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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.


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.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Album review: Floating Points (Sam Shepherd), Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orcestra - Promises

Floating Points (keyboards, electronics); Pharoah Sanders (sax) + The London Symphony Orchestra

Before this album came out I hadn’t had cause to wonder if I was unique in all the world by being a fan of both Floating Points and Pharoah Sanders. FP’s 2015 album, Elaenia, was a gem and a thing of beauty. Since that release it turns out that Sam Shepherd, who is Floating Points, had a masterplan to record with Pharoah Sanders and here is the fruition of that ambition.

Promises is a work consisting of nine movements built around a single repeated motif that dominates or retreats as the piece progresses; similarly, at different moments, times, the tenor or the electronics or the strings play the leading parts, or they merge to bring the whole right to the front of the stage.

Promises has been described as an ambient, jazz, electronica, classical crossover, a sort of 21st Century third-stream, what Gill Scott-Heron would have called ‘miscellaneous’. It is more than ambient though; its sparsity, at times, demands attention and it bears repeated listening, offering more on each occasion; whatever you give it, it gives back. I suspect it might explode into the mainstream and become one of those essential middle-class dinner party albums, like Gorecki’s Third, Tubular Bells or Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble’s Officium. Maybe it will sell millions and Pharoah Sanders will win the International Breakthrough Artist award at next year’s Brits.

The title, Promises, seems less apt than its cousin, Hope; in part 6, after a crescendo of strings falls away, the motif is repeated in a way suggestive of hope after a crisis. Other sounds seem to come from nature, such as the whale-like call of the cellos in part 7 that combine with pulsing electronics and wailing sax. Belief in Promises and hope lasts until the last part, an epilogue for strings, when (spoiler alert) darker chords suggests that hopes fade and promises are broken. Sanders’ tenor is a bold part of the whole, not an afterthought. There are passages of bold lead playing, the sax to the fore or combining with the other actors, or short sputtering phrases and, at one point, muttered wordless vocals from the man himself.

Impossible to categorise, not as good as The Creator Has a Masterplan (but few things are), an excursion that doesn’t even acknowledge boundaries.

Dave Sayer

Available on Luaka Bop on CD/Digital/Vinyl from all the usual outlets inc. Bandcamp.

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