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Bebop Spoken There

Charles Lloyd: "I'm raring to go out to play, because I know I'll find something to explain the inexplicable." (DownBeat August 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

14454 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 732 of them this year alone and, so far, 30 this month (August 11).

From This Moment On ...

August

Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri. 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Ayr Jazz Club, Fairfield House Hotel, Fairfield Rd, AYR KA7 2AS. 7:30pm. For accommodation call the hotel on 01292 267461. For tickets call Ayr Jazz Club Secretary, Stuart McLean, on 01292 590773.
Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Harry Keeble Duo + Northern Monkey Brass Band. £15.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Fri 19: Mo Scott @ The Millstone, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Scott w Gary Dunn, Neil Harland & Paul Smith.

Sat 20: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Riviera Effect + Alter Ego + Graham Hardy Quartet + Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie + Ivo Neame Quartet. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sat 20: Anth Purdy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations).
Sat 20: Boys of Brass @ Brandling Villa, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 21 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 21: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Lindsay Hannon & Alan Law + Knats + David Gray’s Flextet + Ben Gilbert Trio + Emma Rawicz. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sun 21: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.

Mon 22: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 23: FILM: Space is the Place @ Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle. 6:25pm. Dir. John Coney (1974). Starring Sun Ra!
Tue 23: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).
Tue 23: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Steve Glendinning, Paul Grainger, Abbie Finn.

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 24: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 25: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 25: La Sonora Boreal’s Latin Jam Session @ The Globe, Newcastle (7:45pm). Free (donations). Monthly Latin jazz performance & jam session.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Knats' farewell gig w. guests Ladies of Midnight Blue + a mystery band!
Thu 25: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm. Paul Skerritt & James Harrison.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Album review: Shai Maestro - Human

Shai Maestro (piano), Jorge Roeder (bass), Ofri Nehemya (drums), Philip Dizack (trumpet)

Early in the year perhaps, but a contender for album of 2021 already!   A sumptuous studio recording from the aptly named Shai Maestro, who is now firmly in the top bracket of international composer/pianists.  Maestro famously turned down a scholarship to Berklee in favour of tenure with Avishai Cohen (bass) and is now a star in his own right on the evidence of this remarkable recording from ECM.  

His previous ECM outing The Dream Thief (2018) was rapturously received, and his band here builds on the trio of fellow Israeli Nehemya and Peruvian Roeder with the addition of New York based Dizack on trumpet. Any fears that the interplay and nuance of the trio would be brassed off” are unfoundedDizack is a player of great subtlety and sensitivity, more in the breathy Arve Henriksen than Christian Scott mouldgiving this quartet an extra dimension and more gears than the already versatile trio.  

Maestro’s playing and compositions (all but one of the tracks here)  draw on a potentially bewildering range of influences, switching and blending between middle eastern folk, European “classical”, Latin and touching on avant-garde, though scarcely a blue note or swing rhythm will be heard. Strong rhythmic pulses and lyrical lines pervade most trackswith the trumpet providing further colour and texture. While the band can ride with Avishai Cohen’s glorious swagger, they can also float in understated beauty. Maestro’s distinction is that these sounds and influences are formed uniquely but easily into his own authentic personality 


While all 11 tracks are strong, a few stand out, foremost being the longest (at 8:32) Mystery and Illusions. As the name suggests this is artfully varied, veering between pastoral piano, thunderous drums, and lyrical call and response. Gorgeous falling waves of trumpet break finally into rapturous flight, soaring over a flat-out ensemble groove. The Thief’s Dream  is more uniformly up tempo,  exciting and busy, with driving piano and drums, showcasing Dizack’s vaulting but always sympathetic lines.  


Title track Human smears gospel drenched chords between piano and bass swapping a wholesome theme.   Hank and Charlie (named for Haden and Jones) is a suitably spiritual and spacious homage to the duo’s 1995 Steal Away  Compassion conjures sweet Chopin prelude images, while Prayer is led by drums, and is more ruminative and fragmented 


Altogether a rich and powerful delight, played with remarkable empathy and subtlety by a well-matched band of the top musicians of their generation.  One to play often, and discover more and more and yearn to see such a band live again!  


Chris K 


Release date: 29 Jan 2021   

Recorded at Studios la Buissonne in the South of France in February 2020, and produced by Manfred Eicher. 

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