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Bebop Spoken There

John McDonough (reviewing Bright Red Dog’s In Vivo): “When you improvise on nothing, that’s what you get”. - DownBeat August 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.

Postage

13,508 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 926 of them this year alone and, so far, 90 this month (July 27).

From This Moment On

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone North Tyneside. 1:00pm.

Thu 29: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.

Sat 31: Lindsay Hannon @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Lindsay previews new, original material.

Sat 31: jakTar + Johnny Richards @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion.

August

Sun 01: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.

Sun 01: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Leeds College of Music graduate guitarist (Masters, Jazz Performance & Composition).

Friday, August 07, 2020

Emma Smith's A Portrait of Ella @ Ronnie Scott's - August 6

Emma Smith (vocals); Jamie Safir (piano); Conor Chaplin (double bass); Luke Tomlinson (drums)

Live streaming of indoor performance continues apace pending further government announcements. It is possible indoor gigs will resume a week tomorrow (Saturday 15), we shall see. Ronnie Scott's live streams, as one would expect, have been of the highest quality, ranging from the house trio led by James Pearson to Ronnie's regulars Liane Carroll and Ian Shaw to last night's quartet, Emma Smith's Ella Fitzgerald revue.  


Emma Smith is a life-long fan of Ella - who isn't?! - and this live stream attracted hundreds of listeners/viewers from around the world. The band - Jamie Safir, piano (superb, swinging piano playing), Conor Chaplin, bass (great sound, in demand across the spectrum) and drummer Luke Tomlinson (young, supremely talented) - swung non-stop on a veritable treasure trove of GASbook gems. 

An Ella medley centred round A-Tisket, A-Tasket set the standard. Four young musicians, each of them possessing more than their fair share of chops,  this was great to see and hear. Ms Smith referred to Ella's live album recorded in 1974 on the very stage she was standing. Ella in London on the Pablo label (Ella, Joe Pass, Keter Betts and Bobby Durham, is, to this day, often on your reviewer's turntable) inspired Smith and, indeed, more than one selection from the album made this live stream set.

Smith's assured vocals were quite something, at times recalling Cleo Laine, Sarah Vaughan and the recently departed Annie Ross. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye, Ray Noble's The Very Thought of You (Jamie Safir noting he'd recently discovered the composer studied at the Royal College of Music just as he and Emma did, although Mr Noble's student days were back in the late 1920s!), Cheek to Cheek, a cuplet, Makin' Whoopie and a swinging original titled Monogamy Blues, this was a well-paced set with plenty of space for the boys to demonstrate their undoubted abilities as soloists. 

One Note Samba may well be rooted on one note but, good musicians as they are, the quartet did a lot with it! Safir and Tomlinson departed the stage as Smith sidled up to Conor (they're from the same household 'bubble') to put their stamp on Satin Doll. Smith and her band's interpretation of the Ella Songbook didn't take liberties (how dare they/anyone?!) yet their twenty first century lived experience brought something fresh to the tunes and all the better for it.

As the one hour plus live stream neared its end Emma did Ella proud with a breakneck take - à la Ella - on How High the Moon? Ella could sing, that's a statement of the bleedin' obvious, and on the evidence of this performance at Ronnie Scott's, Emma Smith is one of the finest singers of our times.      
Russell

1 comment :

Jen said...

Yes I agree with Russell that this was a superb show. Performances by all musicians was top notch but particularly Emma and Jamie. Also the sound and video was excellent - their technicians must be working with expensive technology! No problems whatsoever were apparent to the listener.

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