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Bebop Spoken There

Charles McPherson: “Jazz is best heard in intimate places”. (DownBeat, July, 2024).

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

16590 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (July 14).

From This Moment On ...

July

Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 17: John Pope & John Garner + Nisha Ramayya @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £15.00. (£12.00. adv.). A Gem Arts Masala Festival event.

Thu 18 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle NE1 7BJ. 2:30pm. £4.00.
Thu 18: Theo Croker @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 18: Brad Linde’s Continentals @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 18: Eva Fox & the Jazz Guys @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 18: Ray Stubbs R&B All Stars @ The Mill Tavern, Hebburn. 8:00pm. Rhythm & blues.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band: Darlington Big Band.

Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 19: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.

Sat 20: Snake Davis & Helen Watson Duo @ Chopwell Community Centre NE17 7HZ. 7:30pm. £17.50.

Sun 21: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 21: Salty Dog @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free. Sun 21: The Big Easy @ The White Room, Stanley. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: Ben Crosland Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Nomade Swing Trio @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm. £10.00. Tickets from Tully’s of Rothbury or at the door (cash only). A Coquetdale Jazz event.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Album review: Yaron Herman - Alma

I've attached the press release below as it puts this album, this rather beautiful album, into context better than I could. However, I feel I should offer some thoughts on improvisation. Improvisation has been at the core of jazz since it was born. Sometimes enhancing or offering a spontaneous variation on a theme whilst at other times playing scant regard to the melody albeit not the harmonies or the chordal structures. Perhaps the two best examples of this are Hawk's Body and Soul and Bird's Embraceable You.

The current style known as 'improv' frequently does away with both melody and harmony which, in the right hands, can be fascinating and compelling as was demonstrated at the recent Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music. In the wrong hands ... but, I guess that applies to any artform. 

Yaron Herman's approach is both traditional and contemporary as the blurb below suggests. I'm not sure that the piano is a travel companion to help decipher the mysteries of the world but, with Herman at the keyboard it certainly offers an entry to a magical world of beauty. Check it out - YouTubeLance

(Press release)

Alma opens a whole new door for pianist Yaron Herman. After ten albums, here he is, launching himself into the void and, for the first time, offering us an entirely improvised body of work, at once a staggering snapshot of the present and a rich mirror of his past.

Let us recall that a knee injury forced Herman to end a promising basketball career. From the age of sixteen, he then devoted himself to music. Under the guidance of Opher Brayer, his training encouraged him to adopt a holistic vision in which the study of music is part of a whole that includes philosophy, psychology, and mathematics. For him, the piano is thus at the center of a more global reflection; it’s a travel companion to help decipher the mysteries of the world.

This creative, prolific, and unconventional path is the framework for a fascinating and generous global reflection in his recently published book entitled Le Déclic Créatif.

We sometimes forget that at the dawn of music, up until the end of the 16th century, improvisation was at the heart of the practice. Later, composers from Bach to Chopin, from Beethoven to Messiaen, all created melodies and invented harmonies on the spot, which sometimes became the matrix of their masterpieces.

This is the path that Herman followed when he walked through the studio door to record Alma. Without any planned script, he pushed himself to the edge of a form of letting go, listening to what the music had to say and opening doors to spaces still unknown to him.

Improvising is composing in real time. When one writes music, the first gesture —what is sometimes called "inspiration" — is improvised. Composing is, in a way, improvising with a pencil and an eraser. Thus, Alma proceeds from a flow beyond music itself and finds its source in the wilful desire to "always leave the door open to let what must happen, happen."

To construct concise and skilfully structured pieces in this way, inventing melodies that develop according to a logic defined in real time, is a process of infinite complexity. A process that requires an extraordinary capacity for invention and concentration, a sense of the present coupled with a (non)awareness of the future without which no development is possible. Alma is a rare invitation to embark on a sensory journey; it’s an inner dance that takes us far away, evoking a profound emotion that never lets us go.

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