Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Julian Lage: "Charlie Christian's the greatest ever, in my opinion." - (DownBeat, February 2023)

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

15103 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 122 of them this year alone and, so far, 20 this month (Feb. 6).

From This Moment On ...

February

Tue 07: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums). Jam session reverts to a first & third Tuesday in the month schedule.

Wed 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 08: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Free. TBC.
Wed 08: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 08: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 08: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 09: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 4:00pm (this week only). Free.
Thu 09: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00.
Thu 09: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guest band: Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Richie Emmerson (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Fri 10: Alan Barnes w Dean Stockdale Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 10: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 10: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: Alan Barnes w Dean Stockdale Trio @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £12.00.

Sat 11: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 2:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com.
First gig of four (1/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA. SOLD OUT!
Sat 11: New Century Ragtime Orchestra @ King's Hall, Newcastle University. 7:00pm. £15.00. on the door.
Sat 11: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 7:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com. Second gig of four (2/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA. SOLD OUT!
Sat 11: Vermont Big Band & the Coast Connection @ The Seahorse, Whitley Bay FC. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. hot buffet), raffle. SOLD OUT!
Sat 11: The Rebelators @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 12: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. LAST SESSION!
Sun 12: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 2:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com. Third gig of four (3/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA. SOLD OUT!
Sun 12: Am Jam @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. Jam session, all welcome.
Sun 12: Jive Aces @ Queen's Hall, Hexham. 7:30pm.
Sun 12: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 7:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com. Fourth gig of four (4/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA.
Sun 12: Sylvain Darrifourcq-Manuel Hermia-Valentin Ceccaldi @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion (upstairs).

Mon 13: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 13: Central Bar Quintet @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £5.00. First set: The Central Bar Quintet plays Horace Silver's The Tokyo Blues (featuring Pete Tanton). Second set: standards & more (no jam session).

Tue 14: ???

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Album review: Benjamin Croft - Far and Distant Things

This marvellous, boundary-blurring collection shows that progressive rock from its 1970s heyday and jazz rock from around the same time were twins, separated at birth with nary enough space between them to slide a Rizla. There is an obvious debt to Return To Forever (Chick Corea is thanked in the liner notes for inspiration) but classic Yes, the less absurd music by ELP and Todd Rundgren’s Utopia are also obvious touchstones. The choice is, therefore, between calling the Jazz Police or sitting back and enjoying what’s on offer.

The Jazz Police would probably cite the list of keyboards used as evidence for the prosecution. The liner notes list 17 different ones including some familiar names such as Steinway and Yamaha pianos and the Hammond B3 organ. For the rest of the list I’m on less familiar ground. Whilst the keys are the dominant sound, (it is Croft’s album, after all) he frequently steps back and lets others in the band and his guests take the lead. The guitar cuts through where it should and the brass, which might sound out of place in front of all the electronics, doesn’t. Track 4, SAD (Spatial Awareness Disease) exemplifies this as Croft’s synthesiser squelches and meteorological swirls give way to heraldic brass from Vizzutti and Vollam.  

This ability to turn on a sixpence is what gives this album its freshness and originality. Some of the melodies seem straightforward and accessible but that is just to suck you in as changes in key and instrumentation take you in a direction you couldn’t have predicted. Tudor Job Agency, for example, builds from a simple melody, reminiscent of Hill Street Blues, into something more complex with Finnerty’s guitar sharing solos with Moore’s bass over Laurie Lowe’s increasingly complex drum fills.  

Benjamin Croft has played the cruise ships and backed artists as various as Belinda Carlisle, Lesley Garrett and the Temptations and has performed in the pit for Straight from the Heart in the West End, as well as working on The Voice and Britain’s Got Talent. This album is a complete volte-face from those experiences and an opportunity for Croft’s own compositions and his musicianship to take centre stage. He shows the debt to his influences but is more than the sum of them. The highly esteemed Edward Kennedy Ellington is quoted as saying, “There’s only two types of music, good and bad.” Far and Distant Things is amongst the good stuff.

Far and Distant Things is released this Friday, August 6 and there is more information about Croft and his album on his website which is at Benjamin Croft (benjamincroftmusic.com) Dave Sayer 

Benjamin Croft (keyboards) + (collective): Allen Vizzutti, Randy Brecker, Mike Miller Andy Davies, (trumpet); Helen Vollam (trombone); Gareth Lockrane (flute, piccolo); Henry Thomas, Flo Moore (bass guitar); Tristan Maillot, Chad Wackerman, Laurie Lowe (drums);  Frank Gambale,  Barry Finnerty, Carter Arrington (guitar).

No comments :

Blog Archive