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Bebop Spoken There

Mundell Lowe: “...we also had to play for a floor show, which consisted of girls dancing--some of 'em were dressed, some of 'em were not so dressed.” – (Crescendo September 1974).

Brew Moore: "I played so many strip joints I was 21 before I saw a naked woman from the front." - (Downbeat July 24, 1969).

Number 24

Bebop Spoken Here is currently listed at number 24 (-2) in the WORLD JAZZ BLOG Rankings!

Today Saturday June 24

Afternoon
Tyne Valley Big Band - Haydon Bridge Festival, Low Hall Park, Haydon Bridge NE47 6AE. £10. TVBB on at 5:15pm.
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Northern Monkey Brass Band - Orange Pip Market, Baker St., Middlesbrough. 5:15pm.
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Evening
Alan Law (solo piano) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE22 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Koan 5, Renewal - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:45pm. £5 (£4 conc.).
Miles of Barbed Wire - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Revolutionaires + Jay Burt -Amphitheatre, Sea Rd., South Shields NE33 2LD. 7pm. Free.
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Nick Ross Orchestra - Consett Empire, Front St., Consett. 7:30pm.
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No Time For Jive - The Tannery, Gilesgate, Hexham NE46 3QD. 8pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Book Review: Laurie Pepper - ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman.


(Review by Lance)
One of the pivotal moments of my life was hearing Art Pepper in concert at, what was then, Newcastle's University Theatre. I was stunned! I'd never heard alto playing like it, nor had I witnessed a person visibly being destroyed by demons and being so able to rise above it. This was akin to the second coming of Christ (Charlie Parker) and I left in a state of shock. The following day, which would be May 11, 1981, I bought every Art Pepper album I could lay my hands on. This wasn't difficult as I worked in a Newcastle music store.
Another pivotal moment was the autobiographical tome Straight Life written by Laurie Pepper from taped conversations with Art. This was a harrowing, unputdownable read that caused my friend, the late Brian Fisher, to say it made Anita O'Day seem like a nun! (O'Day's High Times, Hard Times is another tale of jazz and addiction.) After reading ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman, I'm tempted to say that Laurie makes the Art of Straight Life seem like a monk and I don't mean Thelonious!
It's a remarkable book written, this time, from her perspective rather than her husband's and it is as equally compelling as the first book. The two are inseparable. If you've read Straight Life then you must read this. If you read this one first then seek out Straight Life.
In passing, yes it's jazz history, but it's also a very powerful love story. A strange and unconventional love story but these are strange and unconventional people. One an artist capable of overcoming a mountain of set backs to produce some of the greatest modern jazz ever heard. The other a writer inspired by - and able to inspire - a genius. If Art Pepper had been a Country artist then the title would surely have been Stand by Your Man. Fortunately he wasn't and the title, laid on Laurie by an Australian journalist long before the book's conception, was recalled and proved a flawless choice in describing two far from flawless people! Together they have plumbed the depths and reached the heights. It is the latter position Laurie Pepper  has achieved with this book (and Straight Life).
Lance.
Laurie Pepper - ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman.
Art Pepper Music Corporation. ISBN-10: 1494297574; ISBN-13: 978-1494297572. 

1 comment :

  1. 16 likes on F/b so far plus 4 comments (inc one from Laurie herself.)

    ReplyDelete

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About this blog - contact details.

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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