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Bebop Spoken There

Ambrose Akinmusire: “ I am certainly always aware of what the masses are doing. And when I see too many people going one way, I'm going another way - even when I don't know what's over that way". DownBeat, March, 2024.

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

16246 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 128 of them this year alone and, so far, 72 this month (Feb. 29).

From This Moment On ...

March
Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Wind Ensemble + Big Band + Jazz Combo + R&B Band @ Boiler House, Newcastle University. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 01: Joseph Carville Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 01-Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. From 8:00pm Friday. Weekend ticket: £20.00.
Fri 01: King Bees @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blind Pig Blues Club.
Fri 01: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. £10.00. Day 1/3. Musicians Unlimited + Festival Band.

Sat 02: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £15.00.. Day 2/3. Senior bands in competition.
Sat 02: Frog & Henry @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.£10.00. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club. Superb Anglo-American band!
Sat 02: The Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Repas7 by Night, 7 West St, Berwick TD15 1AS, 07900 627562. Tapas Specials from 5.00pm - showtime 8.00pm.
Sat 02: Cuba Libre @ Revolución de Cuba, Cloth Market, Newcastle. 6:00-9:00pm. Free.
Sat 02: Jeffrey Hewer Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 02: Durham University Big Band @ Durham Students' Union, New Elvet, Durham. 7:30pm. £8.00.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. The band’s 25th anniversary gig!
Sat 02: John Logan @ The Dyvels, Corbridge. 8:00pm. Rat Pack-style swing.

Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £10.00.. Day 3/3. School & Youth bands in competition.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ the Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm. £7.50.
Sun 03: Alan Law Trio plays Ahmad Jamal’s At the Pershing: But Not for Me & more @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The music of Ahmad Jamal.
Sun 03: Alice Grace & Ben Helm @ St Francis’ Church, High Heaton, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. £12.00. (children free admission). A Children’s Society fundraiser. Two x 30 mins sets. Refreshments available, child-friendly event with participation of children encouraged!
Sun 03: Sax Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. Free (donations). Monthly workshop, all welcome (participant and/or listener).
Sun 03: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 03: ’58 Jazz Collective @ St George’s Venue, Park Road, Hartlepool. 3:30pm (refreshments from 2:30pm). £6.00.
Sun 03: Down for the Count: A Century of Swing @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: SH#RP Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Mostly Moonlight @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Vocals/piano duo.
Sun 03: Remy CB @ Blues & Bourbon, Nelson St., Newcastle. 9:00pm. Free. Newcastle University music student Remy Coulthard Boardman.

Mon 04: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 05: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Joe Steels, Paul Grainger, Michael Mather.

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 07: Ray Stubbs R & B All Stars @ The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 07: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. Guests: Mark Toomey (alto sax); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax); Garry Hadfield (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums). 8:30pm.

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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