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Bebop Spoken There

Charles Lloyd: "I'm raring to go out to play, because I know I'll find something to explain the inexplicable." (DownBeat August 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

14454 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 732 of them this year alone and, so far, 30 this month (August 11).

From This Moment On ...

August

Mon 15: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 15: Stu Collingwood Organ Trio @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Tue 16: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).

Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 18: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 18: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Thu 18: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle. Strictly Smokin’ Big Band. 7:00pm. Free (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests: Dave Archbold (keys); Dan Johnson (sax); Josh Bentham (sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass)

Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Harry Keeble Duo + Northern Monkey Brass Band. £15.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Fri 19: Mo Scott @ The Millstone, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Scott w Gary Dunn, Neil Harland & Paul Smith.

Sat 20: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Riviera Effect + Alter Ego + Graham Hardy Quartet + Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie + Ivo Neame Quartet. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sat 20: Anth Purdy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Sun 21 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 21: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Lindsay Hannon & Alan Law + Knats + David Gray’s Flextet + Ben Gilbert Trio + Emma Rawicz. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sun 21: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.

Saturday, April 09, 2022

Album review: The Baylor Project - Generations

I came by this album in a rather circuitous way in that I entered a competition to win a CD of an album that was, ultimately, only released on vinyl and so I was sent this instead, (along with an album by Kansas Smitty's (very good) and a 8 disc box set by Incognito (about 6 discs too many!)). I played Generations a few times and intended to review it, but it wasn’t until I saw that it had been nominated for a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album that I decided to dig it out and give it another spin.

An earlier Baylor Project album, The Journey, was reviewed on BSH by Ann Alex back in January 2017. You can read her review HERE. Like The Journey, Generations also has a core of musicians and a steady parade of guests to fill out the cast list.

Generations is an affirmation of faith and a tribute to all the preceding generations in the family back to the days of emancipation. However, it also reflects contemporary life and looks to the future. The past does not bind, but provides the foundations for the future.

The music flows along through a range of soul jazz settings, taking in Stax on Strivin’, Aretha on Happy to Be with You and a more mellow eighties sound with strings on Love Makes Me Sing and that’s just the first three songs. All these  and the others on the album are settings for Jean Baylor’s wonderful voice. It is rich and expressive and while she scats and, occasionally, hollers, there is no resorting to modern clichés or melismatic wailing.

One of the tracks, 2020 opens with a choral field slaves’ spiritual lament to suggest that not enough has changed since emancipation. This develops into a big soul sound with a tremendous tenor solo by Keith Loftis and some heavy duty pummelling from Marcus.

Most of the 12 songs are Jean and Marcus Baylor co-compositions with only two covers, including Wayne Shorter’s Infant Eyes to which Jean has added lyrics. Points to Shedrick Mitchell and Dezron Douglas for their understated performance on this track. Just in case people were starting to think that it’s not a jazz album, we get Blackboy whereon Jean’s voice is set against Freddie Hendrix’ trumpet, strings, a rock solid bass by Douglas again and powerful drumming by Marcus. The song builds and swoops, shifting from a bare to a fuller arrangement, shifting and sliding through a rollercoaster ride. Send the Jazz Police back to the station, this is the genuine article!

There is a simpler sound to Only Believe which brings forth the pathos; it could be Anita Baker singing I Can’t Make You Love Me. Only Believe flows into some pulpit rattling on a short closing number, Benediction that features Apostle Larry J Bunker that features some revivalist shouting. Brevity is its main virtue.

The Baylors also deserve points for the quality of the arrangements. It can’t have been easy putting together an album like this over three years with a pandemic to contend with as well, but it doesn’t sound like a patchwork of offcuts that was cobbled together. It is the arrangements and Jean Baylor’s voice that holds it together. These are strong performances and worthy of their Grammy nomination. Impressive frocks too

There’s more on the Baylors and their project, including some performance videos (and more frocks) on their website which can be found HERE.

(Btw Esperanza Spalding won the Best Jazz Vocal Grammy this year for Songwriters Apothecary Lab) - Dave Sayer

Jean Baylor (vocals, claps and stomps); Marcus Baylor (drums); Shedrick Mitchell, Terry Brewer (keys); Dezron Douglas, Ben Williams, DJ Ginyard, Richie Goods (bass); Ray Holloman, Marvin Sewell (guitar); Keith Loftis, Freddie Hendrix, Mark Williams, Christopher Michael Stevens, Aaron Goode, Korey Riker (horns) plus guests including Kenny Garrett, Jazzmeia Horn, Diane Reeves and various Baylor family members.

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