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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

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.
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.
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. SOLD OUT!
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: ???

Wed 15: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 15: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 15: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 15: Durham Univesity Jazz Orchestra w. Tiny Fred's Collective @ Mark Hillary Arts Centre, South Road, Collingwood College, Durham. 7:00pm. 'Jazz Night 1'. The evening begins with a jam session followed by a concert performance.
Wed 15: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 15: Syd Lawrence Orchestra: Big Band Brass @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Album review: Clark Summers Lens – Intertwine (Outside In Music)

Clark Sommers (bass); Geof Bradfield, (tenor/sop sax/ clarinet); Chris Madsen (tenor sax); Matt Gold, (guitar); Dana Hall; (drums).

This is an absolutely stonking group playing high energy jazz, dragging in influences from a variety of sources and trampling clichés in the dust. Sommers is the composer of all the music but this is a band album, though it’s hard to believe, after listening to the first track Also Tomorrow, that this isn’t a drummer led band. The front line ranges from wild to subtle but overwhelming it all is a man at the back driving in piles for a tower block or taking furniture apart with a large hammer. And it’s all rather joyful in many places.

Second track, James Marshall, is a tribute to Mr Hendrix. Gold’s guitar echoes and suggests some of Jimi’s lines but he develops these hints and makes them his own. Dana Hall continues dropping bombs and blowing things up at the back. By now you will have noticed that Sommers is the anchor, holding everything together for the others to do their things. This is not to suggest that he is simply playing rhythms or vamping - he is a master of long fluid runs, stops and changes of direction.

Ancient Voices is the breather, an elegant flowing lament that pushes the bass to the front. Hall’s cymbals provide the backwash for dancing, intertwined guitar and clarinet. Sommers talks about jazz being conversational and the album title comes from a belief that we all need each other. He combines those two ideas beautifully here.

Why the next track is called Silent Observer is anybody’s guess. It opens as a driving drums/bass/sax trio before the others join in and it’s everybody’s rodeo. You can imagine wide grins all round and the body language, urging each other on, as they were recording this one. Skin And Bone, which follows is a brief, but intense, diversion into free jazz but with an ancient feel as if music is first being explored and the only instruments are skin and bone.

Weeks & Weeks is another tribute, this time to Willie Weeks who played with everyone in the 70s and 80s and is still going strong. Sommers seems to have captured the best in every soul music instrumental break from that period. It is a mellow, late night jam, with the horns playing in harmony throughout but the fractured rhythm stops it sliding into Sanborn/Washington Jr territory.

Nichols on the Quarter is preceded by a short bass solo before it moves off in a mellow mood with only Hill’s galloping around the drum kit promising something more lively to come. There’s solos in turn from clarinet and guitar before the saxes give it a more widescreen feeling and turn up the energy levels.

The title track Intertwine, closes the album. It is more delicate, contemplative, philosophical than what has gone before; an opportunity to reflect on the last two years. Sommers showcases his bass in a long solo playing over subdued contributions from Gold and Hall again covers the kit before the saxes, exchanging squabbling solos, join again to take us home.

It’s worth awarding points to the production on the album which is probably by Ken Christiansen (it’s not clear). The music is beautifully recorded with clear separation between the instruments. That you don’t always get this makes it worthy of comment.

I can’t help feeling that the name of the group, Clark Sommers Lens, is missing an apostrophe somewhere along the way, although that is the only problem with this album.

The album is released today, September 16 and there is more about Clark Sommers and this group at his website HERE - Dave Sayer

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