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Bebop Spoken There

Ambrose Akinmusire: “ I am certainly always aware of what the masses are doing. And when I see too many people going one way, I'm going another way - even when I don't know what's over that way". DownBeat, March, 2024.

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

16246 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 128 of them this year alone and, so far, 72 this month (Feb. 29).

From This Moment On ...

March

Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £10.00.. Day 3/3. School & Youth bands in competition.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ the Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm. £7.50.
Sun 03: Alan Law Trio plays Ahmad Jamal’s At the Pershing: But Not for Me & more @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The music of Ahmad Jamal.
Sun 03: Alice Grace & Ben Helm @ St Francis’ Church, High Heaton, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. £12.00. (children free admission). A Children’s Society fundraiser. Two x 30 mins sets. Refreshments available, child-friendly event with participation of children encouraged!
Sun 03: Sax Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. Free (donations). Monthly workshop, all welcome (participant and/or listener).
Sun 03: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 03: ’58 Jazz Collective @ St George’s Venue, Park Road, Hartlepool. 3:30pm (refreshments from 2:30pm). £6.00.
Sun 03: Down for the Count: A Century of Swing @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: SH#RP Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Mostly Moonlight @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Vocals/piano duo.
Sun 03: Remy CB @ Blues & Bourbon, Nelson St., Newcastle. 9:00pm. Free. Newcastle University music student Remy Coulthard Boardman.

Mon 04: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 05: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Joe Steels, Paul Grainger, Michael Mather.

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 07: Ray Stubbs R & B All Stars @ The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 07: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. Guests: Mark Toomey (alto sax); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax); Garry Hadfield (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums). 8:30pm.

Fri 08: Noel Dennis Quartet @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle. 1:00pm. £8.00. Noel Dennis (trumpet, flugelhorn); Rick Laughlin (keyboards); Mick Shoulder (double bass); Tim Johnston (drums).
Fri 08: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free. CANCELLED! Back on March 15.
Fri 08: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Sat 09: Alex Fawcett Band + Lindsay Hannon Blues Trio @ Sedgefield Parish Hall. 7:00pm. £15.00. A Sedgefield Rock & Blues Club event. Tickets: www.sedgefieldblues.com.
Sat 09: Shunyata Improvisation Group @ Cullercoats Watch House. 8:00pm. Donations. A Watch House renovation fundraising concert.
Sat 09: Ray Stubb’s R&B All Stars @ The Peacock, Sunderland. 6:00pm. Free. Gig in the downstairs bar.

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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