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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 2024.

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

16382 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 262 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (April 20).

From This Moment On ...

April

Tue 23: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30-3:30pm. £12.00. ‘St George’s Day Afternoon Tea’. Gig with ‘Lashings of Victoria Sponge Cake, along with sandwiches & scones’.
Tue 23: Jalen Ngonda @ Newcastle University Students’ Union. POSTPONED!

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 26: Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 26: Abbie Finn’s Finntet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 27: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: More Jam Festival Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Swing Dance workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free (registration required). A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox: The '10' Tour @ Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £41.30 t0 £76.50.
Sun 28: Alligator Gumbo @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Jerron Paxton @ The Cluny, Newcastle. Blues, jazz etc.

Mon 29: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 29: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:30-8:30pm. Free.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Album review: Ari Erev - Close to Home.

Ari Erev (piano); Assaf Hakimi (bass); Gasper Bertonceli (drums); Gilad Dobrecky (perc.); Yuval Cohen (sax); Hadar Noiberg (flute)

With the help and support of fellow musicians, Erev has produced a beautiful album. Ari's compositional strengths and abilities seem to draw from an extensive knowledge of classical and jazz structures and forms; his playing showing an exquisite deft touch, bringing verve, vitality, sensitivity and sensibility to the music.

The album’s themes are concerned with personal feelings of love and affection for a place; be it shop, neighbourhood, community or country and people; be it family or friends. Memories and reflections are recalled with a great depth of feeling exemplified in the rich vibrancy of melody and harmony.

The six musicians blend a superb synergy of jazz and world music, delivering a feeling of expressive, sensitive, inspired and spontaneous musicianship.

1. Israeli Story: The lovely opening notes of the piano takes us on a lively, active journey, with different rhythms and outpourings of melody; as though the daily activities of Israeli life are being extolled. The litheness of the music dances along as though denoting the essential pulse beats of Israeli life and experience, with a warm and rich intensity. The phrasing of Hadar Noiberg on flute is stylish and skilled.The track is brought to an end with dramatic, explosive, piano notes.

2. Playground: Cohen’s fine and flexible phrasing weaves its way through the track, bringing a sense of freedom and experimentation that’s picked up by the piano creating a warm intimacy between the two instruments.

3. Childhood Scenes: Piano and drums seem to take us back to childhood memories at a slower more reflective tempo, recalling treasured scenes and moments. Subtle note changes and phrasing, sometimes piano rolls, sometimes leaping notes develop a conversational like inner dialogue. The ending is strong with different notes.

4. Falling in Place: A joyful and uplifting track, with up tempo Latin beats and rhythms and expressive runs by both sax and piano. Sometimes the notes seem to tumble and roll with purpose and energy and the whole track feels as though it has a natural co-ordination about it, like things just falling into place.

5. Old Friends: This track has a feeling of depth, richness and old knowledge of friends and has a slower, more reflective tempo. The jazz trio bring an intense and intimate atmosphere and seem to create the intricacies of life, with its loves and losses, pain and mourning. The bass notes by Assaf Hakimi provide quite a solemn feel and tone and here there are memories of old friends; as the piano notes rise and fall and tumble out freely. It's as if there is an old world charm about this track, played with freshness and delicate phrasing.

6. Para Sempre (Forever): In this arrangement of the composition by Debra Gurgel, the up tempo rhythms and beats drive the track along, into a continuous unfolding of the love story of the heart. The Latin Style influence of Gilad Dobrecky can be heard on over half the tracks and here the intensity of love, longing and passion are brought to life. The track is full of colour and changing rhythms and the luscious piano playing with its streaming and tumultuous notes heightens the romance.

7. Afar (for Tal): Ari dedicates this track to his daughter Tal. It begins gently, with a nostalgic sax and individual piano notes. The phrasing is affectionate and intimate. The bass comes in to provide reflection, slow conversation and space.The swirling, curling, twisting and rising and falling of the sax, combined with the flute's interaction, create a joyous feeling of affection and love. This is reinforced by the tone of the piano notes, that help weave a magical mood of love and devotion.

8. So Tender (Keith Jarrett): This reinterpretation by Ari begins with individual notes of the piano selectively spaced and then a ripple of notes. The percussive rhythms and piano provide a light and gentle touch and the beautiful piano playing provides more joy and warmth.

9. Saturday Coffee: Piano, sax and percussive brushes seem to create the effect of a ritual weekly, much looked forward to event - that of Saturday coffee. The piano climbs and cascades, the sax talks and the piano responds. The phrasing is very eloquent and precise, but although a ritual, it comes across as still being fresh, different and mysterious.

10. Shi'ur Moledet (Homeland Class) (Efraim Shamir): Ari's arrangement of a composition by another Israeli artist allows for the piano to be given a good work out. Deep feelings for place and people again come through and one can imagine the children being taught of a land of shepherds and farmers and autumn’s harvest. There’s lots of rippling piano, with expressive notes and phrasing, gentle percussion and some bass notes.

11. Olha Maria (Antonio Carlos Jobim)....This is a gentle and sensitive, bitter sweet ballad for Maria. There are tumbling notes from the piano, then a slower tempo, with background brushes. The playing is rich and romantic, with lovely touches, but ultimately the bass notes are heard and the love affair can't last.

12. Still Crazy After All These Years (Paul Simon): A lovely arrangement of a Paul Simon song. A reflective mood of playfulness and fun; a sense of triumph of still being here and meeting and drinking with an old lover and reminiscing. The medium tempo feels just right and the expressive piano and rhythm section create those times, which are still in a sense continuing, after all these years.

13. Po (Here): Another track full of beauty. An evocation and celebration of a place and its people. The warm notes and tones of sax and piano create a nostalgia that is almost tangible. Birdsong seems to break through later in the track.

Ari's music shines and sparkles with brilliance and subtleties, performed with a knowing smile.The intention of all the musicians was clear, in the precise phrasing of their instrument. A mention to Gasper Bertoncelj on drums who underpinned it all, in an unobtrusive way.

I found Close to Home to be an enchanting and transformative experience; with its freshness and spontaneity bringing to life Ari's intimate world of places and people. His generous spirit can be heard throughout the album and also in its playing time of 73:30.

Available June 8.

Recommended! Dave Sockett

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