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Bebop Spoken There

Adam O'Farrill: "Right now in my life, I don't see music as the be-all and end-all." - (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

12,176 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1315 of them this year alone and, so far, 18 this month (Dec. 5).

Remembering ...

Roland Kirk died on Dec. 5, 1977.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Album review: Jeff Ellwood - The Sounds Around the House

Jeff Ellwood (tenor sax); Alan Pasqua (piano); Derek Oles (bass); Joe LaBarbera (drums) + Bob Sheppard (tenor sax on 1 tk.).

I first encountered Ellwood on an album by the Jeff Benedict Big Band back in 2015. On that occasion I singled out his tenor solo on Caravan. Since then his name has cropped up in DownBeat in an assortment of settings but this, I was surprised to learn, was his first recording as a leader.

There is a time in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. So wrote Billy Shakespeare and Jeff Ellwood has decided that this is the time and done just that. Whether it leads on to fortune for Jeff is another matter but we listeners are certainly fortunate in being able to hear such a present day master in the traditional horn + Rhythm section although this is no throwback but very much for the present without losing those essential values that make good jazz accessible.

There's only one standard, a little known Alec Wilder/Johnny Mercer tune - The Sounds Around the House. First recorded in 1976 by Dick Haymes, who knows how to sing a ballad, it's the ideal number for Ellwood who knows how to play a ballad.

The other tracks are by Ellwood, Pasqua, Oles and contemporary writers such as Dick Oatts and Ricky Margitza.

On Oatts' King Henry Ellwood is joined by fellow reedsman Bob Sheppard and the two tenors blend well albeit going a little crazy at one point.

Pasqua, like Oles is an A-lister on the California scene whilst Joe LaBarbera has played with just about everybody from Woody Herman to Bill Evans via Art Pepper, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney and Bob Brookmeyer to name but some. He played in a band with his brothers John and Pat - yet another American musical dynasty!

A great album for those who like their jazz to be relatively straight ahead!

Lance

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