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Bebop Spoken There

Raymond Chandler: “ I was walking the floor and listening to Khatchaturian working in a tractor factory. He called it a violin concerto. I called it a loose fan belt and the hell with it ". The Long Goodbye, Penguin 1959.

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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16350 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 230 of them this year alone and, so far, 27 this month (April 11).

From This Moment On ...

April

Sat 13: Giles Strong Quartet @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00-9:00pm. £10.00.
Sat 13: Phantom Bagman + Forgetmenots @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:30pm.£5.00. + bf. Upstairs.
Sat 13: Rockin’ Turner Brothers @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Downstairs.

Sun 14: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: Alan Law, Jude Murphy & Tim Johnston @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 14: JazzMain @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 15: Dave Newton @ Yamaha Music School, Seaforth St., Blyth NE24 1AY. 1:00 - 1:45pm. £8.00. + bf. Newton, solo piano.
Mon 15: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 15: Hideout @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.50 + £1.33 bf. Feat. Sleep Suppressor + Flat Moon.
Mon 15: Russ Morgan Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.

Tue 16: The Horne Section’s Hit Show @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 7:30pm.
Tue 16: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Bradley Johnston, Paul Grainger, Bailey Rudd.

Wed 17: Bailey Rudd (Minor Recital) @ The Music Studios, Haymarket Lane, Newcastle University. 11:40am. Bailey Rudd (drums). Open to the public.
Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: The Horne Section’s Hit Show @ The Gala, Durham. 7:30pm. SOLD OUT!
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 18: NONUNONU @ Elder Beer Café, Chillingham Road, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 18: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. + bf. Support act TBC.
Thu 18: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band night with Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Donna Hewitt (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Fri 19: Cia Tomasso @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. ‘Cia Tomasso sings Billie Holiday’. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Levitation Orchestra + Nauta @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £11.00.
Fri 19: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.

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.

2 comments :

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.

thegrube said...

Lance, I just wanted to thank you - belatedly - for your very kind comments. That book was a labor of love and the six days at Ronnie's overlaid with six decades of Bill's musical life worked out quite well. It's a difficult life, hanging at Ronnie's bar watching the shows for six nights drinking single malt scotch, and then backstage with the band, but someone's got to do it.

Bill is now in his mid-seventies and still going strong. i wanted to pay tribute to the men and women who keep creating and refining their craft.

Thank you again Lance.

Brian Gruber
briankgruber@gmail.com

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