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Bebop Spoken There

Alan Luff: “The general view is that Ella’s songbook recordings are the supreme exemplars of sophistication, fine diction and creative voice in the wide field of popular music.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Steve Voce: “Most of us have been crashed into by cretins who walk along the road absorbed in the screens of their mobile phones.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Number 22!

Bebop Spoken Here is currently listed at number 22 in the WORLD JAZZ BLOG Rankings!

Today Friday May 26

Afternoon
Harambee Pasadia - See RH Column.
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
Paul Wilkinson - St. Nicholas Cathedral, St. Nicholas Square, Newcastle NE1 1PF. 1:05pm. Retiring collection.
Mark Williams/Joel Byrne McCullough - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. 1pm. £5.
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Evening
Ruth Lambert Quartet - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm, £7 (£6 in advance.)
Hand to Mouth (Lindsay Hannon/Bradley Johnston) - High Friars Lane (Tyneside Cinema), Free, al fresco, 8pm. food and drink available.
?????????? - Billy Bootleggers - 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8pm. Free.
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Imelda May - Sage Gateshead. 7pm. £38.20/£27.30 VIP Option £104.
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Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Ushaw College, nr. Durham. 7:30pm. £7.
Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Roly Veitch was right!

(By Dave Brownlow)
Responding to your recent re-blog of Roly Veitch’s conclusion that “the bass player is the most important member of the band” as a one-time bassist myself I can wholeheartedly agree! Roly’s comment set me thinking about some of the “greats” in jazz history and their bassists.
Tommy Potter was Charlie Parker’s first-choice bass player from 1947 – 51 for good reason. He had a light, bouncy, rhythmic tone - perfect for the Bebop Quintet Bird was developing then. Tommy’s sure-footed choice of notes helps listeners to know exactly ‘where you are’ in the chord sequence which must have given Charlie great confidence to launch into his Bird-Flights-Of-Fancy.
Ray Brown was a stalwart of Oscar Peterson’s Duos and Trios from 1949 – 1966 which provided a musical association of great benefit to both men. Ray had a formidable attack, a huge, rounded, sustained sound emanating from the centre or lower reaches of the bass soaring up into the cello registers in solos. His ‘time’ was rock solid – it needed to be to hold together Oscar’s at times break-neck playing within the group!
The great Bill Evans chose his bassists with care because he was looking for a musician who could be an “equal” in his conception of the piano trio in jazz. At the forefront was Scott La Faro whose association with Bill was tragically short. Scott’s sound was huge throughout all the bass range, his drive powerful and he took technique up to a new level. With the drummer, he was able to challenge the leader, and raise the tension in pieces, building up to resolution in dramatic ways.
Miles Davis’ long-time bass player was Paul Chambers who worked with the trumpeter through several of his career phases – namely The Quintets, The Gil Evans Projects and The Kind Of Blue Sextet. Paul’s playing was light toned, ‘springy’ and swinging and his note choice was more unusual because his bass-lines did not contain so many ‘root’ notes. As a result, the bass part was more free-flowing which made Paul one of the first players who could play competently within Miles’ idea of  using tunes based on modes, scales or one or two chords (i.e. So What).
Finally in this brief review of some of the “greats” and their bassists is Gary Peacock within the “Standards Trio” of Keith Jarrett. Gary had (and has) the most extravagant technical ability on the bass moving from strong ‘root’ notes into cello-like sorties into the upper reaches of harmony and indeed harmonics, taking risks even when just accompanying ! This constantly imaginative playing undoubtedly spurred on Jarrett to reach his more outrageous moments.
I believe these few examples from the history of jazz fully support Roly’s wise assertion!
Dave Brownlow

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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