Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Art Blakey: "You [Bobby Watson] don't want to play too long, because you don't know they're clapping because they're glad you finished!" - (JazzTimes, Nov. 2019)..

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!"


15867 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 874 of them this year alone and, so far, 72 this month (Sept. 25).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 29: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 29: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 29: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.

Sat 30: John Pope Quintet + Late Girl + Shapeshifters @ Bobik's, Jesmond, Newcastle.
Sat 30: Papa G's Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.


Sun 01: Smokin' Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 01: Dulcie May Moreno sings Portrait of Sheila @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. Moreno sings Sheila Jordan with Giles Strong, Mick Shoulder & John Bradford.
Sun 01: Middlesbrough Jazz & Blues Orchestra @ Saltburn Community Hall. 2:00pm.
Sun 01: The Easy Rollers @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £13.70., £11.55.
Sun 01: Brand/Roberts/Champion/Sanders @ Blank Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sun 01: Papa G's Troves @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 02: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 02: FILM: Wattstax; 50th Anniversary @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 8:00pm.

Tue 03: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 03: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Michael Young (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Steve White (drums).

Wed 04: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 04: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 04: Paul Skerritt @ Vespa Italian Bar & Steakhouse, Primrose Hill, Jarrow. From 7:00pm. To book a table - 0191 483 3355.
Wed 04: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 05: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 05: Sound the Trumpets @ King's Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Free.
Thu 05: Hot Club du Nord @ The Lubetkin Theatre, Peterlee. 7:00pm. £10.00.CANCELLED!
Thu 05: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 05: Tommy Bentz Trio + Mark Croft Duo + George Shovlin & George Lamb @ The Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free. Harbour View Speakeasy's USA blues double bill + Shovlin & Lamb!
Thu 05: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Thu 05: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Album review: John Scofield - John Scofield

John Scofield (guitar and looper)

Did I tell you I met John Scofield once, at the bar in what is now the Northern Playhouse after a gig at a Newcastle Jazz Festival, probably in the early nineties? My mate Ian pointed out, after we had both shaken hands with Scofield, that that hand had probably shaken hands with Miles Davis. Thus, was our tenuous link to jazz history established.

I didn’t realise how many John Scofield albums I had until I started rummaging. As well as a couple of his own in my collection I also have him on albums with Joe Lovano, Dave Holland and Al Foster (as ScoLoHoFo), Marc Johnson, The Allman Brothers Band, Pat Metheny, Medeski, Martin and Wood and a very good tribute to Tony Williams Lifetime with Larry Goldings and Jack DeJohnette. Of course his profile was raised enormously by being part of Miles Davis’ group in the mid-80s, though he had been recording prolifically for over 10 years before that. Safe to say he gets around. So much so that the last place I saw his albums up for sale was the Drift Café on Druridge Bay

This album is another classic lockdown album on which Scofield, on his own and with loops, revives a few of his tunes and those of friends, adds a few covers that he has a soft spot for and chucks in a couple of ‘Trad. Arrs’ for good measure. He recorded it in a studio in the hamlet of Katona in upstate New York. If it sounds like the noodlings of a happy man, then that’s no bother and the pressure is off the listener. It’s a collection of pastoral sketches from simpler times, of Norman Rockwell farmers and trains that whistle in the distance.

Coral slides out of the speakers and we’re up and ambling rather than running. A gentle (looped?) strum overlaid with some of those spiky, pointed notes that Scofield specialises in. It’s a Keith Jarrett song from the days when we all had big hair and Scofield says in his sleeve notes that he learnt it from Gary Burton whilst at Berklee. Honest I Do is one of Scofield’s from 1991. Stripped back, as here, it floats by and the words wistful and melancholic come to mind.

Jimmy Van Heusen’s It Could happen To You is a gently swinging toe-tapper as previously performed by Kenny Dorham and by old boss Miles Davis.

Danny Boy, one of the ‘Trad. Arr’ tunes is all wide open spaces. A song for open prairies or big Northumberland skies. Scofield at his most reflective. He plays the melody and then sets up a drone over which he layers longer, rounder notes with a touch of the Indian ragas to it.

The gentle, elegant Mrs Scofield’s Waltz is a homesteader’s turn around the garden, whist Junco Partner retains the Cajun swing from performances by Dr John and, surprisingly, The Clash. It’s one to dip your head into  and shuffle your feet to.

Not Fade Away is, of course, the Buddy Holly/ Rolling Stones classic built on a shuffling Bo Diddley riff i.e. ‘Shave and a haircut, two bits’. Scofield’s version is less Buddy Holly and more Grateful Dead who covered Not Fade Away a few thousand times live. Scofield’s sleeve notes mention his friendship with Phil Lesh from The Dead and playing this tune live with him. He sets up the riff and calls over it as the riff responds.

Not an album that will blow the doors off, but one that will open the windows on a warm day and let a little air in. Nobody is going to put it forward as their album of the year for 2022 until they realise how often they have played it because it’s just a little bit different and just fits when the mood is right.

The CD is available now  on ECM from all reasonable suppliers with a vinyl release scheduled for the autumn - Dave Sayer

No comments :

Blog Archive