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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

16527 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 407 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 12).

From This Moment On ...

June

Sun 16: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 1:00-2:45pm. Free.
Sun 16: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. £10.00.
Sun 16: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 16: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

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.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Album review: Steve Gadd Band - Live At Blue Note Tokyo

Steve Gadd (drums); Walt Fowler (trumpet/flugelhorn); Kevin Hayes (keys/vocals); Jimmy Johnson (bass); David Spinoza (guitar).

On a day when the morning cloud has diluted the morning sun, such that there is a barely homeopathic trace of warmth or heat coming through I sit down in the hope of hearing something to lift the spirits. The Steve Gadd Band Live At Blue Note,Tokyo was recorded towards the end of the olden days on December 18, 2019. Maybe this would be a reminder of happier times.

I don’t really know much about Steve Gadd as a bandleader. I’ve heard of his extensive session work but I’d always associated him with yacht rock, soft jazz and those Eric Clapton albums from the period when his suits (Anthony Price, Versace, Armani) were more interesting than his music. Music that was niiiice but had no edge, that you would admire for the craft, but not the art. Such is the way of the music snob.

Reading about Gadd, it’s clear that he has played with everyone except the guy from the chip shop who thinks he’s Elvis and next door’s cat. The list of albums he has contributed to fills 20 pages of close typing; in 1975 he was on 24 releases and thirty years later his credits had reduced to, a still hugely impressive, 21. I wonder if, during all the hours of packing and unpacking his kit he ever considered a life as a session flautist.

And so to Live At Blue Note. On first listen it comes in like a sheep and goes out like a wolf. Opener, Where’s Earth?, with Walt Fowler’s trumpet to the fore sounds like very late period Miles doing Human Nature or Time After Time. Doesn’t She Know By Now is an equally laid back groove with everyone in the band taking relaxed solos until it all starts to spark at about the four minute mark when they begin to sound like a band playing together not just five blokes in the same room at the same time. 

Hidden Drive is more dinner jazz with some cocktail bar tinkling from Kevin Hays and guitar noodling by David Spinozza which briefly turns into something more passionate but this is dissipated when the rest of the band drops out. Contrast that with Rat Race which just sounds like it was recorded louder and is all-in from the start.

Perhaps the pace doesn’t help either. Most of the tunes are slow to medium paced shuffles, so the Latin funk of One Point Five stands out as a sign of life, building as it does into a Gadd solo.

There is a lot of great musicianship on display here, and I especially like Jimmy Johnson’s rolling bass funk lines, but it lacks that spark to really start it burning. There are brief flashes when it feels like it’s going to take off but these are, too frequently, closed off with a wrap up at the end of the song. Maybe they should have let some of the tunes extend into jams and allowed more development and more challenge, (I could definitely have lived with another ten minutes of Way Back Home as it rolled it’s way from Johnson’s bass explorations into a lively honky-tonk piano with a heavy duty left hand).

Maybe you had to be there.

Available April 2 via usual suspects.

David Sayers

Where’s Earth?; Doesn’t She Know By Now; Timpanogos; Hidden Drive; Walk With Me; One Point Five; Way Back Home; Rat Race; Watching the River Flow.

STOP PRESS: Steve Gadd is taking part in an hour long Zoom call in support of the Mark Jon Bolderson Foundation. Mark was a Hexham based drummer and percussion tutor at Durham University who died in 2017.   Further details of the Foundation and the Steve Gadd Zoom call are HERE

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