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Bebop Spoken There

Jeremy Pelt: "I'm so much into melodies and into sound, and the presence of sound, that I don't necessarily want to try to play in between the cracks of a note." - (DownBeat November 2020)

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

12,000 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1140 of them this year alone and, so far, 87 this month (Oct. 27).

Coming soon ...

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON.

OCTOBER

THURSDAY 29

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

Abbie Finn Trio - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity (upstairs). It’s Abbie’s birthday!

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00-10:00pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

FRIDAY 30

Neil William & Ben Holland - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm-10:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity. Jazz standards from the 1920s & 30s.

SATURDAY 31

Alice Grace & Pawel Jedrzejewski - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm-10:00pm. £10.00. Online booking (to book a table). Limited capacity. Alice & Pav join a multi-bill of entertainers (magician etc) to celebrate Prohibition Bar’s fifth anniversary. SOLD OUT!

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Double album review: Dexter Gordon - The Squirrel

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax); Kenny Drew (piano); Bo Stief (bass); Art Taylor (drums)

The albums they come and then they go. Some arrive, you listen and, very occasionally, listen again on the car stereo. But there are others that you play frequently and highly recommend.

However, the moment when you feel jazz blogging is all worthwhile is that rare occasion when you are placed into the position of the art critic asked to review the Mona Lisa.

It doesn't happen often, but, today I found myself in that position twice! I'll write about the second album later, after I've tired of the first which could be never!

I've got, and almost worn out, Dexter's Blue Note albums. I never remotely imagined I could hear him play better. It's like saying that a soccer player only scored a hat-trick or a cricketer only scored a century. Well this is is a double hat-trick and a triple century combined! I love Coltrane, Rollins, Getz et al but this is something else. Even my greatest hero, Wardell Gray, had he lived would have struggled to reach this level.

A double album vinyl beautifully laid out with comprehensible notes written on the inner sleeves make this a work of art in itself and that's before the first of the four extended tracks sent me reeling the way only the very best can hit you and as it must surely have knocked out the Danish fans at Copenhagen's Jazzhuis Montmartre back in 1967.

The four tracks range from 12 mins to 20 mins with Dexter the predominate figure although Drew, Taylor and Stief also chip in - Taylor driving it along without overpowering. No one quite built on the legacy of Lester and Bird like Dexter Gordon did - this is the Holy Grail of saxophone playing.

Listening enraptured, I wondered why I couldn't have been sitting in the front row at the legendary Copenhagen club. A check with an old diary revealed I was doing a wedding gig at the Springfield Hotel in Gateshead that day. Talk about chalk and cheese although, in this case, it was Cheese Cake which Dexter allowed us to gorge for 20 minutes and 43 seconds. Never has it tasted more delicious.

The young (and the old) pretenders may wax eloquent about the newer guys but, without Dex, there wouldn't have been any newer guys. The proof is in these two 180g pieces of vinyl issued by good old Parlophone to coincide with the latest Record Store Day - October 24.

Lance

The Squirrel; Cheese Cake; You've Changed; Sonnymoon for Two.

1 comment :

Mike Farmer said...

Great Review. I've had many Dexter Gordon records over the years and have come to the conclusion that no other tenor player is in his league. I was was at the Montmartre Club in Copenhagen once sitting at the front and got the full force of his huge sound. Kenny Drew on piano NHOP bass and Alex Rial drums. What a night1

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