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Bebop Spoken There

Ferg Ireland: “I was very ignorant about early jazz - it's bizarrely skirted over in jazz education." - (Jazzwise, September 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.
Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST! --

Postage

13,698 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1115 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Sept. 17).

From This Moment On ...

September

Mon 20: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public)
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Celebrating TITTB's 20th anniversary & Dave Weisser's forthcoming birthday! Limited gig tickets (£1.00.). Free live stream. www.jazz.coop.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 23: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall 8:00pm. .
Thu 23: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside, Gateshead. 8:30pm. .

Fri 24: Sue Ferris Quintet @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: FILM: Jazz on a Summer's Day + Swing Bridge Trio (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 7:00pm.

Sat 25: Silent Music Seeing Sound + Spinningwork @ Newcastle Arts Centre. 6:30pm. Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music (NFOJIM).
Sat 25: Knats @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 26: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. .
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. .
Sun 26: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:00pm. .
Sun 26: David Gray Flextet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. .
Sun 26: Nubiyan Twist @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

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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