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Bebop Spoken There

Fergus McCreadie: "I think a lot of the best music is very political, and there are so many things going on in the world that I'm constantly angry at. But for me making music is not the space for that" (Jazzwise July 2022)

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:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14336 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 555 of them this year alone and, so far, 55 this month (June 19).

From This Moment On ...

June

Sun 26 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Outdoor (indoor if inclement weather).
Sun 26: Mississippi Dreamboats @ Springwell Village Community Venue, Gateshead. 2:30pm. A ‘1940s’ Weekend’ event (from 1:00pm).
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 26: Los Chichanos @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 27: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 28: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Dean Stockdale, Paul Grainger, Sid White.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 30: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 30: Lights Out By Nine @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:30pm. Free.
Thu 30: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

July

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Swing Manouche @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm (doors). £20.00.
Fri 01: 1920s Speakeasy w live jazz @ The Exchange, North Shields. 8:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Blind Pig Blues Club. 8:00pm.

Sat 02: Hot Fingers @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Steve Glendinning: Latin jazz. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 02: Talk: Storytelling & jazz as an expression of urban life @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:45pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sat 02: The Commandments + On Parole @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Geordie Jazz Man @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Screening of Abi Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.
Sat 02: The Delta Prophets Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Swing Manouche @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Swung Eight & King Bees @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Swing dance + ace Chicago blues band.
Sat 02: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Patrick Cromb @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Album review: Ben Wendel - High Heart

Ben Wendel (tenor sax); Michael Mayo (vocals); Shai Maestro, Gerald Clayton (piano, Fender Rhodes); Joe Sanders (double bass); Nate Wood (drums) 

A high octane fifth album for Ben Wendel, the Canadian tenor maestro based in New York, here with a sextet drawn from that city’s current elite. The album is a showcase not only for Wendel’s prodigious and muscular post-bop technique, but also for his compositions, executed brilliantly and sensitively by a band so much more than the sum of its stellar parts.

The eight substantial and original pieces are integrated in concept and execution, with the band often pairing up (sax vs vocals, piano vs Rhodes, and drums plus bass), but also locking together in clever and effective ways.  Wendel is noted for perhaps putting cerebral playing ahead of emotion and lyricism, and doesn’t miss the opportunity to play twice as many notes as Brecker or Redman would.  He has undoubtedly made space for the band here though, and for more emotions than just the trademark upbeat exhilaration.

This comes out most obviously with the spiritual, wordless vocals of Michael Mayo, soaring sublimely above busy arpeggios and skittering percussion, and trading with Wendel’s own plaintive sax voice.  

The opener, High Heart, sets out with Mayo’s measured hymnal over a hypnotic piano and drums backing, taken up by sax in the same vein, reaching a frenzied sax climax, before relaxing back to calm.  The standout Burning Bright does what its name suggests, with an angular Tigran-esque groove, followed up with flowing piano and sax lines. There is even some gorgeous Fender Rhodes for the 70s' throwbacks amongst us, wrapping up with a joyous anthemic proclamation to finish.   

Kindly takes it down in tempo, and hands a repeated distinctive voice-like phrase around the band to hypnotic effect. Less takes the heat down further, and into ambient territory with pure and aching voice soaring effortlessly over simple piano and effects.  

Drawn Away and Fearsome up the pace again, with swirling and cascading lines, insistent and interlocking, before Darling slows to a yearning and abstract sax reverie over slow piano arpeggios and busy, tapping rim shots and cymbal ricochets.  The album ends peacefully, with Mayo’s soothing balm laid down over circling piano, effects and clatter.  

On this evidence, Wendel has moved on from fiery technique and produced a deeply impressive and moving modern statement. You won’t find swinging, blue notes, or even modern classical here, but you will find an abundance of intelligent and intricate musicality, with a startling range of emotion unexpectedly thrown in.   

Chris K 

Release: October 30
: Personalised vinyl, CD, digital. 

Edition Music EDN1162 

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