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Bebop Spoken There

Faye McCalman: "For a while I would hear other artists and feel that I need to be like that person, have what they have; but then I realised that everyone has their own thing and what I connect with most is when I can tell an artist is just being themselves." - (Jazzwise July 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

13,367 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 785 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (June 16).

From This Moment On

JUNE

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!

Thu 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside 1:00pm).

Thu 24: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead (8:30pm).

Thursday, May 13, 2021

SNJO, Paul Towndrow/Ornette Coleman: Where Rivers Meet - May 12

(Screenshot by Russell)
Edinburgh's twelfth century St Giles' Cathedral served as a spectacular stage on this first evening of four dedicated to the music of four celebrated free jazz pioneers. Socially distanced members of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra took to the stage under the watchful eye of its founder, Artistic Director, Tommy Smith. This evening's focus would be on the music of Ornette Coleman. 

(Screenshot by Russell)
The term 'free jazz' is often used to describe, or simply categorise, Coleman's music. The abandonment of chordal and harmonic elements were considered to be 'free', yet Coleman produced many melodic tunes, 'tunes' being anything but a derogatory term! Alto saxophonist Paul Towndrow (SNJO, Brass Jaw etc) would perform three pieces composed by the American. 



(Screenshot by Russell)
The participation of visual artist Maria Rud painting in real time alongside the SNJO ensemble proved to be an inspired move. Physically animated, Rud literally jumping around in time to the visceral power of the music, the on-the-spot results were quite something. Vivid, rapid brushstrokes, palms and fingers applying her chosen medium, the scraping away, the urgent reapplication of the medium (paint?), all projected onto a stained-glass window high above the assembly. 

Towndrow's interpretation and execution of Coleman's compositions could be described as 'triumphant'. The SNJO's brilliant rhythm section - Pete Johnstone, Calum Gourlay and Alyn Cosker - pushed, and pushed again, demanding more and more of Towndrow. This evening's soloist rose to the occasion as did the SNJO ensemble (all the expected names were present, as were two newer recruits, trumpeters James Copus and Christos Stylinades*). Towndrow's laser-like focus and sheer physicality of his alto playing set the standard. The three remaining concert soloists have it all to do. The second performance in this Where Rivers Meet project on Thursday (May 13) features SNJO tenor saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski playing the music of Dewey Redman. To register for the live stream visit: www.snjo.co.uk.  

It's been a while since BSH last heard the SNJO, hence Stylinades and Copus are the new boys!    
Russell

Set list: Lonely WomanBroadway BluesPeace.

Jim Davison, James Copus, Christos Stylinades (trumpets); Kieran McLeod, Liam Shortall, Michael Owers (trombones); Konrad Wiszniewski, Martin Kershaw, Paul Towndrow, Tommy Smith MD, Bill Fleming (reeds); Pete Johnstone (piano); Calum Gourlay (double bass); Alyn Cosker (drums)

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