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Bebop Spoken There

Fergus McCreadie: "I think a lot of the best music is very political, and there are so many things going on in the world that I'm constantly angry at. But for me making music is not the space for that" (Jazzwise July 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:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14336 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 555 of them this year alone and, so far, 55 this month (June 19).

From This Moment On ...

June

Sun 26 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Outdoor (indoor if inclement weather).
Sun 26: Mississippi Dreamboats @ Springwell Village Community Venue, Gateshead. 2:30pm. A ‘1940s’ Weekend’ event (from 1:00pm).
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 26: Los Chichanos @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 27: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 28: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Dean Stockdale, Paul Grainger, Sid White.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 30: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 30: Lights Out By Nine @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:30pm. Free.
Thu 30: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

July

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Swing Manouche @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm (doors). £20.00.
Fri 01: 1920s Speakeasy w live jazz @ The Exchange, North Shields. 8:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Blind Pig Blues Club. 8:00pm.

Sat 02: Hot Fingers @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Steve Glendinning: Latin jazz. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 02: Talk: Storytelling & jazz as an expression of urban life @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:45pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sat 02: The Commandments + On Parole @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Geordie Jazz Man @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Screening of Abi Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.
Sat 02: The Delta Prophets Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Swing Manouche @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Swung Eight & King Bees @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Swing dance + ace Chicago blues band.
Sat 02: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Patrick Cromb @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Thursday, July 08, 2021

Album review: Daniel Herskedal - Harbour

Daniel Herskedal (tuba, bass trumpet; Eyolf Dale (piano, celesta); Helge Andreas Norbakken (drums, marimba)

Freshly caught from an island off the coast of Norway, the latest programmatic imagined-landscape fantasia from the tuba wizard and his talented compatriots, with publicity photos looking like a flier for a new, moody Scandi crime drama.  This is the core of the band who graced Sage 2 in 2019 and have been rightly lauded for their trilogy of albums Slow Eastbound Train, The Roc and Voyage.

Harbour is an extension of this musical line with Edition Records, rather than Herskedal’s austere 2020 solo lockdown offering “Call for Winter’, which won the Spellemann Award (Norwegian Grammy). Here we have a continuous cinematic vision, blending folk, jazz, classical and Arabic strains – an uninterrupted line from Persian Gulf to Norwegian fjord – by sea of course.  

This version of the band omits the lush viola playing of Bergmund Waal Skaslien, and initially I feared this would be a noticeable loss. While Skaslien is hardly a soloist in the mould of Mahavishnu’s Jerry Goodman, or the remarkable more contemporary Adam Baldych, he augmented the band’s sound perfectly with swooning legato lines. Interestingly, I hardly missed him here, as Herskedal effortlessly takes on both lead and bass lines to compensate, and Eyolf Dale steps up a gear with achingly wholesome melodic lines echoing and inter-weaving with the tuba.

Herskedal’s tuba mastery and extended techniques (singing, puffing, swooping) seem to have reached an even higher plane - literally sometimes, at pitches some trumpeters would be pleased with! But he never strays beyond artistry into showing off, and the composition, sound and orchestration are so well executed that you forget the unusual instrumentation.  Supporting and enhancing the virtuoso tuba and piano is the restless and atmospheric force of nature emanating from percussion maestro Norbakken, who starred on the recent excellent LAN Atlantico (link).

Standout tracks include The Lighthouse on the Horizon, scion of The Lighthouse on the 2019 Voyage, with gorgeous call and response between piano and tuba.  Hunters Point Drydocks is a delightful syncopated romp in fivewith light as a feather tuba bass figures.  Dancing dhow deckhands is an Arabic romp, an intricate and multi-dimensional adventure in the eastern soundscapes beloved of Yazz Ahmed.

Herskedal has pulled off the difficult trick of further developing and extending his line of conceptually similar albums with another significant work sitting on the Nordic classical-folk shoreline of jazz.  Very highly recommended – a marine treasure chest of subtle melody, emotion and rhythmic intrigue, which yields fresh delights at every listening.

Chris K

 Release date: 02.07.21 CD, LP, Digital at Edition and Bandcamp.

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