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Bebop Spoken There

Belá Fleck: "...he [Chick Corea] brought out the best in musicians. Not only would you get to play with him, but you'd get to play with the best version of yourself." - (DownBeat April 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

13,073 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 492 of them this year alone and, so far, 47 this month (April 9).

Bar Manager Required

The Jazz Co-op are looking for an experienced bar manager who can be available to start when The Globe reopens in May.

Preference will be given to a suitably qualified person who lives relatively near to The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD.

Interested parties please follow this link.

Coming soon ...

April 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at The Holystone.

May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 2: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.
June 7: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.

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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