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Bebop Spoken There

Jeff Coffin: "I'm trying to find a creative way of being creative." - (DownBeat June 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

13,348 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 766 of them this year alone and, so far, 40 this month (June 11).

From This Moment On

JUNE

Fri 11: Faye Aspinall @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Solo, ‘postmodern jazz singer’.

Sat 12: Tribute to Gerry Hughes (Tees Hot Club) @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 12 noon (jazz 2:00-3:30pm). £5.00. Outdoor event. Details from 01642 823813.

Sun 13: Vieux Carré Hot Four @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay (12 noon).

Sun 13: Sunday Jazz @ The Radio Rooms, Berwick (2:00pm).

Sun 13: Charlotte Keeffe Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. (8:00pm). £10:00. Advance booking essential at: www.jazz.coop.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Album review: Tom Ollendorff – A Song for You

Tom Ollendorff (guitar); Conor Chaplin (bass); Marc Michele(drums)

A tenner says I can get through this review without using the word Metheny or any related adjectives.

This is the first work I’d heard by Tom Ollendorff, though Conor Chaplin is known as a character in the Laura Jurd Universe and has visited the north east as part of a number of bands over the years.

This album is one of two halves. It opens well with the title song which is a showcase for each musician to show their chops. After a rippling solo Ollendorff comps behind Chaplin’s bass, with Michele’s drums skittering and splashing cymbals in support. The problem then is that neither Spring or Not In These Days generate much of interest and Etude 1 feels like an intellectual exercise.

At this point I was starting to consider the eternal dichotomy between art and craft as this felt like a well made but emotionally dry album. However, the next track, XY, just has more snap that anything that’s gone before. The bass is pushing and pulsing as if impatient at the plodding of the previous tracks and the others feed off the energy generated. 

The sole cover, Autumn in New York stands out as a stronger melody than the Ollendorff compositions. It’s a delicate thing, with rising and falling bass figures and soft drums behind Ollendorff’s most romantic playing on the album. It’s wistful and yearning and you can almost see the leaves turning. Aare has some of the urgency of XY and again the bass is in the driver’s seat, though Michel’s drum fills are more prominent and he solos on this track and also enjoys a few call and response exchanges with the guitarist. This energy doesn’t persist into Etude 3 which could be a lullaby. The closer These Days is an ethereal fluid weightless piece of magic from a fantasy film.

To maintain the standard of the second half of this album, Ollendorff clearly needs more of his own XY Factor. (And no mention of Pat Metheny. Someone owes me a tenner.)

A Song for You is released on May 7 and is available from Fresh Sound Records or through the usual outlets.

Dave Sayer

A Song for You; Spring; Etude 1; Not in These Days; XY; Autumn in New York; Aare; Etude 3; These Days.

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