Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Peter Ind: "Rightly or wrongly, I didn't value his [Miles Davis] contribution that much." - (Jazzwise October 2020).

Archive.

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".

Postage

11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

Coming soon ...

SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

THURSDAY 24

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Abbie Finn Trio - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regent Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 7:30pm. Donations on the night. To book a table (max four people from one household/support bubble) visit: www.gosforthcivictheatre.co.uk.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

FRIDAY 25

SouLutions Sistas - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 8:30pm (7:00pm doors). £10.00. SOLD OUT!

SATURDAY 26

Boys of Brass - Tyne Bank Brewery, Walker Road, Newcastle NE6 2AB. Tel: 0191 265 2828. 7:00pm. £10.00. + £1.37 bf for table for two. Other packages available. See www.tynebankbrewery.co.uk.

SUNDAY 27

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Tel: 0191 691 7090. Free.

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.

Blog Archive