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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...

June

Thu 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 20 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £4.00. Note new venue!
Thu 20: Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £29.00., £23.00. Folk/jazz duo.
Thu 20: Richard Herdman & Ray Burns @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 20: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Dave Harrison (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 24: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 24: Remy CB @ The Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor NE2 3NH. 5:00-7:00pm.

Tue 25: Louise Dodds & Elchin Shirinov @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 26: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 26: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

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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