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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

16246 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 128 of them this year alone and, so far, 72 this month (Feb. 29).

From This Moment On ...

March

Mon 04: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 05: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Joe Steels, Paul Grainger, Michael Mather.

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 07: Ray Stubbs R & B All Stars @ The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 07: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. Guests: Mark Toomey (alto sax); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax); Garry Hadfield (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums). 8:30pm.

Fri 08: Noel Dennis Quartet @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle. 1:00pm. £8.00. Noel Dennis (trumpet, flugelhorn); Rick Laughlin (keyboards); Mick Shoulder (double bass); Tim Johnston (drums).
Fri 08: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free. CANCELLED! Back on March 15.
Fri 08: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Sat 09: Alex Fawcett Band + Lindsay Hannon Blues Trio @ Sedgefield Parish Hall. 7:00pm. £15.00. A Sedgefield Rock & Blues Club event. Tickets: www.sedgefieldblues.com.
Sat 09: Shunyata Improvisation Group @ Cullercoats Watch House. 8:00pm. Donations. A Watch House renovation fundraising concert.
Sat 09: Ray Stubb’s R&B All Stars @ The Peacock, Sunderland. 6:00pm. Free. Gig in the downstairs bar.

Sun 10: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 10: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Salty Dog @ The Lounge, Blyth. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Vintage Explosion @ Wylam Brewery, Newcastle.
Sun 10: Fraser Fifield: Secret Path Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 10: Jazz Jam @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 11: Matthew Forster Quartet @ Yamaha Music School, Seaforth St., Blyth NE24 1AY. 1:00 - 1:45pm. £8.00. + bf.
Mon 11: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 12: Lewis Watson Quartet @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Album Review: Louis Stewart & Noel Kelehan - Some Other Blues

Louis Stewart (guitar); Noel Kelehan (piano)

Having been away on a longish trip to Spain I arrived home to find a delightful slice of Irish jazz history awaiting me.

After the reissue last year of Louis Stewarts wonderful 1977 solo album Out On His Own (previously reviewed on BSH), now comes another box of treasure from the musical archive of Gerald Davis, the founder of Irelands first jazz label, Livia Records. With the support of the Davis family, the record label has been reactivated by jazz aficionado Dermot Rogers and clearly he has been enjoying his explorations.

What is thrilling about this second album, Some Other Blues, also recorded in 1977, is that it is not a reissue of a previous record but a recording that has never been available before. And equally exciting is that, as well as Louis Stewart, it features one of the few recordings by another fine Irish jazz musician, pianist Noel Kelehan. Although his first love was always jazz and he led trios, quartets, quintets and big bands, Kelehans career took him into the Irish national radio and TV broadcaster RTE where he was a highly regarded musician, composer, arranger and conductor.

A Greek philosopher once said that you cant step in the same river twice, arguing that life, time (and rivers) were always in flux and changing, but he hadnt heard this record. As a young jazz fan in Dublin I heard these two musicians live in many different combinations and from the first few notes of the first track I was back there again. This is what the best jazz in Dublin in the 1970s sounded like. Superb musicians, enjoying playing together. Happy to play fast without giving the impression they were at the edge. Equally comfortable playing slow ballads and always with lyricism and feeling.

Most of the tracks are up-tempo meaning they vary from fast to warp factor 5 and the notes say that Ill Remember April has a tempo of 285 bpm. I didnt count them but I could hear each note played perfectly. Their version of Singin' in the Rain would leave even the fleet-footed Gene Kelly standing and tracks like You Stepped Out of a Dream and Minority demonstrate the two musicians virtuosity.

It is good to hear one of Kelehans own compositions, a slower tempo ballad I Only Have Time to Say I Love You and with the Tadd Dameron tune If You Could See me Now and the title track, Coltranes Some Other Blues, a rich diversity is added to the mix.

One of the excellent features of the albums issued by the (new) Livia records is that they are beautifully produced with highly informative booklets written by people with considerable jazz expertise. In this case Ronan Guilfoyle, an educator and bass player who played for a long period with Stewart and also with Noel Kelehan, describes the harmonic intricacies of particular tracks which illustrate Kelehans arranging abilities with chord-rich playing and multiple key changes and provide a perfect match to Stewart's effortless playing. For me his description of the musical techniques Kelehan and Stewart display certainly added to my enjoyment of the album.

As Guilfoyle writes it is extraordinary that Some Other Blues has taken more than 46 years to see the light of day. One can only wonder what other musical gems Livia Records are currently polishing up and I for one cant wait! (definitely not for another 46 years, anyway). JC

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