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Farewell Blues

R I P Terry Shannon - November 5, 1929 - October 29, 2022
R I P Oliver Soden - ? - November 6, 2022
R I P Top Cat Daphne - ? - November 24, 2022.

Bebop Spoken There

Michael League: "We flew back from Europe, and the second gig we [Snarky Puppy] did was in Arcata, California. There were two people. And one of them was the bartender." - (DownBeat December, 2022)

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!"

Postage

14806 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 1074 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (Nov.24).

From This Moment On ...

November

Sun 27: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 27: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 27: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 27: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 27: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. Sitters-in & audience welcome.
Sun 27: Nu Civilisation Orchestra @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Sun 27: Jamil Sheriff's Five Gold Rings @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 28: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 28: Jeremy McMurray & Friends @ Billingham Catholic Club. 7:30pm. £5.00. at the door. A SVP fundraiser for Xmas food hampers.

Tue 29: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

Wed 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 30: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Wed 30: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 30: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 30: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

December
Thu 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 01: New York Jazz Night feat. Zoë Gilby @ The Keys, Yarm. 7:00pm. £30.00. (inc. meal). Tickets from Skiddle. Gilby w. Noel Dennis, Mark Williams & Andy Champion.
Thu 01: Bold Big Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Cluny 2.
Thu 01: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm. Paul Skerritt & James Harrison residency.
Thu 01: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 02: Swing Manouche @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00.
Fri 02: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: Durham University Big Band + Durham University Jazz Orchestra @ Kingsgate Bar, Durham Students' Union, Dunelm House, Durham. 7:00pm. £3.00. & £2.50. Fundraiser for Coppafeel.
Fri 02: Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm.
Fri 02: Alligator Gumbo @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm. Xmas party.
Fri 02: Struggle Buggy's Almost Xmas Party @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 03: Jake Leg Jug Band @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 03: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Liane Carroll. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 03: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Sat 03: Remi Harris & Tom Moore @ Amble Parish Hall, Northumberland. 7:30pm.
Sat 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. Xmas party.
Sat 03: Ray Johnson, Richard Herdman & Jude Murphy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

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). 

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