Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

JD Allen: "...art in itself is now a luxury that you need a lot of finances to do." - (DownBeat October 2021)

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! --

Postage

13,822 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1239 of them this year alone and, so far, 66 this month (Oct. 18).

From This Moment On ...

October

Mon 18: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 18: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Wed 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 20: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 20: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 20: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 8:00pm.

Thu 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 21: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra.
Thu 21: Alter Ego @ St James' & St Basil's Church, Newcastle 7:30pm.
Thu 21: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 21: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 22: Mick Shoulder Quartet @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Quartet featuring Alex Clarke (BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year finalist).
Fri 22: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: Paul Edis Trio w Ruth Lambert @ St Cuthbert's Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 22: Michael Feinstein @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 22: Peter Morgan Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sat 23: Mary Coughlan @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 23: Têtes de Pois @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 24 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 24: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 24: Voices of Virtue Gospel Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 4:00pm.
Sun 24: Milne Glendinning Band @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Album review: John McLaughlin - Liberation Time

It was always going to be something ’big’ to get me out of lockdown/isolation/quarantine – whatever it is I’ve been doing for the last year and a half – and John McLaughlin has, for almost half a century,  been a ‘big’ musician in my life. I’m always sceptical of instrumental albums which claim to represent a narrative, and this is no exception.

It’s a short set, presumably to comply with
the alleged vinyl revival, and looks backwards in other respects too, considering John has always been a fearless innovator, but is no worse for that.

As the Spirit Sings gets straight to it with a strong motif in the melody, John soloing first before acoustic piano, busy drumming throughout. At seventy nine and with early on-set arthritis, his chops are still extraordinary. His sound is in line with his recent work with the Fourth Dimension, with not quite the fire or excess of the original Mahavishnu Orchestra, depending on your point of view.     

I was well into the set when I realised it isn’t all by his current band the Fourth Dimension, though my instinct was correct that it’s Gary Husband on piano. It then put me in mind of Electric Guitarist from 1978, which went some way in recreating his various ensembles up to that point.

Singing our Secrets slows things down, beginning with a solo piano intro. Information is scant but I’m guessing he starts the track playing synclavier, followed by a brief piano solo introducing a straight-ahead vibe to the album, before John opens up on electric through to the close.

Lockdown Blues is by the Fourth Dimension and can be viewed on YouTube. It features each of the band, with Husband now on electric piano for the first time, an understated funky bass solo from Etienne Mbappe, but is most notable for Ranjit Barot’s konecal singing over standard western drum kit, which brings in John for the final solo.

Right Here Right Now Right On is perhaps the strongest track here, tenor saxophonist Julian Siegel (of Partisans' fame) acquitting himself magnificently on the most standard jazz I can remember from John since the start of the seventies.        

Two solo piano pieces follow, the first time John’s played the instrument on record since the Santana collaboration of 1973. The first is called Mila Repa, after a Tibetan Siddha and accomplished Buddhist, reflecting John’s lifetime devotion to Eastern Spiritualism. The two tracks total just over four minutes so don’t outstay their welcome.

The final track is the paciest track on the set and the most joyous – perhaps representing the
end of the pandemic – with John taking an extended solo, reflecting the influence of horn players and especially John Coltrane, and the wealth of ideas which still flow through his music.

There’s nothing here to surprise the McLaughlin enthusiast or enlighten anybody about the pandemic, but guitarists will likely continue to be in awe of the man, and anybody who feels he’s moved too far away from jazz for their comfort may welcome something of a return. The Fourth Dimension has marked something of a return to form and consistency for one of the greatest musicians of C20th and this continues the trend nicely. I enjoyed it a lot but doubt I’ll play it too often amongst a busy schedule of listening. Steve T

Available July 16 on the Abstract Logix/Mediastarz label.

John McLaughlin (guitar); Gary Husband (piano); Sam Burgess (bass); Vinnie Colaiuta (drums).

Right Here, Right Now, Right OnJohn McLaughlin (guitar); Julian Siegel (tenor sax); Oz Ezzeldin (piano); Jerome Regard (bass); Nicholas Viccaro (drums).

Lockdown Blues - Fourth Dimension: John McLaughlin (guitar); Gary Husband (keyboards); Etienne Mbappe (bass); Ranjit Barot (drums, vocal). 

No comments :

Blog Archive