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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!"


15848 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 855 of them this year alone and, so far, 53 this month (Sept. 18).

From This Moment On ...


Sat 23: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Tanfield Railway, Gateshead. 2:00-4:00pm. Free. A '1940s Weekend' event.
Sat 23: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn. 3:30-5:30pm. Free.
Sat 23: Andrew Porritt & Keith Barrett @ Cullercoats Watch House, Front St., Cullercoats NE30 4QB. 7:00pm.
Sat 23: Michael Woods @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig. Country blues.

Sun 24: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 24: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.

Mon 25: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 25: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 7:00pm.

Tue 26: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.

Wed 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 27: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 27: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 28: Alice Grace Quartet @ King's Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Free.
Thu 28: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm. All welcome.
Thu 28: Faye MacCalman + Snape/Sankey @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 28: Zoe Rahman @ Jesmond United Reformed Church, Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Thu 28: '58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 28: Speakeasy @ Queen's Hall, Hexham. 7:30pm. £15.00. A Southpaw Dance Company presentation. Dance, audio-visuals, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, swing dancers etc.
Thu 28: Mick Cantwell Band @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free. Ace blues band.
Thu 28: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

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.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Album review: Dave Liebman – Live At Smalls (Cellar Music Group)

Dave Liebman (saxophones); Peter Evans (trumpet); Leo Genovese (piano); John Hebert (bass); Tìyshawn Sorey (drums).

I do believe that Dave Liebman was one of the fortunate visiting stars that worked with the Voice of the North Orchestra back in the day. What a fine orchestra that was, it would probably be called a collective these days. 

Whilst that was probably a career highlight for Mr Liebman, as it would be for any American lucky enough to visit Darlington, he is probably still best known for his membership of Miles Davis’ group back in the days of On The Corner which came out in 1972. Leo Genovese has also been up this way, performing in a group at a Sage jazz festival one year with Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding and Jack DeJohnette. Both Tyshawn Sorey and Peter Evans have extensive discographies as both leaders and sidemen so there is quality, here, throughout the ranks.

Last January found Dave Liebman at Smalls in New York recording this collection of free jazz pieces with, it must be said, a very fine band. Liebman had undergone a hip operation six weeks earlier (what other kind of operation would there be for a jazzman?) and this was his return to the stage.

This is Dave Liebman in free mode across three long pieces, The Beginning, The Middle  and The End  which clock in at 15, 33 and 25 minutes, respectively. It is intense stuff which gives time and opportunity for each player to contribute. Although it’s billed as free jazz and the sleeve notes expound at length on the liberation offered by this freedom there are moments when it anchors onto something, a groove or a familiar pattern of notes, that will feel more secure to many listeners, before such secure handholds fall away, back into something more overwhelming. Conversely, there are moments that require close concentration, which is rewarded, when it becomes clearer how the musicians are relating to each other’s contribution.

At times the music is delicate, almost furtive, with only spare interjections behind a single lead instrument, as delicate as lacework. At others it’s full-on, a high speed train rush, in take-no-prisoners mode. This music is, however, a marvellous blend of competition and co-operation. Whilst there are rapid changes of direction, what you notice most is the flow. It keeps moving forward with whoever has the lead at any time pulling the others onward like a marathon relay whilst the lead goes where the spirit takes them. Even when most fall back and one instrument steps forward, such as during John Hebert’s bass solo at the end of The Beginning, there are still prompts from drums and piano to maintain the momentum and the idea of the group.

It’s impossible to single anyone out for specific praise as the baton passes back and forth so frequently each relishes their moments in the spotlight and there is imagination and energy in abundance. That sentence should be followed by a ‘But’ and references to Sorey’s powerhouse drumming, ride cymbal work and cymbal splashes, or Genovese’s dazzling piano runs, or Evans’ burning trumpet solos, but (again), it’s the ensemble working together that comes through. And it all comes back to the flow.

Live At Smalls, which is listed on some websites as Lost In Time, is available now from the usual outlets. Anyone with a further interest in Liebman’s work should head over to Dave Sayer

1 comment :

Russell said...

Back in the day (2011) Leo Genovese was in Michael Janisch's band at Newcastle's Lit & Phil and three years later he appeared at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival.

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