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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16527 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 407 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 12).

From This Moment On ...

June

Sun 16: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 1:00-2:45pm. Free.
Sun 16: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. £10.00.
Sun 16: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 16: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 20 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £4.00. Note new venue!
Thu 20: Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £29.00., £23.00. Folk/jazz duo.
Thu 20: Richard Herdman & Ray Burns @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 20: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Dave Harrison (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

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

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