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Bebop Spoken There

JD Allen: "...art in itself is now a luxury that you need a lot of finances to do." - (DownBeat October 2021)

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

13,806 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1223 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Oct. 13).

From This Moment On ...

October

Fri 15: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm..
Fri 15: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm..
Fri 15: Sue Ferris Quintet @ Traveller's Rest, Cockerton, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 15: House of the Black Gardenia @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sat 16: Women Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Julija Jacenaite: Improvarium..
Sat 16: Emma Fisk & James Birkett @ St Mary's Church, Monkseaton. 7:30pm..
Sat 16: Triptych @ Sage Gateshead. 7:45pm. Trio with live visuals by Lisa Delarny. .
Sat 16: Rendezvous Jazz @ Memorial Hall, Ponteland. 8:00pm. Guest Ian Wynne (piano)..

Sun 17: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 17: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club. 1:00pm.
Sun 17: Shunyata Improvisation Group @ Unitarian Church, Newcastle. 1:30pm.
Sun 17: Vula Viel @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 18: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 20: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 20: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 20: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 8:00pm.

Thu 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 21: Alter Ego @ St James' & St Basil's Church, Newcastle 7:30pm.
Thu 21: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 21: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 22: Mick Shoulder Quartet @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Quartet featuring Alex Clarke (BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year finalist).
Fri 22: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: Sue Ferris Quintet @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 22: Michael Feinstein @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 22: Peter Morgan Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Book review: Brian Gruber - Six Days at Ronnie Scott's, Billy Cobham on jazz fusion and the act of creation.

This is one of those books that you can't put down although, initially I thought I'd struggle to get beyond the first page, not being a big fan of fusion and it's practitioners.

That was then! Now, after devouring every word like someone coming off a hunger strike, I find myself listening to Bitches Brew and, if I had any any Mahavishnu albums I'd be listening to them too! Whilst I'd hardly describe myself as a convert, such is the impact of the writing, both by Gruber and Cobham, that you are drawn into the music without even hearing it!

Set over six nights at Ronnie Scott's it describes not only Cobham's playing behind Guy Barker's hand picked British big band (Paul Booth is in the line-up) but also includes the before and after (fly on the wall) conversations with a lot of memories along the way.

Intriguing is the meticulous attention Cobham pays to his kit. Three missing floor tom-tom legs almost became a world (jazz) crisis. Every drummer in the universe should study Cobham's tuning of his drums. He pitches them as carefully as any horn or string player so that he is in accord with what is going on around him.

But, apart from the description of the gig which sold-out 6 nights running, there are also his memories of the many previous highlights in his illustrious career. There was his time in the navy where, by a fortuitous posting, he was able to spend time at home and do some moonlighting jazz club gigs in the evening. His big time breakthrough with Horace Silver which brought him fame if not fortune leading to the ensuing super stardom with Miles, the Breckers, the Mahavishnu Orchestra and his present status where he has annually pulled full houses at Ronnie's for 11 consecutive years.

Needless to say, author Gruber extracts opinions from him on the various musicians he has worked with. He speaks frankly and honestly. His opinions, although never malicious, come across as genuine and observant.

To sum up, it's one helluva book. I didn't need to be at Ronnie's for those 6 nights - I've just been there! Every unheard note and drum beat is ingrained inside me.
Lance 

Available Amazon (£11.95 + pp)

Brian Gruber: Six Days at Ronnie Scott's, Billy Cobham on jazz fusion and the act of creation2018. ISBN 9781717493002.

1 comment :

Steve T said...

When you go to watch lots of guitarists, there's always lots of guitarists there. When you go to watch Billy Cobham, there's lots of drummers there. First time I saw him was with the Mahavishnu in 73 but it was a long time ago and I was ten and totally bedazzled by John. Playing the records years later, I realised how incredible he was and how he totally raised the bar in rock and jazz-rock drumming. I saw him at the Gala in Durham a good few years back with a Cuban band and he was pretty unremarkable. I later learned he'd had a bout of illness which could have been the reason. I last saw him at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival as part of his seventieth birthday. He was much better but obviously nowhere near the Mahavishnu years.
Years ago he did a drum clinic on Whistle Test and had two rock drummers (I think one was Queen's drummer) and he totally wiped the floor with them.
Incidentally, his replacement in Mahavishnu was Narada Michael Walden who was almost as stunning.

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