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Bebop Spoken There

Raymond Chandler: “ I was walking the floor and listening to Khatchaturian working in a tractor factory. He called it a violin concerto. I called it a loose fan belt and the hell with it ". The Long Goodbye, Penguin 1959.

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

16350 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 230 of them this year alone and, so far, 27 this month (April 11).

From This Moment On ...

April

Sat 13: Giles Strong Quartet @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00-9:00pm. £10.00.
Sat 13: Phantom Bagman + Forgetmenots @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:30pm.£5.00. + bf. Upstairs.
Sat 13: Rockin’ Turner Brothers @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Downstairs.

Sun 14: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: Alan Law, Jude Murphy & Tim Johnston @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 14: JazzMain @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 15: Dave Newton @ Yamaha Music School, Seaforth St., Blyth NE24 1AY. 1:00 - 1:45pm. £8.00. + bf. Newton, solo piano.
Mon 15: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 15: Hideout @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.50 + £1.33 bf. Feat. Sleep Suppressor + Flat Moon.
Mon 15: Russ Morgan Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.

Tue 16: The Horne Section’s Hit Show @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 7:30pm.
Tue 16: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Bradley Johnston, Paul Grainger, Bailey Rudd.

Wed 17: Bailey Rudd (Minor Recital) @ The Music Studios, Haymarket Lane, Newcastle University. 11:40am. Bailey Rudd (drums). Open to the public.
Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: The Horne Section’s Hit Show @ The Gala, Durham. 7:30pm. SOLD OUT!
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 18: NONUNONU @ Elder Beer Café, Chillingham Road, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 18: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. + bf. Support act TBC.
Thu 18: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band night with Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Donna Hewitt (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Fri 19: Cia Tomasso @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. ‘Cia Tomasso sings Billie Holiday’. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Levitation Orchestra + Nauta @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £11.00.
Fri 19: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Great American Songbook, The Sage, Gateshead. Wednesday June 20.

Katherine Zeserson (vocal)  James Birkett (electric guitar).
(Review by Ann Alex.)
 Everything that you need to know about the gasbook was included in this most enjoyable illustrated talk.  The social background, the influences behind the songs, how the songs came across to ordinary American people, and, most important of all, many of the songs themselves were performed.
Ms Zeserson is American, brought up in New York, so these songs were the soundtrack of her early life.  Mary Martin, the Broadway and Hollywood star, lived opposite.  The family regularly discussed the merits of songwriters such as Gershwin and Kern, or of singers Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.  So it’s not surprising that Ms Zeserson was able to sing classic versions of the songs beautifully, bringing out the full meaning of the words, acting them out.  
The songs needed no scatting or other decoration.  But, as she explained, the songs originally would not have been performed in a jazz-like fashion at all, as most of them were from musicals, so would have been done in that rather more semi-operatic style.
Gasbook songs are generally understood to be those from the first half of the twentieth century, written against a background of economic insecurity and listened to on the radio, so people needed this music to keep up their morale and help them to deal with problems of the time (the depression and two world wars).  The songs are part of the identity of the USA, even sometimes involving gender and race issues,  Porgy and Bess, Showboat and South Pacific all had racial storylines that were generally avoided by other branches of the entertainment world pre the 1960s.  The musical heritages of black America and of Eastern Europe played their part in producing the songs.
Examples sung included The Man I Love, (George and Ira Gershwin 1924); the controversial Love for Sale (Cole Porter 1930), which is about prostitution, so was banned originally.  We swung into It Don’t Mean a Thing (Duke Ellington 1932); and danced Cheek to Cheek( Irving Berlin 1935). Ms. Zeserson pointed out that many of the songs were used for dancing and the dancehall was a training ground for songwriters.  So at this point Jim provided us with a dancing jazz guitar accompaniment, which had a lovely warm smooth sound.  There followed It Ain’t Necessarily So (George and Ira Gershwin 1935), sung in a strong sultry voice; and All The Things You Are (Jerome Kern 1939).  We were told that we were lucky to have the latter song at all, as Kern just missed being drowned in the Lusitania tragedy.  Not many people knew that before they came along to this talk!  I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of my Hair (Rodgers and Hammerstein 1949) was followed by the two final songs, Here’s That Rainy Day (Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke 1953); and Misty (Errol Garner and Johnny Burke 1954)  These songs come from the end of the Gasbook era, when musicals and dancehalls had changed or were less popular, there was more prosperity, and people didn’t need to rely on radio so much.  Television was rising in popularity and Times They Were a Changin'.
Jim was deservedly thanked for his competent, skilled accompaniment, and we all went home with a printed list showing details of the songs sung and a greater knowledge of this important segment of American musical history.
Ann Alex.    

5 comments :

Lance said...

I agree it was an excellent evening. I'd like to have heard Johnny Mercer, Harry Warren and Rodgers with Larry Hart represented but in the time allotted she had to be selective and a good selection it was too.

Lance said...

The lyric to "It Ain't Necessarily So" is just so fantastic and Ms. Zeserson drew attention to the rhyming of - "He made his home in" with "That fish's abdomen" wonderful!
But my favourite line is - "Li'l Moses was found in a stream. He floated on water Till Ol'Pharaoh's daughter,
She fished him, she said, from dat stream." The emphasis and innuendo on those two words "she said"...

Liz said...

any chance of a repeat of this? I would travel to hear/see it, excellent review...watch out Lance , you have competition!!
Liz

Lance said...

We're not competitive - we write to our strengths ie Ann the vocal side, Russell the contemporary/cutting edge and myself the areas east and west of, and including, Bebop and blues. Plus of course we have a lot of occasional contributors who chip in - such as yourself, Liz, - which makes this almost a family affair - a family we are ever eager to enlarge so if any reader wants to kick in with a review of a gig, a CD or their Auntie Cleo's birthday party the door is always open.

Liz said...

I know, I was only joking when I mentioned competition!!
Liz

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