle. Strictly Smokin’ Big Band. 7:00pm. Free (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests: Dave Archbold (keys); Dan Johnson (sax); Josh Bentham (sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass)

Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Harry Keeble Duo + Northern Monkey Brass Band. £15.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Fri 19: Mo Scott @ The Millstone, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Scott w Gary Dunn, Neil Harland & Paul Smith.

Sat 20: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Riviera Effect + Alter Ego + Graham Hardy Quartet + Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie + Ivo Neame Quartet. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sat 20: Anth Purdy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Sun 21 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 21: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Lindsay Hannon & Alan Law + Knats + David Gray’s Flextet + Ben Gilbert Trio + Emma Rawicz. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sun 21: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.

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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