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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.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Ten Art Pepper Moments

There's a current trend prevalent on jazz blogs and magazines for "Ten Best" posts so, never having been one to ignore the dictates of fashion - over the years I've crushed my toes in winkle-pickers, wore Slim-Jim ties and when long hair was in I wore my hair long (the latter a fashion that, by necessity, is returning) -  I've opted to pick out my Ten Art Pepper Moments - not all on record.

1. Stan Kenton - How High the Moon. A feature for June Christy who was as cool as ever on this 1947 track.  There's solos by trombone and trumpet but it's the short but illuminating solo by Art that makes the record and what set me off on a lifetime of appreciation.

2. Stan Kenton - Art Pepper. A Shorty Rogers arrangement for Kenton's 1950 Innovations Orchestra. With a 16-piece string section, a couple of French horns and a tuba  added to the 20-piece big band the basic effect is almost cinematic until the coolest sounding alto ever makes his entrance. The star is on screen and the action begins. Languid, lyrical at first then the tempo ups. If this were a film then this would be the car chase.

3.  Art Pepper Quartet - Diane. Dedicated in 1956 to his second wife with whom his relationship was, to say the least, tempestuous this beautiful ballad suggests that it wasn't all conversations with the flying plates. 

4.  Art Pepper Quartet - Jazz Me Blues. From his 1957 album, Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section - the rhythm section being that of Miles Davis (Red Garland, Paul Chambers & Philly Joe Jones) - This track reminds me, albeit in a totally different way, of the same tune played by Bix 30 years earlier. They both waxed lyrical.

5.  Art Pepper + Eleven - Anthropology. This is different, Art plays clarinet. He's not as fluent as he is on alto but he's nevertheless proficient and more at ease playing bebop than just about any other clarinetist of that era (1959). The album, as a whole, is one of the most enduring of his career - or anybody else's come to that. 1959, to think at the time I took that year for granted! 

6.  Milcho Leviev Quartet - Blues For the Fisherman. One of two LPs recorded live at Ronnie Scott's in 1980 Art had, by this time, long been under the influence of John Coltrane. Strange that, in his youth he'd found an alternative path to Bird and yet in his later years became very much a "Tranee". In a sense there were two Art Peppers. Both different and both brilliant.

7.  Art Pepper at Newcastle Jazz Festival May 1981. It was the latter Art Pepper I heard at the Newcastle Playhouse. The personnel was similar to the above album with Leviev on piano, Carl Burnett, drums and Bob Magnusson replacing Tony Dumas on bass. It was one of the most compelling concerts ever. Art, his health now failing, nevertheless played a storming set even though the audience was full of apprehension. This was indeed a man walking on eggshells. It was also one of the most unforgettable concerts I've ever attended.

8. Art Pepper: Notes From a Jazz Survivor (DVD) - A film shot in 1982 Art describes the ups and downs of his life - not for the fainthearted but a must for anyone interested in this all-time great musician.

9. Straight Life by Art and Laurie Pepper. All other jazz autobiographies pale into insignificance alongside this warts and all account story of a man and, among other things, his music. (Schirmer Books 1979).

10. ART: Why I Stuck With a Junkie Jazzman by Laurie Pepper. This is Art's third and final wife Laurie telling her story admitting that she herself was no angel. It's a near essential follow up to the earlier book filling in quite a few gaps as well as being a compelling read on its own. (Art Pepper Music Corporation 2014).

That's my ten Art Pepper moments. There should have been more. In fact every album he ever made could have been listed and discussed in detail. That's for another day by someone else!

Now's the time for you to have your say. Pick ten of anything jazz related. Albums, tracks, gigs, books, movies. From Bunk, to Monk, to Jazz Funk the choice is yours.

Mail them to me - lanceliddle@gmail.com.
Lance

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