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Bebop Spoken There

Walter Trout: "I don't know why John Mayall put up with me for so long. But I've been sober for 32 years now, not a beer nor a joint," - (Blues Matters! Aug/Sep 2020)

Teddy Wilson: "Mildred Bailey was a much better singer than Billie [Holiday]." - (DownBeat August, 2020)

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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".

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11,740 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 880 of them this year alone and, so far, 17 this month (August 4).

Coming soon ...

August

Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Album review: Louis Armstrong - Live in Europe

We don't get many albums by jazz's first great figure so when one arrived featuring a couple of early editions of the All-Stars it was a moment to savour as well as one to ponder upon.

In a sense it was, to use that hackneyed old cliché, a game of two halves. On paper, the personnel  for the 1948 Paris concerts looked to be the stronger. Teagarden, Bigard, Hines and Big Sid + Pops out front, was surely one of Armstrong's strongest line-ups - wasn't it? 

Maybe it was but, somehow, it didn't quite gel like the later team. Teagarden, by this time, was getting tired and relying on a set of well-used phrases. Bigard, despite his New Orleans heritage seemed slightly out of place although his virtuosity remained intact. Hines and Catlett, jazz superstars in their own right, weren't cut out to be sidemen and I understand there were also side issues.

By contrast, the 1952 session was everything the previous session should have been but wasn't. The big difference was Trummy Young. Teagarden may have had more finesse but it was Trummy who could work the crowd, no doubt his JATP gigs honed those skills. McCracken, to the best of my knowledge, only played briefly with Armstrong but he did the job well and fitted in better than Bigard. Napoleon too seemed more committed than Hines and, in Cozy Cole, they had a drummer who could match Big Sid without dropping too many bombs. Arvell Shaw was on both gigs. Needless to say, the leader was at the top of his game and reminding us why he was, and still is, held in awe by his peers,

Last, and by no means least, a couple of songs from Velma didn't do any harm although the vocal honours were undoubtedly Louis' on A Kiss to Build a Dream on.

Live in Europe may not go down in history as the greatest album by the All-Stars but few fans will want to be without it!
Lance

Louis Armstrong (trumpet/vocal); Jack Teagarden (trombone/vocal); Barney Bigard (clarinet); Earl Hines (piano); Arvell Shaw (bass); Sid Catlett (drums) - Feb. 22/23, 1948.
Muskrat Ramble: Rockin' Chair; Rose Room; Royal Garden Blues; Panama; On the Sunny Side of the Street; Black and Blues; Them There Eyes.

Louis Armstrong (trumpet/vocal); Trummy Young (trombone); Bob McCracken (clarinet/vocal); Marty Napoleon (piano); Arvell Shaw (bass); Cozy Cole (drums); Velma Middleton (vocal) - Oct. 12, 1952.
My Bucket Got a Hole in it; Way Down Yonder in New Orleans; Croquette; Lover Come Back to me;Can Anyone Explain?; Tin Roof Blues; A Kiss to Build a Dream on.

Available on Dot Records DT8015

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