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Bebop Spoken There

Faye McCalman: "For a while I would hear other artists and feel that I need to be like that person, have what they have; but then I realised that everyone has their own thing and what I connect with most is when I can tell an artist is just being themselves." - (Jazzwise July 2021)

Archive quotes.

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

13,367 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 785 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (June 16).

From This Moment On

JUNE

Sat 19: Jude Murphy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle (8:00pm).

Sun 20 Knats @ The Globe, Newcastle (8:00pm). Advance booking essential: www.jazz.coop. SOLD OUT. Livestream available from £7.50.

Mon 21: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). POSTPONED!

Wed 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). POSTPONED!

Thu 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside 1:00pm).

Thu 24: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead (8:30pm).

Fri 25: Hot Club du Nord @ St Mary's Parish Hall, Barnard Castle. 7:00pm. Tickets: £15.00. + bf. A Barnard Castle Rotary Club event.

Fri 25: Archipelago + Faith Brackenbury @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle (8:00pm). £10.00. & £8.00. Echoes to the Sky album launch. A GCT Jazz Club-Jazz North East co-promotion.

Fri 25 Alter Ego @ Traveller's Rest, Cockerton, Darlington (8:00pm).

Thursday, February 25, 2021

KSTV: Playback session - Mingus Ah Um

Nathaniel Facey (alto sax); Alec Harper (tenor sax/clarinet); Daniel Higham (trombone); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Ferg Ireland (bass); Will Cleasby (drums).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

1959 was, according to many, the year when more great jazz albums were released than in any other year before or since. It's a debatable point but certainly the evidence leans strongly towards that conclusion. Miles Davis: A Kind of Blue; Dave Brubeck: Time Out; Art Pepper + Eleven. 

There were many more classic recordings and one that more than held its own was Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um. It was the first Mingus album I bought - the first of many - and was the subject of tonight's playback session at Kansas Smitty's.

Could they handle it?  After all, it was a bit like asking someone to rewrite Hamlet.

It only took the opening bars of Better Git it in Your Soul for me to look in the mirror and say, "Oh ye of little faith."

This was storming with both saxes going for gold, Cleasby proving that he most certainly has "got it in his soul" and Ferg as much a tower of strength as Mingus was and he didn't thump anyone!

A beautiful rendition of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat featured Alec Harper.

Boogie Stop Shuffle saw Facey ticking all the boxes. Giacomo was initially listed in the line-up but I guess he's still in New York - hopefully not in a line-up down at the precinct.

Self-Portrait in Three Colors. No solos but the rich harmonies that typified the depth of Mingus' harmonic savvy.

The famous (infamous?) Fables of Faubus with its quirky theme and tempo changes was almost, almost, the number of the night with Facey again blowing like as though there was no tomorrow, Higham taking his first trombone solo of the set, Desch on the refurbished grand and Ferg slotting in a couple of choruses.

Pussy Cat Blues was a killer with Harper charming a few snakes on clarinet. Pee Wee Russell lives! This was as earthy a clarinet solo as you're ever likely to hear.

Jelly Rolls, as the title implies was dedicated to Jelly Roll Morton and the theme related to those early days of jazz although the solos by Facey and Desch were very much of today.

And so we came to the final number. Would it be An Open Letter to Duke or Bird Calls, the only two numbers from the LP they hadn't covered?

It was neither! Girl of my Dreams was recorded at the same time but wasn't on the original album and didn't surface until 1979. As it turned out, this was the arrangement I loved most - particularly Harper's tenor solo.

Great set.
Lance

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