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Bebop Spoken There

Clare Teal: "If you're brought up in a working-class family, you haven't got money for records so everything you get hold of, you treasure, learn to love, and I loved those Ella tapes." - (Radio Times 23-29 January 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".

Postage

12,393 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 112 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (Jan. 23).

Monday, October 26, 2020

David Gray Flextet Live (and online) @ The Globe - Oct. 25

David "Showtime" Gray (trombone/vocal); Adam Sams (guitar/vocal); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Michael Mather (drums).

He dances like Fred Astaire, plays trombone like Fred Wesley and sings like Fred the Plumber. "Showtime" is well named. As a mover he outshines the previous area champion James Harrison and displays a sartorial elegance that Ray Burns and even the late George Melly would have been envious of!

However, that is merely the packaging, the prime cut of sirloin is the blistering, battering ram a.k.a. the trombone. If our man had been on the Jericho gig, the trumpet section would have had the day off.

Over they years we've been able to witness David develop from a nervous debutante at the old jazz café jam sessions to last night when he made his debut as a bandleader and outstanding slideman. Few trombone players can hold an audience in captivity for 90 minutes with just a rhythm section but last night's sold-out audience, as well as the many "streamers", would have happily settled for another 90 minutes. Most football teams couldn't do that - not around here anyway!

He's got the chops alright even as the final whistle approached a sustained blast of triple tonguing told us that a penalty shoot-out would hold no fears for "Showtime".

Of course, this was no one man show. Aided and abetted by Adam Sams on guitar, Alan Law on piano, the hirsute Paul Grainger, wearing a shirt that on any other occasion would have been the pride of the catwalk, on bass and with the Formula One steamroller driven along by Michael Mather this wasn't just a band this was the band!

For those who didn't catch this phenomenon, I must point out that where the Flextet (a handy name in case a member gets quarantined) really scores is in their use of dynamics. They can be roaring like a heavy metal band (not that they are) one minute then dropping the volume level to that of a string quartet the next. These guys certainly know the difference between ppp and fff

A night to remember and one that maintains the standard set by the Jazz Co-op's Sunday night sessions. Next week the Michael Lamb Quintet will have it all to do but, you know what? I'm sure they will -  get booking now.

Lance (photos courtesy of Russell).

In Walked Horace (JJ); Doxy (Rollins); Silva Orcas (Gray); Beatrice (Rivers); On the Mooch (Gray); Autumn Leaves (Fred Wesley version); Cyclops (JJ); Ttutu (Marcus/Miles); At the River (Groove Armada) + Cape Verdean Blues (Silver).

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