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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.

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13,508 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 926 of them this year alone and, so far, 90 this month (July 27).

Monday, July 05, 2021

Sunday Night Jazz @ The Globe: The House of the Black Gardenia - July 4

(Photo by Russell)
Elise Rana (vocals, washboard); Pete Tanton (trumpet); David Gray (trombone); Keith Robinson (tenor sax, alto sax, soprano sax, clarinet, flute); Katja Roberts (violin); Elliott Rush (piano); Michael Littlefield (guitar, banjo, vocals); Neil Hopper (bass, sousaphone); Kit Haigh (drums, guitar, vocals).

It's a month, almost to the day since I last heard the HOTBG. That was in the open air, on a balmy early evening at the Cumberland Arms. Tonight, it was indoors at the Jazz Co-op's Operating Theatre - The Globe.

This wasn't a balmy evening and, as I swam across the road to the sanctuary of the tavern, I wondered if it was me that was barmy this time around.

However, once inside the fact that drowned rats would seem like Carribean sun- worshippers compared to my squelch-footed self became irrelevant once the music started.

Like Gareth Southgate, the band have a tried and tested repertoire that works but that can also be adjusted to suit and, just as most sports rely on individual creativity, when the chips are down, so do The Gardies.

Everyone and every number is an absolute killer. All present - and it was sold out - will have their favourite moments - I had a few too!

(Photo by Russell)
Elise has the kind of voice that makes you want to order a shot of bootleg gin rather than a pint of Wainwright's.

Pete, apart from shading Dave by a breast pocket handkerchief in the sartorial stakes, also played some delicate horn.

Dave doesn't do delicate - he almost burnt the place down to the ground with his explosive entry on Viper Man! If BSH ever does a DownBeat type poll then get down to Ladbrokes ...

Keith plays more instruments than most. Tonight he hit soprano, alto, tenor, clarinet and flute. Imagine how he would sound if he had studied with Roland Kirk! As it is ...

Katja has it all to do but, she reads the parts, adds an extra dimension to the sound and occasionally blossoms above the ensemble.

Elliott, tucked in the corner, is, nevertheless, an integral part and his piano solos sometimes suggest a caged animal longing for the wild. In the meantime, he lays it all down. 

Michael sings the blues like no white man ever sung the blues (I don't know if that is classed as racist but, c'est la vie). Certainly he is totally immersed in the idiom and one wonders if he will ever stretch his horizons to say Mississippi or Louisiana.

Neil, I guess, runs the band as well as playing bass and blowing sousaphone. He does all three to perfection.

Kit - a great name for a drummer but, he's much more than that. Guitarist and vocalist, he ticks all three boxes.

So, there you have it. This was absolutely whizzo, as I would have said back in my schooldays. Today an earthier phrase would be applied but both mean the same! Catch them when you can - great band. 

We heard:The Mooche (instrumental); Russian Caravan; My Man Died Last Night; Evenin' (vocal Littlefield); Graveyard Shift; Baby Don't Tear my Clothes; Handy Man Blues (vocal Littlefield); The cleverly titled Don't Tell Liza 'Bout me/Don't Tell Lies About me (vocal Kit Haigh); Ain't it Hard? (vocal Littlefield); Ghosts; I Can't Take it no Longer (vocal Littlefield); Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho (instrumental); Why Don't You Do Right?; Viper Man.

Unless otherwise stated, all vocals by Elise. Lance

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