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Farewell Blues

R I P Terry Shannon - November 5, 1929 - October 29, 2022
R I P Oliver Soden - ? - November 6, 2022
R I P Top Cat Daphne - ? - November 24, 2022.
R I P Louise Tobin - November 11, 1918 - November 26, 2022

Bebop Spoken There

Kenny Barron: "During the pandemic I got to do a lot more cooking. As long as you can read you can cook." - (DownBeat December, 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!

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

Postage

14845 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 1094 of them this year alone and, so far, 93 this month (Nov. 30).

From This Moment On ...

November

December
Mon 05: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 05: Sia Ahmad & Raymond MacDonald @ Blank Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Tickets: £5.00. from www.seetickets.com. Live recording session - note no late admissions. BYOB.

Tue 06: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (table reservations 0191 386 5556). Feat. Johnny Murphy (keyboards).

Wed 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 07: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 12 noon-3:00pm.Free. New!
Wed 07: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 07: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 07: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Last one of the year, resuming Jan 26.
Thu 08: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 08: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm.
Thu 08: Christmas Crooners @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm.
Thu 08: Musicians Unlimited @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. £5.00. on the door.

Fri 09: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £25.00. 'Afternoon Jazz with Festive Lunch'.
Fri 09: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 09: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: Jason Isaacs @ Northern Rugby Club, Gosforth, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £25.00 (inc. two course Xmas meal). Isaacs performing with backing tapes.

Sat 10: Lindsay Hannon & Martin Douglas: Life Drawing & Improvised Music @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. TBC.
Sat 10: Alan Barnes Octet: A Jazz Xmas Carol @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £20.00. All-star band!

Sun 11: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 11: Spanish City Rollers @ Northumberland Square, North Shields. 12:30pm. Free. Community band inc. Graham Hardy.
Sun 11: Am Jam @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. Jam session, all welcome.
Sun 11: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Xmas party feat. Mick Donnelly Quartet. 4:00pm. Tickets: £6.00 (admission from 12 noon).
Sun 11: Paul Skerritt @ Liberty Brown's, Sunderland. 1:00pm.
Sun 11: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Sun 11: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 11: DC Blues Band @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free. Blues Band.
Sun 11: Jason Isaacs @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 5:30pm. SOLD OUT!
Sun 11: Boys of Brass @ Stack, Seaburn. 6:00pm. Free.
Sun 11: Elda with Faye MacCalman + John Pope & John Garner @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

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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