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Bebop Spoken There

Julian Lage: "Charlie Christian's the greatest ever, in my opinion." - (DownBeat, February 2023)

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!"

Postage

15103 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 122 of them this year alone and, so far, 20 this month (Feb. 6).

From This Moment On ...

February

Thu 09: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 4:00pm (this week only). Free.
Thu 09: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00.
Thu 09: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guest band: Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Richie Emmerson (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Fri 10: Alan Barnes w Dean Stockdale Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 10: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 10: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: Alan Barnes w Dean Stockdale Trio @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £12.00.

Sat 11: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 2:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com.
First gig of four (1/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA.
Sat 11: New Century Ragtime Orchestra @ King's Hall, Newcastle University. 7:00pm. £15.00. on the door.
Sat 11: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 7:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com. Second gig of four (2/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA. SOLD OUT!
Sat 11: Vermont Big Band & the Coast Connection @ The Seahorse, Whitley Bay FC. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. hot buffet), raffle. SOLD OUT!
Sat 11: The Rebelators @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 12: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. LAST SESSION!
Sun 12: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 2:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com. Third gig of four (3/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA.
Sun 12: Am Jam @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. Jam session, all welcome.
Sun 12: Jive Aces @ Queen's Hall, Hexham. 7:30pm.
Sun 12: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 7:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com. Fourth gig of four (4/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA. SOLD OUT!
Sun 12: Sylvain Darrifourcq-Manuel Hermia-Valentin Ceccaldi @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion (upstairs).

Mon 13: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 13: Central Bar Quintet @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £5.00. First set: The Central Bar Quintet plays Horace Silver's The Tokyo Blues (featuring Pete Tanton). Second set: standards & more (no jam session).

Tue 14: ???

Wed 15: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 15: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 15: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 15: Durham Univesity Jazz Orchestra w. Tiny Fred's Collective @ Mark Hillary Arts Centre, South Road, Collingwood College, Durham. 7:00pm. 'Jazz Night 1'. The evening begins with a jam session followed by a concert performance.
Wed 15: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 15: Syd Lawrence Orchestra: Big Band Brass @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.

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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