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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 2024.

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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...

May

Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Bellavana @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 1:00pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm. CANCELLED!
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

June

Sat 01: Enrico Tomasso’s Swing Company @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 01: Play More Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning.
Sat 01: Hop, Skiffle & Jump: The Story of Skiffle @ 1719, Hendon, Sunderland. 6:00-9:00pm.
Sat 01: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Dry Water Arts, Amble. 7:00pm. £15.00.
Sat 01: John Garner & John Pope @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 01: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

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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