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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 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

16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...

May

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm. CANCELLED!
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

June

Sat 01: Enrico Tomasso’s Swing Company @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 01: Play More Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning.
Sat 01: Hop, Skiffle & Jump: The Story of Skiffle @ 1719, Hendon, Sunderland. 6:00-9:00pm.
Sat 01: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Dry Water Arts, Amble. 7:00pm. £15.00.
Sat 01: John Garner & John Pope @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 01: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 02: Musicians Unlimited @ West Hartlepool RFC, Hartlepool. 12 noon. Two sets (12 noon-1:00pm & 2:00-3:00pm). ‘Sunday Big Band Blast meets WHRFC’s Classic Car Show’.
Sun 02: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm. £7.50.
Sun 02: Mark Williams Trio @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00.
Sun 02: Sax Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 02: New Century Ragtime Orchestra @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig. A 'pint sized' NCRO gig/rehearsal session feat. Dave Hignett, Jim McBriarty, Gavin Lee, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford with special guest drummer Nick Ward.
Sun 02: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 02: Anth Purdy @ The Quakerhouse, Darlington. 6:30pm. Free. ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’.
Sun 02: MSK @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 03: John Garner & John Pope @ Yamaha Music School, Blyth. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Mon 03: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Album review: David Preston – Purple / Black Vol. One

David Preston (guitars); Kit Downes (Piano, Hammond and keys); Sebastian Rochford (drums & synths); Kevin Glasgow (bass)

This is an album that deserves to be liked more than I did. Everything that I’d look for is present and correct it just doesn’t quite all hang together as much as I’d hoped. Perhaps it’s the frequently occurring problem that occurs when an artist realises that his recording opportunities are limited and wants to essay a range of styles. Often this works to make a strong, wide-ranging album showing off all of their strengths; sometimes it doesn’t.

It starts well in a solid groove from the get go on O’Winston. Its rolling funk driven by Glasgow’s bass. Preston’s Scofield-esque playing works against Downes’ shards of notes. Electric guitar doesn’t always work well with acoustic piano but it does here. The two instruments coil around each other, swapping solos and each provoking the other. It greatly under-stays its welcome.

Casino Dream hits a similar groove after a bubbling start. It’s more open and spacious with an 80s' optimism to it. It’s a swinging urban funk with Downes pointillist on keys mixed in with a muscular backing from Rochford and Glasgow. This is followed by Urtext, which slows down proceedings. It’s an interlude of chords and minor embellishments; fragile late night music.

Purple/Black builds on Urtext but adds weight and gravitas in its slower pace. Rochford contributes great clunking blows on the drums and eschews cymbals; Downes fills all the gaps on Hammond and adds a few piano frills as well. Preston plays little beyond a few power chords and sustained notes. 

Blues for Klemens sees more sustain as it opens with a few delicate notes from Downes on piano to break up a frozen landscape. Rochford provides funeral drums in the distance as the piece slowly grows but loses none of its tension. Prison Lullaby feels like another interlude. It’s tight and oppressive, built around Rochford’s heavy, but spare drums; delicate piano is over-washed with guitar scratches and abrupt power chords.

I wonder if the delicate guitar notes on Shades of Shibuya are intended to evoke a Japanese samisen. Downes is equally spare on the piano; a rolling, repeated melody with few embellishments. It’s weightless. Similarly, I wondered if VHS Poem was intended to evoke the repeated urban images in Gregory Reggio’s 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi, famous for its Philip Glass soundtrack. Glasgow provides an insistent pulse on bass and, for much of this piece, there is relatively little contribution from the front line.

Closer Susie Q’s (no relation to the CCR track) is a resigned, melancholy, blues waltz. There’s a lovely romantic piano solo from Downes and Preston’s guitar sings out forcefully. Rochford rolls along steadily in the background. The last minute has real heft to it as the players challenge each other but this fades too early to the close and that is perhaps the problem with an album of ten tracks in 40 minutes. Allowed more time in the studio or on the bandstand, with a little more air beneath them, I can’t help thinking these pieces could really take flight. Having said that, I am intrigued enough to welcome Purple/Black Vol. Two when it hits the racks.

Purple/Black came out last year and is available from all the usual outlets. Dave Sayer

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