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Bebop Spoken There

Ambrose Akinmusire: “ I am certainly always aware of what the masses are doing. And when I see too many people going one way, I'm going another way - even when I don't know what's over that way". DownBeat, March, 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

16233 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 115 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Feb. 23).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 27: Meditative Soundscapes - Improvised Music @ Earthlings - Healing Cafe, Buckingham St., Newcastle NE4 5QR. 7:00-8:30pm. Feat. Johannes Dalhuijsen, Richard Herdman, Nick Bagnall & Michael Olatunji.
Tue 27: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm (7:00pm doors). £12.00., £10.00. (adv.).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 29: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Olly Styles (saxophone).
Thu 29: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Josh Bentham (alto sax); Graham Thompson (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

March
Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Wind Ensemble + Big Band + Jazz Combo + R&B Band @ Boiler House, Newcastle University. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 01: Joseph Carville Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 01-Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. From 8:00pm Friday. Weekend ticket: £20.00.
Fri 01: TBC @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blind Pig Blues Club.
Fri 01: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. £10.00. Day 1/3. Musicians Unlimited + Festival Band.

Sat 02: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £15.00.. Day 2/3. Senior bands in competition.
Sat 02: Frog & Henry @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.£10.00. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club. Superb Anglo-American band!
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: TBC. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 02: The Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Repas7 by Night, 7 West St, Berwick TD15 1AS, 07900 627562. Tapas Specials from 5.00pm - showtime 8.00pm.
Sat 02: Durham University Big Band @ Durham Students' Union, New Elvet, Durham. 7:30pm. £8.00.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. The band’s 25th anniversary gig!
Sat 02: John Logan @ The Dyvels, Corbridge. 8:00pm. Rat Pack-style swing.

Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £10.00.. Day 3/3. School & Youth bands in competition.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ the Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm. £7.50.
Sun 03: Alan Law Trio plays Ahmad Jamal’s At the Pershing: But Not for Me & more @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The music of Ahmad Jamal.
Sun 03: Alice Grace & Ben Helm @ St Francis’ Church, High Heaton, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. £12.00. (children free admission). A Children’s Society fundraiser. Two x 30 mins sets. Refreshments available, child-friendly event with participation of children encouraged!
Sun 03: Sax Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. Free (donations). Monthly workshop, all welcome (participant and/or listener).
Sun 03: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 03: ’58 Jazz Collective @ St George’s Venue, Park Road, Hartlepool. 3:30pm (refreshments from 2:30pm). £6.00.
Sun 03: Down for the Count: A Century of Swing @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: SH#RP Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Remy CB @ Blues & Bourbon, Nelson St., Newcastle. 9:00pm. Free. Newcastle University music student Remy Coulthard Boardman.

Monday, November 07, 2022

Aaron Liddard - Nylon Man

I know this is a cop-out but, having heard the touring version of the band at a knockout session at Hoochie last month which I reviewed HEREI felt I couldn't add anything to what that renowned and highly acclaimed American jazz authority, Scott Yanow, jazz journalist/historian and author of 12 books including his musical memoirs, Life Through The Eyes Of A Jazz Journalist, hadn't already covered in his sleeve notes so I've humbly taken the back seat and posted Scott Yanow's notes in full. He says everything I wanted to say only says it better! Lance

Liner notes by Scott Yanow.

In his prolific and wide-ranging career, saxophonist-keyboardist-arranger-composer Aaron Liddard has contributed to many different musical experiences including working with Amy Winehouse, Prince, and Maceo Parker, and in genres ranging from hip hop and rock to Latin music and gospel. But jazz has always been the closest music to his heart. “Jazz is the only living musical art-form that is not defined by its exclusions,” says Aaron. “At its truest, jazz is an evolving aural tradition. As a musician with myriad musical influences, jazz is the only home that allows me to fully explore.”

He describes Nylon Man as “roughly 12 years in the making” and a summation of his career to this point. 42 musicians in all appear on this project. Five (singer Giulia Marelli, guitarist Harry Greene, bassist Paul Michael, drummer Jimmy Norden, and percussionist Eric Young) are members of his band Aaron and the Argonauts and appear on many of this release’s selections. Of Giulia Marelli, who is prominent on four numbers, Aaron says “She is able to tackle every detail and edge with precision and deliver performances with charisma. Giulia comes to my music with the best attitude, capability and emotional energy.”

Nylon Man, which is named after the three cities that most influenced Aaron (New York, London and Manchester), begins with a tribute to the late Chick Corea, “Corean Castaway.” It was composed years ago with Joan Viskant writing the lyrics in more recent times. Giulia Marelli has the vocal and handles the wide intervals flawlessly, the strings make a gradual but memorable entrance, and the complex drum solo is played with expertise by Marc Parnell. One could imagine Chick Corea and Flora Purim enjoying performing this piece.

“Frisco” was written during Aaron’s first visit to the U.S. One night, he was walking home to his hotel in San Francisco after attending a stirring rap opera and the song suddenly appeared in his mind; he wrote the entire piece that night. Carleen Anderson, who Aaron met while appearing with Norman Connors and Michael Henderson in a London show, is featured. Her singing in a lovely operatic voice recalls Kay Davis with Duke Ellington in the 1940s although the groove is quite contemporary.

“Together Forever” has a vocal duet by Sannaliisa Ilkka and Sam Grimley, the pandeiro of Norman Jankowski, and a mixture of an acoustic bossa nova with heavier drums and bass. A great deal takes place but the overall results are warm and soothing. “Chicken Soup” was recorded in Brazil, has a fine bass solo from Felipe Cortes (who at one point emulates a clucking chicken), and is a particularly rewarding showcase for Aaron Liddard’s tenor and piano. “Thru Your Eyes,” which is about the long demise of a relationship, features a dreamy and eerie vocal from Giulia Marelli over an electronic ensemble playing in 19/8 time.

The joyful “Apples & Pears,” which was recorded in one take, includes prominent spots for guitarist Greene and Aaron’s tenor over a bluesy and funky groove. A real change of pace, “My Kinda” is described by Aaron as being about “an affair that starts out with butterflies and ends in emotional torture. It travels from rock to hip hop to electro to highlife to acid jazz and back to rock; it always surprises audiences.” The rollicking “Catfood” is also a bit unique for it has Aaron joined by two different rhythm sections (British funk and Cuban) for a brief bit of excitement. The medium-tempo ballad “Snowdrops” begins with hints of the Yellowjackets and includes a particularly warm vocal by Giulia Marelli and inventive playing by the leader.

Aaron switches to flute for some lively Latin jazz on “Manana” which has infectious percussion work from Eric Young and is highlighted by colorful solos in the tradition by violinist Omar Puente and Harry Greene on acoustic guitar. “Beautiful” is a calming ballad sung beautifully by Miss Baby Sol with Aaron on piano. Nylon Man, a set filled with more than its share of variety, concludes with the political anti-corruption song “One Million Children.” The episodic and unpredictable performance is about the sins of the world being viewed through the eyes of the youth, and of a temple in Thailand in which one million school children gather once a year to meditate for world peace.

Aaron Liddard, who was born in Hertfordshire, started out on the euphonium, spent time playing piano and guitar, and then settled on the tenor-sax as his main instrument. While classically trained, as a teenager he found that the freedom of jazz was more inspiring. He spent a decade living and working in Manchester, developing into a very busy musician who at one point was playing regularly with 15 different bands including his Latin hip hop group Nylon Jungle. Aaron spent a long period as a regular member of Amy Winehouse’s band, toured with singer Beverley Knight, performed with Maceo Parker and Prince, and played rock with the Stargazers and the Boomtown Rats. He also contributed to over 30 albums, performed jazz with Sheila Tracey’s big band, blues with the Sugaray Rayford Band, and toured in three continents with his group Aaron and the Argonauts.

Aaron Liddard sums up his new release which defines his career up to this point. “Nylon Man is how I hear music and its possibilities. I hope that listeners will be happily surprised by what they experience.”

Your Eyes,” which is about the long demise of a relationship, features a dreamy and eerie vocal from Giulia Marelli over an electronic ensemble playing in 19/8 time.

The joyful “Apples & Pears,” which was recorded in one take, includes prominent spots for guitarist Greene and Aaron’s tenor over a bluesy and funky groove. A real change of pace, “My Kinda” is described by Aaron as being about “an affair that starts out with butterflies and ends in emotional torture. It travels from rock to hip hop to electro to highlife to acid jazz and back to rock; it always surprises audiences.” The rollicking “Catfood” is also a bit unique for it has Aaron joined by two different rhythm sections (British funk and Cuban) for a brief bit of excitement. The medium-tempo ballad “Snowdrops” begins with hints of the Yellowjackets and includes a particularly warm vocal by Giulia Marelli and inventive playing by the leader.

Aaron switches to flute for some lively Latin jazz on “Manana” which has infectious percussion work from Eric Young and is highlighted by colorful solos in the tradition by violinist Omar Puente and Harry Greene on acoustic guitar. “Beautiful” is a calming ballad sung beautifully by Miss Baby Sol with Aaron on piano. Nylon Man, a set filled with more than its share of variety, concludes with the political anti-corruption song “One Million Children.” The episodic and unpredictable performance is about the sins of the world being viewed through the eyes of the youth, and of a temple in Thailand in which one million school children gather once a year to meditate for world peace.

Aaron Liddard, who was born in Hertfordshire, started out on the euphonium, spent time playing piano and guitar, and then settled on the tenor-sax as his main instrument. While classically trained, as a teenager he found that the freedom of jazz was more inspiring. He spent a decade living and working in Manchester, developing into a very busy musician who at one point was playing regularly with 15 different bands including his Latin hip hop group Nylon Jungle. Aaron spent a long period as a regular member of Amy Winehouse’s band, toured with singer Beverley Knight, performed with Maceo Parker and Prince, and played rock with the Stargazers and the Boomtown Rats. He also contributed to over 30 albums, performed jazz with Sheila Tracey’s big band, blues with the Sugaray Rayford Band, and toured in three continents with his group Aaron and the Argonauts.

Aaron Liddard sums up his new release which defines his career up to this point. “Nylon Man is how I hear music and its possibilities. I hope that listeners will be happily surprised by what they experience.” Scott Yanow

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