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Bebop Spoken There

John McDonough (reviewing Bright Red Dog’s In Vivo): “When you improvise on nothing, that’s what you get”. - DownBeat August 2021

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Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

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The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Postage

13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Ten albums by bass players - Part one

1. Paul Chambers – Bass on Top (1957).  

This is a joyous, tight, swinging collection of covers (with a Chambers original added for the CD reissue). Chambers is ably supported by a crack quartet of Kenny Burrell (guitar), Hank Jones (piano) and Art Taylor (drums). By this point Chambers was a member of Miles Davis’ group and, along with Red Garland and Philly Joe Jones, he made up The Rhythm Section who ‘met' Art Pepper the same year that Bass on Top was recorded. Chambers bows his bass through two tracks, the stately Yesterdays and the more upbeat The Theme (the Miles Davis tune). Throughout the album the bass is mixed so high and so far forward sometimes feels that Chambers could be behind you. There is no doubt about whose album this is.

2. Charlie Haden – The Ballad of the Fallen (1983).

Choosing a Charlie Haden album for this exercise wasn’t easy and I considered two of his beautiful duets albums, (Beyond the Missouri Sky with Pat Metheny and Night and the City with Kenny Barron) before settling on this one. In the same way that MASH was set during the Korean War but is really ‘about’ Vietnam, The Ballad of the Fallen gathers revolutionary and protest songs from Spain, Portugal and Chile, but is really about El Salvador and the Sandinistas. Indeed, the title track is based on a poem that was ‘found on the body of a student who was killed ‘when the US backed National Guard of El Salvador massacred a sit in at the university in San Salvador,’ to quote the sleeve notes. This is a largely mournful, slow paced album that reflects the seriousness of its subject matters but there is hope in the waltzing La Pasionara and the defiance of La Santa Espina. Tremendous soloing from all concerned but special mentions to Dewy Redman (tenor sax) Gary Valente (trombone) Carla Bley (piano) and Haden himself. Dave Sayer.

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