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Bebop Spoken There

Maurice J. Summerfield: "Over dinner one night Barney [Kessel] told me about his seminar The Effective Guitarist, and in 1972 my company presented the first of twelve annual UK seminars in Newcastle upon Tyne." - (Just Jazz Guitar, September 1997)

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!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

15087 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 106 of them this year alone and, so far, 4 this month (Feb. 1).

From This Moment On ...

February

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 02: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests: Dave Archbold (keys); Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewwitt (alto sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Dilutey Juice @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Smoove & Turrell @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £25.00.
Fri 03: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 04: Alligator Gumbo @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 04: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: John Pope - Up Your Rhythm Game. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 04: King Bees @ Grainger Market, Newcastle. 6:30pm (doors). Live music, comedy, DJs, food stalls. £10.00. advance, £15.00. on the door. Blues band King Bees on stage 9:45-11:15pm. A Great Market Caper event.
Sat 04: Jives Aces @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 04: Renegade Brass Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors).
Sat 04: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00.

Sun 05 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 05: Rivkala @ Cumberland Arms, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Sun 05: Jive Aces @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Sun 05: Dale Storr @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 05: Jam No.13 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students alike).

Mon 06: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 07: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums). Jam session reverts to a first & third Tuesday in the month schedule.

Wed 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 08: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Free. TBC.
Wed 08: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 08: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 08: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Album review: Avishai Cohen w. Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra - Two Roses

Avishai  Cohen (bass vocal); Elchin Shirinov (piano); Mark Giuliana (drums) + Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Alexander Hanson) 

The technicolor Director’s Cut” of the Israeli bass master’s small group’s biggest hits! Cohen has previously augmented his outstanding groups to include strings, but this goes a step further, with a 92-strong leviathan orchestra expanding a selection of his old favourites to the epic symphonic scale.  While the undeniable rhythmic and melodic intensity of his Arab/folk tunes suggest they would survivthis enlargement, I have to say I had doubts whether they would benefit from it.   

 

My first listen was in the lockdown home barber shop, where my drummer son’s formidable manual dexterity was put to good use scaling back my overgrown locks.  Although the erstwhile trimmer does an excellent job, his slow but sure method ensured we had plenty of time to savour all 12 songs on the whole 60 minute album, as well as a bottle of Old Peculier to calm the (customer’s at least!) nerves.

  

This first outing left me intrigued but underwhelmed in respect ocomparison with the vibrant and agile originals, and the hair cut was altogether more of a success!  However, as Cohen himself notes: Of course, 80 people won’t play a beat like two or three people would. There’s a kind of inertia, which you have to get used to, and you have to understand how they breathe. It’s like a horse, at once beautiful, powerful and delicate.”   With this in mind, subsequent listening was conducted with the benefit of full high quality stereo reproduction with sub-wooferand no tonsorial distractions.   In such near-concert hall conditions (!) there is a majestic sweep to the music, which will appeal to many audiences across the classical and popular spectrum - the real thing would no doubt be stunning. 

 

Cohen marshals the orchestra’s resources with some aplomb, approaching Mahlerian in places, with swooning tuttis, strutting bass section pizzicatos  and majestic Wunderhorns, mingled with stirring melodies borne by the well drilled violins and wind sections. And yet, despite the accuracy and power of the orchestra, in most cases I felt the beating heart of his music was diminished in this deluxe treatment.  Worse, there are several egregious forays into the twee vocals of his later albums, especially When I’m Falling and Nature Boy, where Cohen comes across as a journeyman Kurt Elling.  The instrumental A Child is Born (Thad Jones 1969) is a curious choice, with the schmaltz relieved only by a nice bass solo. 

 

The high spots are unsurprisingly the songs with the strongest tunes, which retain the jaunty folk rhythms, and showcase the power trio of Cohen, Guiliana and Shirinov. The magnificent Song for My Brother gains some new brass voices,  while the traditional, bouncing title song is one of the few with obviously improvised sections. These featura great piano break and some subtle yet powerful drumming, which also feature on Emotional Storm.  Likewise, Arab Medley makes the most of the catchy rhythms, with some authentic and rich sung lines.  

 

But these few songs are the exception, and my final verdict is the same post hair-cut – while this album may attract some new listeners, the definitive jazz versions remaiCohen’s outstanding small group originals and this de luxe treatment is something of an indulgence.  

 

Chris K 


Try/buy CD, Double Vinyl LP 


Label: 
Naïve/BelieveCatalogue Number: M7370, 
 Release Date : 16/04/2021 

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