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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

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: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Ayr Jazz Club, Fairfield House Hotel, Fairfield Rd, AYR KA7 2AS. 7:30pm. For accommodation call the hotel on 01292 267461. For tickets call Ayr Jazz Club Secretary, Stuart McLean, on 01292 590773.
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).
Sat 20: Boys of Brass @ Brandling Villa, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

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.

Mon 22: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 23: FILM: Space is the Place @ Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle. 6:25pm. Dir. John Coney (1974). Starring Sun Ra!
Tue 23: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).
Tue 23: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Steve Glendinning, Paul Grainger, Abbie Finn.

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 24: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Album review : Misha Mullov-Abbado - DREAM CIRCUS

Misha Mullov-Abbado (double bass), James Davison (trumpet, flugelhorn), Matthew Herd (alto),  Sam Rapley (tenor), Liam Dunachie (piano, Hammond organ), Scott Chapman (drums)

My album of the year so far. Cleverly written and played, but also beautiful, musical and although “classically” inflected in places, definitely jazz:  distinctly modern but with mainstream and lyrical roots.  This third outing by London based double bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado confirms a new and substantial British ensemble composing voice, joining the tradition of Kenny Wheeler, Mike Gibbs and Issie Barratt.  


Misha Mullov-Abbado  (shall I just call him MMA?!), son of music royalty Viktoria Mullova and Claudio Abbado, comes to us via training at Cambridge and the Royal Academy. He inevitably attracts oodles of media attention, and his parentage must bring pressure as well as a stellar musical head start. (I apologise to my sons that they don’t have parents like this!).  His interviews reveal an unpretentious and grounded individual, who “didn’t think of himself as a jazz musician because after all it is all just music”.  MMA is clearly a top bass player with a full range of chops, who drives the show powerfully though unobtrusively: but it is his compositional skills that are to the fore here.  

While the production line of UK conservatoires has generated astonishing technical power and musicianship in recent years,  full of innovation, new influences, artifice and impact, I am less convinced of the enduring nature of the output compositionally.   This is different! A serious statement yes, sophisticated and complex in places, but also with infectious enthusiasm and fun, with wholesome, catchy tunes and grooves abounding.

The sextet format is brilliantly exploited both for solo blowing as well as the best of ensemble playing. The writing and arrangements are reminiscent at times of Kenny Wheeler’s bands at their best, not as gloriously quirky perhaps, but fresh with unexpected twists and turns, and often hitting a purposeful and breathtaking stride. Even the inevitable time signature games keep a firm grip on groove.

Needless to say this is all executed with fabulous and characterful playing by the array of young superstars in the making. The superb twin saxes of Herd and Rapley slide from smooth to skronky, and Davison’s trumpet soars between powerful melodic lines (reminiscent of Andre Canniere’ recent Ghost Days) and Wheeler-esque forays into the stratosphere.  Chapman’s drumming is perfectly matched to the setting – not so much the skittering impressionism of some current UK players, but precise, confident and varied.

There are several stand out tracks, with the lively Infamous Grouse bewitching with repeats, changes in tempo and time, and reassuring with a rollicking groove in between.  Blue Deer evolves from a slow and stately intro, through a loose section, resolving to a glorious soaring melody swapped between horns, over a complex but driving pulse, recalling (bass player) Avishai Cohen’s band at their best.  

Equinox shows MMA’s more classical leaning, with polyphonic interlocking giving way to a range of solos,  lovingly handing the tune round.  Astronaut shows MMA’s fun side, as a cheeky stop/start waltz, with old time vibes.

A monster of a tenor solo is matched by a classy trumpet outing on the superb 11 minute long Seven Colours.  A sonorous repeated bass drone in 5, driven by mallets on drums, conjures a dreamy eastern trance for Bear, embellished by breathy horns. Little Vision showcases Dunachie on piano, with a fluent and agile solo to match delightful comping elsewhere.

All in all, highly recommended, with something for everybody in a classy and substantial outing, with compositions to match the superb playing, all superbly produced by Jasper Høiby, bassist with Phronesis.
Chris K

Released June 12, 2020.  Recorded at The Village Recording in Copenhagen, September 2019. Format: CD & DN   Buy here.

2 comments :

Roly Veitch said...

Based entirely on this articulate review (I confess I didn't know of the musicians) I took a chance and bought this album. I'm glad I did. It's brilliant. The music ranges from delicate and beautiful lyricism to powerful crescendos of excitement! Great music from great players each of whom, apart from their other qualities, has a really lovely tone on their respective instruments.
Roly

Chris Kilsby said...

Roly - glad (and relieved!) you liked it as much as I did. Makes reviewing worthwhile! Chris

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