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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
Harambee Pasadia - See RH Column.
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.
Chris James & Martin Fletcher - Billy Bootleggers - 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Imelda May - Sage Gateshead. 7pm. £38.20/£27.30 VIP Option £104.
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Hokum Hotshots - National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0GL. 7:30pm. £27.50. Tel: 0191 515 5555. ‘Bourbon & Blues’ three course meal - booking essential.
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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, June 24, 2016

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ The Lit & Phil. June 24 James Birkett (guitar) & Bradley Johnston (guitar)

(Review by Russell).
A large turn out at the Lit & Phil today, extra seating required, and little wonder, given that not one, but two, of the finest jazz guitarists around were there to entertain another attentive audience in the ongoing lunchtime concert series. A master and pupil working duo – James Birkett and Bradley Johnston – presented a potted history of jazz guitar.
The one-hour programme flew by. We got the blues, skated through the park, meditated, waltzed up to a castle, met Alfie and went to Spain. The programme was familiar, yet it mattered not a jot. Some in the audience were new to the Lit and Phil and new to James and Bradley’s superb interpretations of classic material and the presentation of some of their own compositions. Birkett’s Blues for BJ and John Lewis’ most elegant Skating in Central Park delighted the audience and on Eddie Lang’s Stringin’ the Blues Dr. Birkett suggested we imagine Johnston as Joe Venuti…from one virtuoso to another! A tune by Antonio Carlos Jobim is always welcome and Meditation was the tune on this occasion.

Bireli Lagrene set the place alight. Well, not Lagrene the arsonist, more his composition and our dynamic duo’s take on it. The junior man of the partnership – BJ – tore it up and went one-nil up. Birkett wheeled out Sonny Rollins, not in person, more in spirit. Double helpings too – first Doxy, then Oleo. Birkett hit the back of the net. 1-1. Django is all but compulsory, it should be the law. The law-abiding duo played Django’s Castle.

An immaculate reading of the Bacharach and David masterpiece Alfie was accompanied by the beautifully timed banging and clanging of scaffolders at work. The Lit and Phil is in need of restoration, the work must go on. Anyway, what’s all this jazz about? Into the last five minutes, 1-1 between JB and BJ. Spain would decide matters. Not the EU state, Chick Corea’s Spain. A party piece if ever there was one, extra time, then penalties, the final score was an honourable score draw. Brilliant guitar playing, two nice guys, a full house. Vote JAZZ!

July’s date features Paul Edis playing a solo piano concert. It’s on the last Friday in July, 29th, starting at one o’clock. Recommended. 
Russell.                      

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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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