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Bebop Spoken There

Charlie Musselwhite: "I used to see these posters in the windows of the [Chicago] blues clubs advertising Elmore James and Muddy Waters which knocked me out. I was making a note of the addresses and at night I'd go back and listen to the blues until 4-5 in the morning." - (Blues Matters! Aug/Sep 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".

'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

13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Friday, January 29, 2021

Album review: Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine - Mazel Tov Kocktail!

Big bands come and go and some stay. Locally, The Customs House Big Band, Strictly Smokin' Big Band, The Gala Big Band and Musicians Unlimited have achieved varying degrees of longevity curtailed only by the occasional pandemic.

Down in Southern California the Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine have been swinging since 1979. Liss, whose CV includes playing baritone sax with such luminaries as Rob McConnell, Louis Bellson and Thad Jones, initially formed the band purely as a vehicle for his students to get their chops together.

They certainly did that and soon they were playing in public before, becoming a community band and, eventually, a full-time pro band.

By 1994, Liss had stopped playing and taken on the role of musical director. It was also the year the band made its first recording.
 
More recordings followed and this is their sixth, celebrating the 40 plus years since it was formed.

Six, mainly original, instrumentals and six vocal covers by Janet Hammer and Carly Ines. Carly, who's also in the trombone section, sings Chick Corea's High Wire, Love You Madly and Joy Spring. Janet lends her vocal chords to You'd Better Love Me While You May, I Wish You Love and Where or When. Both singers are the real deal.

There's a host of fine soloists both from within the band and from the imported guns. In the latter category Greg Armstrong is active on flute and tenor. Tyler Richardson blows alto, Melanie Medina plays some funky guitar on Springtime and April Leslie gives us some rollicking klezmer clarinet on the title track. Castel Del Oro takes the tenor solo  on High Wire,  David Barnard takes a trombone solo on one of the vocals whilst keyboard capers are in the hands of Steve Sibley on piano. The solo trumpet chores - whenever have I used a term so inappropriately? - are performed by Mark Nicholson and Jeff Beck - listen to Beck on Joy Spring. No piccolo players required today.

The presence of Mike Vax on Gimme That didn't faze them one little bit even though Vax was at the top of his game.  Gimme That was written by Andrew Neu  who takes the tenor solo. Matt DiBiase on vibes has his say on a couple and Nathan East is featured on Bass:The Final Frontier which was composed and arranged by Dan Radlauer who also played accordion on another of his compositions Mazel Tov Kocktail.

There is so much more I could write about this album but, with another 20 albums
knocking on the door time and tide etc....
Lance


(Collective personnel): Tyler Richardson, Josh Smitley, Greg Armstrong, Nicholas Hoo, April Leslie, Malcolm Jones, David Castel De Oro (saxes); Randy Aviles, Mark Nicholson, Jeff Beck, Jack Houghton (trumpets); Gary Bucher, Carly Ines, David Barnard, Tim Hall (trombones); Steve Sibley (piano); Lance Jeppeson (bass); Charlie Styx McGhee (drums); Melanie Medina, Robert Cartwright (guitars); Noah Ines (perc.); Janet Hammer, Carly Ines (vocals) + Nathan East (electric bass); Andrew Neu (tenor sax); Dan Radlauer (accordion); Mike Vax (trumpet); Matt DiBiase (vibes).

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