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Farewell Blues

R I P Terry Shannon - November 5, 1929 - October 29, 2022
R I P Oliver Soden - ? - November 6, 2022
R I P Top Cat Daphne - ? - November 24, 2022.

Bebop Spoken There

Michael League: "We flew back from Europe, and the second gig we [Snarky Puppy] did was in Arcata, California. There were two people. And one of them was the bartender." - (DownBeat December, 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

14806 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 1074 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (Nov.24).

From This Moment On ...

November

Sun 27: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 27: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 27: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 27: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 27: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. Sitters-in & audience welcome.
Sun 27: Nu Civilisation Orchestra @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Sun 27: Jamil Sheriff's Five Gold Rings @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 28: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 28: Jeremy McMurray & Friends @ Billingham Catholic Club. 7:30pm. £5.00. at the door. A SVP fundraiser for Xmas food hampers.

Tue 29: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

Wed 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 30: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Wed 30: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 30: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 30: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

December
Thu 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 01: New York Jazz Night feat. Zoë Gilby @ The Keys, Yarm. 7:00pm. £30.00. (inc. meal). Tickets from Skiddle. Gilby w. Noel Dennis, Mark Williams & Andy Champion.
Thu 01: Bold Big Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Cluny 2.
Thu 01: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm. Paul Skerritt & James Harrison residency.
Thu 01: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 02: Swing Manouche @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00.
Fri 02: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: Durham University Big Band + Durham University Jazz Orchestra @ Kingsgate Bar, Durham Students' Union, Dunelm House, Durham. 7:00pm. £3.00. & £2.50. Fundraiser for Coppafeel.
Fri 02: Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm.
Fri 02: Alligator Gumbo @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm. Xmas party.
Fri 02: Struggle Buggy's Almost Xmas Party @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 03: Jake Leg Jug Band @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 03: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Liane Carroll. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 03: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Sat 03: Remi Harris & Tom Moore @ Amble Parish Hall, Northumberland. 7:30pm.
Sat 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. Xmas party.
Sat 03: Ray Johnson, Richard Herdman & Jude Murphy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

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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