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Bebop Spoken There

Kasia Delgado: "The naughtiest thing that I did at school was bunk off a maths lesson to practice my saxophone for a jazz band." - (i newspaper October 21, 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

13,837 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1254 of them this year alone and, so far, 66 this month (Oct. 23).

From This Moment On ...

October

Sat 23: Mary Coughlan @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 23: Têtes de Pois @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 24 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 24: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 24: Voices of Virtue Gospel Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 4:00pm.
Sun 24: Milne Glendinning Band @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 25: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 26: Classic Swing @ Ship inn, Monkseaton. 1:00pm. The post-lockdown resumption of the band’s weekly residency will be fortnightly until further notice.
Tue 26: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 8:00pm. The post-lockdown resumption of the Black Swan’s fortnightly jam session.

Wed 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 27: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 27: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 28: J Frisco @ Newcastle University. 1:15pm. ONLINE ONLY (YouTube).
Thu 28: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 28: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 28: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 29: James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Album review: Redman, Mehldau, McBride, Blade - RoundAgain

Joshua Redman (soprano/tenor sax); Brad Mehldau (piano)] Christian McBride (bass); Brian Blade (drums). 

A rare eventfour superstars who first lit up the sky together 26 years ago and went on to individuapre-eminence, now re-uniting as a collective constellationA challenge to music industry normsand also to Heraclitus: No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”    Blade sees it differently: “This band is like a turntable where the stylus was lifted but the turntable is still spinning. We just had to drop the needle...”

The album comprises seven new numbers: three from Redman, two from Mehldau, and one each from the others.   While the origins of the music, as Blade suggests, are familiar from the players’ past, and the music recognizably holds on to core jazz tradition, the band nonetheless leave behind restrictive forms and the songs have a satisfying balance of adventure and structure. Needless to say, the playing is outstanding in all respects: four masters of their instruments live up to the billing. Although these four have not recorded together since 1994, Mehldau and Redman are frequent partners with remarkable rapport, and Redman was joined by Mehldau and Blade for Walking Shadows which impressed the hell out of our editor-in-chief in 2013

The opener, Undertow, drags you in with a circling piano part soon joined by Redman’s rich inter-locking tenorrelaxing into a subtle, meandering piano solo, all inter-woven with remarkable drums and bass, before a muscly sax solo turns up the heat. Moe Honk is more light-hearted with call and response piano/sax leading into fun and games by all, with an effortlessly fast but melodic bass solo.  

Redman's Silly Little Love Song is slow, soulful and gospel stylewith comforting progressions echoing the likes of  I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be FreeIf here is a popular hit in the album with potential for covering, this is it! 

The title track by Redman, Right Back Round Again, is another delight. Opening with a classic Mehldau repeated vamp in unison with agile bass, developing into a high speed skittering sax thread, driven by remarkable light-as-air bass and drums.  Redman swaps to soprano for a more angular bluesy workout on McBrides’ Floppy Dissfollowed by Mehldau’s more discursive Father The final number, written by Blade, Your Part to Play, is the most emotional and varied of the album - easing gently in with tender, smouldering sax slowly building in intensity, and then subsiding 

Overall, an enormously satisfying, in places exhilarating, master class not only in instrumental and ensemble playing, but in seemingly effortless musical ideas and expression.  Reading my words, as I write them, I’m struck by the difficulty of assessing and appreciating this band:  their reputations put the listener on guard, wanting a miracle at every turn, and raising expectations to impossible levels.  

So, while Round Again may not be a landmark moment in jazz, it’s certainly a worthy milestone. More than that, in these days of virtuosity becoming almost commonplace, it’s a reminder that virtuoso talent can also deliver great and accessible music, ideas and emotions.  
Chris K 

Released July 10 2020, Recorded September 10-12, 2019 New York 
Try/buy CD, LP and digital here.

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