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Bebop Spoken There

Pat Metheny: "The best guitar player I've heard in maybe my entire life is floating around now, Pasquale Grasso." - (Vintage Guitar Magazine February 2016)

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

13,359 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 777 of them this year alone and, so far, 51 this month (June 13).

From This Moment On

JUNE

Wed 16: Washboard Resonators @ Punch Bowl Hotel, Jesmond, Newcastle (8:00pm). SOLD OUT!

Thu 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside (1:00pm).

Thu 17: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead (8:30pm).

Fri 18: Jazz Jamaica @ Sage Gateshead (8:00pm).

Sat 19: Jude Murphy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle (8:00pm).

Sun 20 Knats @ The Globe, Newcastle (8:00pm). Advance booking essential: www.jazz.coop. SOLD OUT. Livestream available from £7.50.

Mon 21: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). POSTPONED!

Wed 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). POSTPONED!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Ten 10" Albums I still play (occasionally). 7. MJQ -- the classic performances of the Modern Jazz Quartet

The early 1950s saw the influx of jazz chamber music by such groups as the quartets of Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan and Milt Jackson, the latter group becoming The Modern Jazz Quartet or,  as it soon became better known as, the MJQ. That it was musically brilliant was without question, that it could also be boring is again, at times, without question. I recall seeing them at Newcastle's City Hall with pianist, bassist and local jazz critic the late Brian Fisher who, after a couple of numbers, closed his eyes and said, "wake me up when the hearse arrives!"

However, at the time of this, their first album, the four musicians, three of whom had previously been three quarters of the rhythm section of Dizzy Gillespie's big band managed to make their Bach-like approach swing without the near schmaltz of the Shearing Quintet who were working the same side of the street.

Four standards and four originals made for a band that, to my ears, lost its drive after Kenny Clarke left to be replaced by Connie Kay - the initials were reversed and so was the music. Here that drive was as good as anything coming out on the opposite (west) coast. 

The original compositions were, in retrospect, musical trinkets but Vendome, The Queen's Fancy and Delauney's Dilemma were delightful trinkets. The fourth, La Ronde featured a lengthy, for the time, drum solo by Clarke which was something that rarely, if ever, happened when Kay was on the drum throne.

Milt Jackson, John Lewis and Percy Heath were outstanding and inventive. In later years Jackson always sounded as if he wanted to escape - I guess the financial rewards precluded that although he did make some fine recordings under his own name: The Jazz Skyline with Lucky Thompson being a good example.

Esquire 20-090 (again 29/6½d) in subtitling it as the classic performances of the Modern Jazz Quartet, was absolutely spot on!

Lance

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