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Bebop Spoken There

Alan Barnes: "Normally you can cobble a set together with five guys on the back of an envelope over the first pint and it's just fine. Livestreaming isn't like that." - (Jazzwise July 2021)

Archive quotes.

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

13,381 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 799 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (June 20).

From This Moment On

JUNE

Thu 24: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead (8:30pm).

Fri 25: Hot Club du Nord @ St Mary's Parish Hall, Barnard Castle. 7:00pm. Tickets: £15.00. + bf. A Barnard Castle Rotary Club event. POSTPONED!

Fri 25: Archipelago + Faith Brackenbury @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle (8:00pm). £10.00. & £8.00. Echoes to the Sky album launch. A GCT Jazz Club-Jazz North East co-promotion.

Fri 25 Alter Ego @ Traveller's Rest, Cockerton, Darlington (8:00pm). POSTPONED!

Sat 26: Tyne Valley Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham (3:45pm).

Sun 27: Vieux Carré Hot Four @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay (12 noon).

Sun 27: Noel Dennis Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle (8:00pm). £10.00. Advance booking essential: . A Jazz Co-op-Jazz North East co-promotion.

Tue 29: Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Peterlee (1:00pm). Tickets £6.00. + bf from: www.ticketsource.co.uk

Monday, October 19, 2020

Roly Veitch remembers René Thomas (1927 – 1975)

Many years back I bought a vinyl album ‘The Bobby Jaspar Quartet’ at Ronnie Scott’s recorded in 1962. It was on the Mole Jazz label and issued in 1986. Alongside Thomas were: Bobby Jaspar (tenor sax/flute); Benoit Quersin (bass) and Daniel Humair (drums)

At that time I regularly bought jazz albums, usually at good old JG Windows, and I guess I just took a chance on this one as I had other Mole albums - the wonderful Art Pepper & Milcho Leviev LPs. Well, it turned out to be a very good choice, an exciting live session with great players and a guitarist who absolutely stood out as someone up there with the best.

Thomas had a very fluent, freewheeling, adventurous approach to soloing – melodic yet exciting. Great solo building in a quite modern, boppish style and a very distinct woody tone, a sound that had warmth yet bite and attack. Rather different from the classic warm toned, full bodied, mellow sound of many archtop guitar players of the day.

His instrument was an old Gibson 150, non-cutaway, with a Charlie Christian bar pick up. I loved his playing and really should have searched out more recordings then but never did. Recently I happened to see a CD by Chet Baker (Chet is Back) and bought it because it was the same quartet that played Ronnie’s plus Armadee Tommasi piano and Chet as leader of the sextet. A good CD and more top guitar playing. This has caused me to look up more information about Thomas. There is not much on Wikipedia but I found this very informative link which readers might find interesting.

I think I’ll now search out more of his recordings although it seems some of his best work is no longer available. Lots on YouTube though. It just strikes me that here is a guitarist who sadly died aged only 47 who would have achieved so much more and who is recognised by those who know his work as one of Europe’s great jazz players. Perhaps some readers will know more about him? He doesn’t seem to get much of a mention in the jazz press these days.

Does René Thomas deserve to be better known? What do readers think? I think he would be a good subject for any young music graduate guitarist to research for a thesis with transcriptions, if it hasn’t already been done by someone. 

The images are of the Mole album front cover together with drummer Daniel Humair’s rather telling handwritten note from the album rear cover.

Roly

See also ...

1 comment :

Maurice J.Summerfield said...

I was pleased to see Roly Veitch's post reminding us of René Thomas. René was not fully recognised for his great jazz artistry outside of France and Belgium. His too early death aged 47 meant that he was soon forgotten by many in the jazz world. I was fortunate to see Thomas at Ronnie Scott's around 1970. My old friend the late Tom Charlton was a great Jimmy Raney fan and he insisted that I join him at Scott's to hear Thomas live. Thomas's guitar style and sound was indeed greatly influenced by Raney. He in fact played the same Gibson E150 model guitar as Raney. However, the influence of Django Reinhardt was also evident at times. As Roly confirms there are many René Thomas recordings on You Tube, both audio and video. Included is the full CD album -'René Thomas - Guitar Genius'. All recommended.

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