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Bebop Spoken There

Clare Teal: "If you're brought up in a working-class family, you haven't got money for records so everything you get hold of, you treasure, learn to love, and I loved those Ella tapes." - (Radio Times 23-29 January 2021)

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".

Wednesday January 27

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KYRIAKI PANTELIDOU & RAY CARLESS

Postage

12,399 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 118 of them this year alone and, so far, 118 this month (Jan. 25).

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Preview: Scotland's Makar on Bessie Smith (Jan. 30)

Scotland's Makar, or national poet laureate, Jackie Kay, talks to Kate Molleson about the life and legacy of blues singer Bessie Smith on BBC Radio 3's Music Matters (Saturday, 11:45am, repeated Monday, 1 Feb, 10:00pm). Kay has a long association with BSH's home patch, first as a published author with Bloodaxe Books, and latterly as Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.  
Russell

Jazzing around from Middlesbrough to Jesmond via Montreal by Peter Wardle

I was brought up in Middlesbrough and my early memories were of the austere post war period - ration books, shortages, blackout curtains, fogs, etc. My earliest memories of music were from listening to the BBC Light Programme, 78's played on an old windy-up gramophone and my mother playing piano in the front room. My mother encouraged me to learn to play the piano but I was too busy kicking a ball around the local parks. I have always regretted not listening to her advice. My earliest experience of live music was performing in gang shows on the stage of the Middlesbrough Empire. I was fascinated by the activity of the pit orchestra. All my family attended the Woodlands Road Methodist Church and I enjoyed, and still do, the singing of hymns.

I don't recall going to any live music events other than brass band concerts playing in Albert Park. My introduction to jazz music was some 60 years ago watching the film Jazz on a Summer’s Day. Stand out performances I still remember were from Anita O'Day and Jimmy Giuffre on tenor with valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer. I have been a jazz fan ever since!

New Year, New Lockdown, New Music (2) with Paul Edis - Jan. 26

(Screenshot by Jerry)

We've been here before. During 2020 Paul Edis' Ballads Before Bed became required late night listening. Now, in the early weeks of the new year, our London resident pianist has resurfaced with a fortnightly (Tuesday) series focussing upon new, original material, some rarely performed pieces from an ever-expanding songbook.

Eleven compositions in something like one hour, each one placed in context: an arrangement for a youth jazz ensemble, a number, possibly performed in concert on one occasion only, in the company of a visiting American post bop alto saxophonist, a tune written in twenty minutes and so on. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

KSTV: Adrian Cox Quartet live stream - Jan. 26

Adrian Cox (clarinet/vocals); Dave Archer (guitar); Noah Stoneman (piano/organ); Ferg Ireland (bass).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew).

You've got to hand it to Smitty's, they offer the best of jazz in many of its various forms and, equally, it could be said, so does Adrian Cox.

I can think of few clarinetists who come across as being as much at home with the music of Johnny Dodds or Buddy de Franco. Cox doesn't copy, he just absorbs the elements of their playing into his psyche. Ed Hall's up in there too. It must be crowded. Maybe that's why he wears a cap to stop them escaping.

Tonight was faultless. A choice selection of standards and a few vocals that didn't hurt mixed with some fine piano, guitar and bass. One of those sessions that just demands that you to sit back and enjoy - with or without a glass of South Australian Sauvignon Blanc in your hand.

Album review: Cowboys and Frenchmen - Our Highway

Ethan Helm (alto sax/flute); Owen Broder (alto/baritone sax); Addison Frei (piano); Ethan O'Reilly (bass); Matt Honor (drums).

"The flute player is called Ethan and the bass player is also called Ethan."
"Oh really?"
"No, O'Reilly!"

I began this review with that old chestnut just to be different as the album itself is quite different - in the nicest possible way, I hasten to add.

The difference is in the form of some video footage (which can be purchased separately) that I had a reviewer's privilege of being able to watch whilst at the same time listening to the band playing live at SubCulture in NYC. The film was shot in those pre-pandemic days when the band were touring and gigging across the United States.

New Year, New Lockdown, New Music (2)

Paul Edis presents the second of his solo piano live streams tonight at 8:00pm. To watch on YouTube click on this link.
Paul, whose recent trio album Snakes and Ladders has been receiving rave reviews, will be playing a mix of standards and original compositions.
Lance

Monday, January 25, 2021

Antonio Forcione live stream from Ronnie Scott's - Jan. 25

Antonio Forcione (guitar); Matheus Nova (acc. bass guitar); Jansen Santana (perc.).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew).

Difficult one for me. It really needed a guitar specialist to elaborate on the technical aspects which, at times, were quite amazing. Forcione is a brilliant and possibly unique guitarist in the way he merges the music of so many cultures - Italian, African, Brazilian, Spanish, Portuguese, Cuban - and presents the end product as jazz. Which it most certainly is, possibly subtitled world jazz.

Opening with an unaccompanied Heartbeat it became obvious that this man's technique was his own as he played some fantastic things with both hands on the fretboard faraway from the soundhole.

Album review: John Pope Quintet - Mixed With Glass

John Pope (double bass); Jamie Stockbridge (alto sax); Faye MacCalman (tenor sax/clarinet);  Graham Hardy (trumpet/pocket trumpet); Johnny Hunter (drums).

Having seen this band a number of times live and being a big fan it was with some excitement and trepidation when I placed their inaugural CD Mixed with Glass into the player. I needn’t have worried within just a few bars I knew this album was a winner and that it was going to deliver the musical experience I had hoped for.

The CD was recorded over a weekend in October on the New Jazz and Improvised Recordings label partially set up to compensate for the cancellation of the 2020 Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music.

Album review: The QOW Trio

Riley Stone-Lonergan (tenor sax); Eddie Myer (bass); Spike Wells (drums).

The QOW Trio assembled, originally, to explore their love of Sonny Rollins’ piano-less trios of the 1950s but expanded their interest to encompass other big voiced tenorists with a full phat sound. The best sax trios have a rhythm section that pushes and prods the leader on and never allows the listener to wonder if there should be another horn or a pianist in the band. You need a monster bassist and a propulsive drummer, just like the QOW Trio. There is occasional space here, but the sax echoes into it and there is no sense of anything missing. This is music for the middle of a pandemic, recorded in one afternoon, where the band have shut out whatever lockdown we were in at the time and have convened to just blow. Cobwebs have no chance.

The Glenn Crytzer Quartet in the year 1931 - Jan. 24

Glenn Crytzer (guitar, vocals); Mike Davis (trumpet); Ricky Alexander (clarinet); Andrew Hall (double bass)

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, written in the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash, opened this week's NYC Sunday afternoon session by the Glenn Crytzer Quartet (2:30 EST, 7:30 GMT). Band leader Crytzer is well versed in all aspects of the live stream, ever the genial host, songs from 1931 in the spotlight. All of Me with Crtyzer taking a first vocal along with a rarely heard verse for good measure, followed by Just Friends, clarinetist Ricky Alexander soloing fluently. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord live streaming from The Globe - Jan. 24

Emma Fisk (violin); Bradley Johnston, Dave Harris (guitars); Bruce Rollo (bass). 

(Screenshot by Russell)

What is there to say about The Quintet of the Hot Club de France that hasn't already been said? Come to that, what is there left to say about Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord?

Both bands have more or less exhausted superlatives and, although the music may date back to the years either side of WWII, it somehow retains its relevance today - particularly in the hands of Emma and her trusty crew. 

I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me - the opening number. Emma, Brad, Dave and Bruce - you'd better believe it as myself and 95 others watching certainly are! 

Jimmie Noone in "Block Busters"


Reading Russell's review of this week's Sunday Service by clarinetist Adrian Cox I note that in next week's SS Cox pays tribute to Jimmy Noone.
Noone, who died in April 1944, made an appearance earlier that year in a B movie, Block Busters, with The East Side Kids a.k.a. The Bowery Boys. In the above clip, Noone and his band can be seen playing Apex Blues and Boogie Woogie.

He really was a nice clarinet player.
Lance

Album review: A second review* of The Royal Bopsters - Party of Four

Jazz vocal group, The Royal Bopsters, have just produced their second release - Party Of Four - which also includes veteran vocal bopsters, Bob Dorough and Sheila Jordan as well as bass giant Christian McBride on selected tracks. 

A master class of vocal jazz artistry, The Bopsters project vocalese in tight, intricate harmonies on a disc containing drama and  multi-layered harmonies that draw much inspiration from classic vocal groups of yore. These include Lambert, Hendricks and Ross (The Bopsters' 2015 debut CD, included guest spots from both Ross and Hendricks), the Hi Los, and The Manhattan Transfer. POF exudes  a deeply swinging  amalgam of vocal virtuosity with precise but fully breathing arrangements that effectively combine the yin and yang of this discipline.

The Sunday Service celebrates Johnny Dodds - Jan. 23

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals)

Indigo Stomp from 1929, a Dodds' trio recording with Lil Armstrong (Hardin) and an unknown bass player, opened today's programme. Preacher Cox dedicated today's service to Keith Nichols, described by our host as 'a font of knowledge' when it came to early jazz matters. The Armstrong connection continued with Perdido Street Blues and a counter melody rendition of High Society (Cox saying we had to imagine a band around him). At this point no fewer than 112 Facebook parishioners were watching on.

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