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Bebop Spoken There

Raymond Chandler: “ I was walking the floor and listening to Khatchaturian working in a tractor factory. He called it a violin concerto. I called it a loose fan belt and the hell with it ". The Long Goodbye, Penguin 1959.

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

16350 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 230 of them this year alone and, so far, 27 this month (April 11).

From This Moment On ...

April

Fri 12: Pete Tanton’s Chet Set @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 12: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 12: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 12: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 12: Katrina Miller Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sat 13: Giles Strong Quartet @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00-9:00pm. £10.00.
Sat 13: Phantom Bagman + Forgetmenots @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:30pm.£5.00. + bf. Upstairs.
Sat 13: Rockin’ Turner Brothers @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Downstairs.

Sun 14: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: Alan Law, Jude Murphy & Tim Johnston @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 14: JazzMain @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 15: Dave Newton @ Yamaha Music School, Seaforth St., Blyth NE24 1AY. 1:00 - 1:45pm. £8.00. + bf. Newton, solo piano.
Mon 15: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 15: Hideout @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.50 + £1.33 bf. Feat. Sleep Suppressor + Flat Moon.
Mon 15: Russ Morgan Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.

Tue 16: The Horne Section’s Hit Show @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 7:30pm.
Tue 16: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Bradley Johnston, Paul Grainger, Bailey Rudd.

Wed 17: Bailey Rudd (Minor Recital) @ The Music Studios, Haymarket Lane, Newcastle University. 11:40am. Bailey Rudd (drums). Open to the public.
Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: The Horne Section’s Hit Show @ The Gala, Durham. 7:30pm. SOLD OUT!
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 18: NONUNONU @ Elder Beer Café, Chillingham Road, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 18: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. + bf. Support act TBC.
Thu 18: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band night with Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Donna Hewitt (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Album review: Ben Crosland Quintet – Solway Stories

Ben Crosland (bass); Steve Waterman  (trumpet/flugel); Chris Allard (guitar); Steve Lodder (piano/keys); Dylan Howe (drums)

I’ve seen Ben Crosland perform in various groups over the years and would sum him up as ‘genial’ maybe human. He played with Waterman and Lodder in the trio Threeway, as the lynchpin of John Etheridge’s Trio North, leading an Octet for his Echoes in the Valley project from 2000 and many others. He fits this activity around the running of his Jazzcat record label and a career as a barrister in the courts of West Yorkshire. That’s barrister not barista - you’d want Crosland in your corner if you were trying to get off a life sentence.

Whilst the rest of the band may lack the wig and the gown they are, officially, no slouches. Waterman has played with most people of his generation on the UK scene; Lodder is best known in this house as an early, long-time associate of Andy Sheppard and Howe has led his own Blakey/Blue Note type jazz quartet and is a member of the Ian Dury-less Blockheads. Only guitarist Chris Allard is new to me.

As with Echoes in the Valley, the inspiration for Solway Stories comes from the scenery and the people of the North of England. This is a celebration of the wide open spaces, it is optimistic, warm, broad-brush stroke music of the freedom to be found away from the claustrophobia of the cities. It is cool music, but not the cool of nodding heads in smoky night clubs, rather, it is cool in a way that allows the tunes to develop. Not for Crosland the frantic intensity or showmanship of trying to squeeze in as many notes as possible into every tune. Much of it is music of memory and quiet contemplation but there are some nods to New Orleans in A Lil’ Sark Funk where Allard’s guitar hands over to a rolling piano solo from Lodder who then hands the baton onto Waterman for a trumpet solo, all in front of a high stepping back beat from Dylan Howe.

Powfoot takes us into Stevie Wonder playing with the Average White Band and Carsethorn could be a piece of 70s’ soul enhanced by psychedelic swirls from the organ.

The titles come from places that Crosland visited on a journey into South West Scotland with his mother, who died last year. The tunes are mainly named after villages in the Dumfries area (Powfoot; Beeswing; Islesteps; Carsethorn) or other places of local interest (Auchenreoch Loch).

I Do is a nod to the blacksmiths of Gretna Green. Despite the fact that the area may appear to be natural and unspoiled, the sleeve notes tell us that Powfoot was the site of a 9 mile long munitions factory during the First World War wherein they mixed gun cotton and nitro-glycerine to make cordite for shell propellant. Cordite was dubbed The Devil’s Porridge another of the song titles.  

My only reservation is to do with the production. There could be more separation, not least to help Crosland’s bass stand out more. He is a tremendous player, but his contribution is buried for much of the time. That gripe aside, it is a lovely album.

Solway Stories is released on May 28 and is available through the usual outlets. For more information about Ben Crosland visit Home (jazz-cat.com) Dave Sayer

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