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Farewell Blues

R.I.P. HRH Queen Elizabeth ll (1926 - Sept. 8, 2022).
R.I.P. Trevor Tomkins (1941 - Sept. 9, 2022).
R.I.P. Gordon McGregor (Sept. 11, 2022).
R.I.P. Ramsey Lewis (1935 - Sept. 12, 2022).
R.I.P. Pharoah Sanders (Oct. 13, 1940 - Sept. 24, 2022).

Bebop Spoken There

Larry Klein: "- in a certain way - Leonard [Cohen] is the greatest songwriter ever." - (Jazzwise October 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, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14581 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 859 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Sept. 21).

From This Moment On ...

September

Sun 25: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 25: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 25: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. CANCELLED!
Sun 25: Skylla + Pete Wareham-Ruth Goller-Will Glaser @ Bobik’s, Punch Bowl, Jesmond, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 26: Lewis Watson Quartet @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Tue 27: Beth Clarke @ British Legion Club, West Jesmond, Newcastle. 1:00-4:00pm. Free.
Tue 27: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).
Tue 27: Black is the Color of My Voice @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. One woman stage play (the life & times of Nina Simone).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 28: Battle of the Bands @ NE Volume Music Bar, Yarm Lane, Stockton. Doors 6:00pm. Tickets: £5.00. adv., £6.00. on the door. Participants inc. Milne Glendinning Band.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 28: Black is the Color of My Voice @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. One woman stage play (the life & times of Nina Simone).
Wed 28: Laura Jurd @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 29: Ushaw Ensemble @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:10pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 29: Czajka & Puchaz + Mark Solborg + Anthropology @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Thu 29: ‘58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: La Sonora Boreal’s Latin Jam Session @ The Globe, Newcastle (7:45pm). Free (donations). Latin jazz performance & jam session.
Thu 29: Peter Morgan Trio @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 30: Adam Johnson @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 30: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 30: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 30: Pete Churchill & Noel Dennis: Exploring the Jazz Metaphor in Leadership & Management @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 2:30-4:00pm. Workshop.Tickets: £3.30 (inc. bf). A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: FILM: Bird (Dir. Clint Eastwood) + Swing Bridge (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 6:30pm.
Fri 30: Orphy Robinson + Maniscalco-Bigoni-Solborg + Nicole Mitchell + Binker Golding-Alexander Hawkins-John Pope-Paul Hession @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle (7:00pm). A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: Ushaw Ensemble @ St Mary’s Church, Holy Island. 7:30pm.
Fri 30: Alter Ego @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Fri 30: King Bee @ The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, Independent, Sunderland. 9:00pm. £22.50. DJs + King Bee.

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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