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Bebop Spoken There

George "Big Nick" Nicholas: "This band [George Adams-Don Pullen Quartet] is a bitch on roller skates, baby. They'll run you over if you ain't ready" (JazzTimes April, 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! --

Postage

14264 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 83 this month (May 26).

From This Moment On ...

May.

Thu 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 26: Deep Pope + Garner & Pope @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.00.
Thu 26: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 26: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 26: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 26: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 26: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 27: Alice Grace Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Fergus McCreadie Trio @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.

Sat 28: Whitley Bay Carnival: Northern Monkey Brass Band (1:00-1:45pm & 4:00-4:45pm); Baghdaddies (2:00-2:45pm & 5:00-5:45pm) @ Spanish City Plaza Arena, Whitley Bay. Northern Monkey Brass Band (2:30-2:45pm) @ Rainbow Corner (Marine Ave.), Whitley Bay.
Sat 28: Jack Logan & the Swing Section @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 29 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Hartlepool United Supporters’ Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Groovetrain @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 29: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Allendale Village Hall, Northumberland. 7:30pm.
Sun 29: Two of a Mind: Sue Ferris-Steve Summers Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.
Sun 29: Jam session @ Fabio's Bar, Durham. 8:00pm. A Durham Uni Jazz Soc event. All welcome.
Sun 29: Cedric Burnside @ Cluny, Newcastle. Superb Mississippi hill country blues!

Mon 30: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

June

Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Monday, February 08, 2021

Wandering Monster: Live stream From The Globe (a Jazz Co-op/Jazz North East co-promotion) - Feb. 7

Ben Powling (tenor sax); Calvin Travers (guitar); Aleks Podraza (piano); Sam Quintana (bass); Tom Higham (drums).

(Photo courtesy of Rob Heron/Screenshot collage courtesy of Ken Drew)

Contemporary jazz quintet Wandering Monster performed a live set at The Globe in Newcastle on a wintry Sunday evening, and it turned out to be one of the highlights of the month so far. Although many music lovers are apprehensive about live streamed gigs, Wandering Monster’s musical talent, dynamic energy and invigorating improvisation allowed the virtual audience to truly feel as though they were in the room. This, combined with brilliant sound technicians and camera work, made the gig a pleasure to watch - and a stunning listen.


Their music is warm, soulful and nuanced, yet also manages to push the boundaries of genre and challenge the listener through complex rhythmic, melodic and harmonic improvisation. Double bassist Sam Quintana composes the band’s pieces, and in performance we got to hear some of their newest, unheard works - the chance to hear a new, exclusive track makes the concept of live stream gigs even more compelling. 

The gig opened with the band’s atmospheric take on Jaco Pastorius’ Okonkole y Trompa, immediately arresting the audience’s attention through the subtlety and beauty of their playing. Reshaping this track as their own was a clever introduction to the gig, and the almost tentative yet deep saxophone melody played by Ben Powling allowed the audience to really connect with the music, albeit virtually. Powling also illustrated his own musicianship through beautiful tone and control. It was brilliant getting the chance to watch such accomplished musicians interacting live, bouncing off one another’s ideas in performance, and attentively listening and responding to each other’s choices. 


The band also performed both Metropolis and Division from their newest release, featuring some amazingly tasteful yet thought-provoking solos from Calvin Travers on guitar, Aleks Podraza on piano, and Tom Higham on drums. Wandering Monster really managed to strike the balance between engaging the audience emotionally, and engaging them musically and intellectually. Their sound is so modern, yet also incorporates blues elements, bop language, and clearly nods to the jazz tradition as a whole. Every piece performed was complex rhythmically, and yet the grooves were accessible and made you want to nod along. The energy of the performance and the live element really came across - and that is not an easy feat. 


The audience were also treated to two new compositions during the course of the gig - one named Zenna, and one so new that it was still untitled. Although Zenna featured more experimental playing and improvisation, the warmth of the playing and the musical choices was not lost. Some freer jazz can feel disorientating and dark, yet Wandering Monster’s choices were exhilarating. Throughout the performance, their sound felt cohesive and connected, which bodes well for their new releases to come.


The band ended the performance with a track from their eponymous debut album - Samsara - a brilliant end to the gig. The five musicians know exactly how to build tension and anticipation underneath solos, so that there is a satisfying and climactic release once they return to the original melody. The abrupt end to the last piece of the set left the audience with a sense of contentment, yet wanting more. Wandering Monster deserve genuine recognition and acclaim for their music, and the opportunity to see them play during such a difficult time for live performers was a rare pleasure. 

Evie Hill

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