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Bebop Spoken There

Belá Fleck: "...he [Chick Corea] brought out the best in musicians. Not only would you get to play with him, but you'd get to play with the best version of yourself." - (DownBeat April 2021).

Archive quotes.

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.

Postage

13,073 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 492 of them this year alone and, so far, 47 this month (April 9).

Bar Manager Required

The Jazz Co-op are looking for an experienced bar manager who can be available to start when The Globe reopens in May.

Preference will be given to a suitably qualified person who lives relatively near to The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD.

Interested parties please follow this link.

Coming soon ...

April 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at The Holystone.

May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 2: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.
June 7: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

John Pope Quintet Livestreaming @ The Globe – Feb. 28


John Pope (double bass); Graham Hardy (trumpet/pocket trumpet); Jamie Stockbridge (alto sax); Faye MacCalman (tenor sax/clarinet); Johnny Hunter (drums)

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

Jazz North East and The Globe treated us to another amazing live jazz performance on Sunday evening, as they continue their series of livestreams featuring both music and comedy. This week the John Pope Quintet graced us with a mixture of original compositions from their new album Mixed With Glass, a tribute to Ornette Coleman, and even their own adaptation of the song In Heaven by the alt-rock band, Pixies. The quintet’s set was diverse and musically interesting, featuring some shredding solos, swinging melodies, and interesting experimental exploration. Having listened to Mixed With Glass and its experimental qualities, it’s hard to imagine anything new being added in a live setting - yet, the band’s live playing added a whole new layer to known and well-treaded tracks. 

Leader of the band John Pope immediately set the atmosphere with a double bass solo on the first song of the set, The Right Hand Path. The whole evening’s set was characterised by the sheer space given to solos, and the artistry of each individual player being illuminated before the band came back together to create swinging grooves and catchy group melodies. The Right Hand Path is from the quintet’s new release Mixed With Glass, and the virtual audience were also given a taste of some of the other songs featured on it. We heard the album’s title track Mixed With Glass, Ing, Country Bears Come North, and finally Plato as an encore. Watching the performance, Pope’s band leading is obvious through his gestures and cues to other members, yet when just listening to the music, it’s also obvious that his bass groove is what pushes the band forward and maintains movement. It was so exciting to watch musicians really listening to each other in a live space again, and responding to each other’s playing. Their sensitivity in playing underneath each other’s solos revealed their attentive listening, and made each solo that much more engaging. 

The evening’s performance also featured a reworking of Ornette Coleman’s School Work - the band actually initially formed as a tribute band to Coleman, and therefore his influence on their other work makes a lot of sense in this context. The moments of call and response within the performance again exposed the sensitivity of the band’s work, and their appreciation for each other’s playing. On many of the songs in the set, the quintet began to descend into disorientating and exploratory experimental ideas, but always managed to return to the melody with tight-knit playing and an engaging groove. It’s difficult to execute moving from a catchy, danceable swing melody into an experimental phase, playing with dissonant harmony, multiple tonal centres and irregular rhythm, and then back to the groove again. John Pope Quintet did this brilliantly as both solo performers, and as a band. 

The solo work from Jamie Stockbridge on alto saxophone, Faye MacCalman on tenor sax and clarinet, Graham Hardy on trumpet, Johnny Hunter on drums, and of course John Pope on double bass really made this performance a special one. Yet as a band, with Pope leading and tying these individual ideas together, the live set made for a compelling evening’s entertainment, and left the audience with a satisfying sense of collaboration and positive energy.

Evie Hill

 


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