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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 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

16434 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 314 of them this year alone and, so far, 26 this month (May 9).

From This Moment On ...

May

Sat 18: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. Celebrating ‘10 years of the Jazz Jam!’. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston. A Late Shows event.
Sat 18: SH#RP Collective @ Holy Name Parish Church Hall, Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:00-9:00pm. Tickets: £15.00. Bar available, BYO snacks. A Jesmond Community Festival event. All proceeds to Kabuyanda Charity (Ugandan health care).
Sat 18: Red Kites Jazz @ Staithes Café, Autumn Drive, Gateshead. 7:30pm.
Sat 18: Alligator Gumbo @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 18: Rockin’ Turner Brothers @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 18: Papa G’s Amigos special summer Latin set @ The Schooner, Gateshead NE8 3AF. 9:00pm. Free.
Sat 18: Late Night Special with Ruth Lambert & special guests @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 10:00pm-midnight. £5.00. (booking essential). Lambert & surprise jam session guests from down the years.

Sun 19: BTS Trombone Day @ Mark Hillery Arts Centre, Collingwood College, Durham University DH1 3LT. 11:00am-5:00pm. Free to British Trombone Society members (£10.00. & £5.00. to non-members). Recitals, workshops and mass blows.
Sun 19: Women Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. £25.00. Tutor: Andrea Vicari. Enquiries: learning@jazz.coop.
Sun 19: Ransom Van @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 19: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 19: Andrea Vicari Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 20: Harmony Brass @ the Crescent Club, Cullercoats. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 20: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:00-8:00pm. Free. Opus de Funk: Horace Silver.
Mon 20: Joe Steels-Ben Lawrence Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.

Tue 21: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Alice Grace Vocal Masterclass @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 6:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 22: Daniel Erdmann’s Thérapie de Couple @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 23: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Thu 23: Immortal Onion + Rivkala @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: The Doris Day Story @ Phoenix Theatre, Blyth. 7:30pm.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Jeremy McMurray (keys); Dan Johnson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 24: Hot Club du Nord @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Swannek + support @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. Time TBC.

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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