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Bebop Spoken There

Branford Marsalis: "As ignorance often forces us to do, you make a generalisation about a musician based on one specific record or one moment in time." - (Jazzwise June 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!"


15491 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 512 of them this year alone and, so far, 133 this month (May 31).

From This Moment On ...

Tue 06: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 06: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Sid White (drums).

Wed 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 07: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 07: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 07: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free. CANCELLED! BACK ON JUNE 15.
Thu 08: Easington Colliery Brass Band @ The Lubetkin Theatre, Peterlee. 7:00pm. £10.00.
Thu 08: Faye MacCalman + Blue Dust Archive @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 08: Dilutey Juice + Ceramic @ The Ampitheatre, Sea Road, South Shields. 7:00pm. Free. A South Tyneside Festival event.
Thu 08: Lara Jones w. Vigilance State @ Lubber Fiend, Blandford Square, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 08: Michael Littlefield @ the Harbour View, Roker, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free. Country blues.
Thu 08: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 09: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 09: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: Castillo Nuevo @ Revolución de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Fri 09: Emma Rawicz @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Sat 10: Miners' Picnic @ Woodhorn, Ashington. Music inc. Northern Monkey Brass Band (3:00-3:50pm); New York Brass Band (4:00-4:55pm).
Sat 10: Front Porch Three @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. Americana, blues, jazz etc.
Sat 10: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.

Sun 11: WORKSHOP: Tim Richards' Jazz Piano Workshop @ JG Windows, Newcastle. Time TBC. Further details tel. 0191 232 1356.
Sun 11: Jeremy McMurray's Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Ropner Park, Stockton TS18 4EF. 2:00-4:00pm. Free.
Sun 11: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 11: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 11: Groovetrain @ Innisfree Sports & Social Club, Longbenton NE12 8TY. Doors 6:30pm. £15.00 (£7.00. under 16).
Sun 11: Jeffrey Hewer Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 12: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Album review: Duncan Eagles – Narrations (Ropeadope)

Duncan Eagles (tenor sax); Tomasz Bura (piano, synth); Max Luthert (bass); Zoe Pascal (drums)

Sometimes, after listening to some Albanian folk/jazz*, you just want to listen to someone blowing. If that’s you, and, if you don’t mind some heavy duty rhythmic support and a drummer who sounds like she’d be happy to run through buildings, then this album is for you. It would probably be best described as post-bop, though, these days that seems to cover a multitude of styles without really saying anything. Suffice to say, it’s energetic with strong melodies and stronger playing by a very tight unit that you would be overjoyed to listen to down at the Globe on a Sunday evening. It would be a great way to end the weekend.

I mainly know of Eagles from his membership of Partikel and he is featured on an album I recently reviewed, namely Ignored Advice by Estraven as well as other albums I own by Samuel Eagles and Ollie Howell. He also maintains a career as a teacher.

The album opens with bold, clean sax lines being driven by Pascal’s drums. It’s a call to arms, but one with a noire-ish edge. Some angular rhythms see piano, bass and drums drop in and out before Bura embarks on a long solo powered from behind by Pascal’s drumming. Eagles’ sax elevates the tune. There is none of the weight associated with being the sole lead instrument in this band and he carries the role easily.

Elden is a piece that builds across its six minutes to a wailing, bellowing, overpowering sax solo that drowns out the band and is worth the price of admission on its own. Pascal’s drumming grows from splashes of cymbal to a four to the floor regular beat before she follows Eagles in some of his wilder imaginings.

Suburbiton sees us in more familiar territory. It’s mid-pace, shuffling rhythm deceives and its apparent mainstream opening leads into a heavily chordal piano solo and staccato drumming whilst Luthert holds it all together on the bass. After all the frantic action, a breathy sax solo over cymbal splashes and regular bass notes show us how far from the mainstream we’ve travelled in the last 8 minutes before everything breaks up and down and out again. Surbiton was never like this on The Good Life, what would Margo and Gerry say? I believe, at times like this we are required to say that we have been on a journey.

Local Hero is a delicate duet for bass and sax. Unlike anything else on the album, it is not out of place and seems to be an opportunity for the listener to catch their breath.

Severance takes us round some oblique corners before Bura plays a lyrical solo backed by Pascal’s light cymbal wash and occasional bass drum thumps; the two seem to be pulling the tune in opposite directions with the energy of an argument but the intelligence of a debate. Eagles’ sax suddenly comes in and draws it all together again.

I was reminded of Joe Henderson playing the covers on his State of The Tenor during Rosebush, another delicate edge-of-the-seat ballad that has you leaning in so as to capture every nuance. Bura takes over after a flowing, lyrical solo from Eagles and matches him whilst Pascal gently covers all of the kit and, as he has done for much of the album so far, Luthert is the rock on which the others build.

Closer, The Bakehouse, is another hyperactive, multi-rhythmic blow. Its points all round to those responsible for recording and mixing this album as the separation and clarity of each instrument is excellent and you can hear what everyone is doing individually and collectively. The Bakehouse is full of fury and its sudden end leaves you feeling a little lost and stranded.

There’s a huge amount of variety and imagination across the album and often within a single tune. There are no wasted moments and it feels longer than its allotted 46 minutes, but in a good way. I like this album a lot and I’m going to put it at the end of the shelf next to Phoenix by Lakecia Benjamin so I remember it for my end of year lists.

Duncan Eagles’ website, which can be found HERE, is a good example of how to maintain a musician’s website with lots of video and music clips and plenty of info about Eagles and his projects. Narrations is released on 19th May on digital and CD formats. Dave Sayer

* Lost Ships by Elina Duni and Rob Luft (very good album, despite the dismissive comment above)

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