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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

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

16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...

June

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 20 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £4.00. Note new venue!
Thu 20: Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £29.00., £23.00. Folk/jazz duo.
Thu 20: Richard Herdman & Ray Burns @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 20: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Dave Harrison (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 24: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 24: Remy CB @ The Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor NE2 3NH. 5:00-7:00pm.

Tue 25: Louise Dodds & Elchin Shirinov @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

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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