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Farewell Blues

R.I.P. HRH Queen Elizabeth ll (1926 - Sept. 8, 2022).
R.I.P. Trevor Tomkins (1941 - Sept. 9, 2022).
R.I.P. Gordon McGregor (Sept. 11, 2022).
R.I.P. Ramsey Lewis (1935 - Sept. 12, 2022).
R.I.P. Pharoah Sanders (Oct. 13, 1940 - Sept. 24, 2022).

Bebop Spoken There

Larry Klein: "- in a certain way - Leonard [Cohen] is the greatest songwriter ever." - (Jazzwise October 2022)

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!"

Postage

14581 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 859 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Sept. 21).

From This Moment On ...

September

Sun 25: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 25: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 25: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. CANCELLED!
Sun 25: Skylla + Pete Wareham-Ruth Goller-Will Glaser @ Bobik’s, Punch Bowl, Jesmond, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 26: Lewis Watson Quartet @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Tue 27: Beth Clarke @ British Legion Club, West Jesmond, Newcastle. 1:00-4:00pm. Free.
Tue 27: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).
Tue 27: Black is the Color of My Voice @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. One woman stage play (the life & times of Nina Simone).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 28: Battle of the Bands @ NE Volume Music Bar, Yarm Lane, Stockton. Doors 6:00pm. Tickets: £5.00. adv., £6.00. on the door. Participants inc. Milne Glendinning Band.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 28: Black is the Color of My Voice @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. One woman stage play (the life & times of Nina Simone).
Wed 28: Laura Jurd @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 29: Ushaw Ensemble @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:10pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 29: Czajka & Puchaz + Mark Solborg + Anthropology @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Thu 29: ‘58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: La Sonora Boreal’s Latin Jam Session @ The Globe, Newcastle (7:45pm). Free (donations). Latin jazz performance & jam session.
Thu 29: Peter Morgan Trio @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 30: Adam Johnson @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 30: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 30: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 30: Pete Churchill & Noel Dennis: Exploring the Jazz Metaphor in Leadership & Management @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 2:30-4:00pm. Workshop.Tickets: £3.30 (inc. bf). A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: FILM: Bird (Dir. Clint Eastwood) + Swing Bridge (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 6:30pm.
Fri 30: Orphy Robinson + Maniscalco-Bigoni-Solborg + Nicole Mitchell + Binker Golding-Alexander Hawkins-John Pope-Paul Hession @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle (7:00pm). A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: Ushaw Ensemble @ St Mary’s Church, Holy Island. 7:30pm.
Fri 30: Alter Ego @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Fri 30: King Bee @ The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, Independent, Sunderland. 9:00pm. £22.50. DJs + King Bee.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ North Shore. March 2, 2013

(Report by Russell).
Saturday at the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival is the day the big boys and girls come out to play. This year’s open section attracted no fewer than ten bands. Ten years ago Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra won the inaugural event and this time round had the (dubious?) distinction of leading off at that well known jazz hour…12 noon. Vocalists were well represented in the band - indeed a feature of this year’s competition was a plethora of very good vocalists throughout the day - and after the opening Flight of the Foo Birds the singers took centre stage. Ella El-Salahi sang, with a real jazz feeling, Cry Me a River followed by Shona Crosson who was plagued by a mic malfunction and to their credit the adjudicators allowed a second take of Why Don’t You Do Right? (well done Shona!). A third Newcastle vocalist - Sreenag Krishamoorthy - cut a suave figure with his performance of Beyond the Sea.
County Durham has an enviable reputation in music education and the Durham Alumni Big Band boasts some of the best players on the scene. Heavyweight composers were in the pad - Dave Holland and Chick Corea - as was County Durham lad Matt Roberts and it was his tune Hymn for Him that featured the excellent Jonny Dunn (trumpet) and Steve McGarvie (reeds) supported by a sympathetic rhythm section (bassist Amy Baker outstanding).
Title holders Durham University Big Band (winners in 2011 and 2012) were up for the hat-trick and submitted an ambitious programme; Stan Sulzmann’s Jack Stix, Sammy Nestico’s Ya Gotta Try Harder and Kenny Wheeler’s Enowena. The Sulzmann number featured trombonist Chris Jones and Luke Steven (drums), the Nestico chart the tenor saxophonists Matt Sulzmann and Duncan Walker and on the quintessential Wheeler composition, the magnificent Beth Aggett (voice).
Big Band Theory from Leeds were new to the competition and something of an unknown quantity. Two Seconds to Midnight (comp. Alan Baylock) with energetic section work marked the band as serious contenders. Baylock’s All the Way featured Benji Powling’s stunning tenor playing, Frank Foster’s classic Shiny Stockings received a respectful reading and it was down to the band’s vocalist Caterina Comeglio to steal the show singing A Tisket, a Tasket.
Competition regulars Lancaster University Jazz Orchestra had some fun with Theme from Naked Gun (think Leslie Nielsen and laugh), Randy Newman’s You’ve Got a Friend in Me and the ever-popular Count Bubba (comp.Gordon Goodwin).
First time visitors Tyne Valley Big Band, led by the indefatigable Dave Hignett, took to the stage in  numbers (massed ranks more like!). Musicians everywhere, this really was a big band! Drawn from the Tyne Valley community, this outfit were out to enjoy themselves. Basie’s Corner Pocket, Sammy Nestico’s Lonely Street, Eric Morales’ Feelin’ the Funk -  good tunes all. Familiar face Alastair Lord nailed the top C stuff in the trumpet section and Andrea De Vere blazed a trail on tenor and alto. To top it off vocalist Barbara Hignett unleashed a killer version of Mack the Knife. Was this Live at the Sands, Las Vegas or the Students’ Union, Sunderland University? No matter where, great stuff! Six bands done, four to go.
Next up Leeds College of Music Big Band, for some, serious challengers to Durham University Big Band’s recent dominance at the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival. Their competition entry - an all Maria Schneider programme - no doubt struck fear in the hearts of their rivals. If they could pull this off they were home and dry. Big hitters sat in the sections - the fearless Kim Macari (trumpet), the brilliant Will Howard (tenor), Adam Taylor (guitar) and pianist Oli Cadman (impressive on a recent visit to the Bridge Hotel in Newcastle). Dance You Monster to My Soft Song ticked all the boxes - exemplary ensemble work with a spot-on solo by Adam Taylor. Will Howard’s extended solo on the ballad My Lament will live long in the memory and Gumba Blue boasted killer trumpet from Macari and dazzling piano (Cadman).
Another Yorkshire band followed - Huddersfield University Big Band - and surely had it all to do. A varied programme began with All or Nothing at All with a feature from trumpeter George Green. Mozart’s Symphony No.40 in Gm (arr. Gordon Goodwin) distilled the essence of a big band; the ensemble, listening sections, a simmering, cookin’ rhythm section, switch-back tempi and a crowning clarinet contribution from Chris Jolly. The set concluded with the infectious Brazil anchored by a disciplined trumpet section led by Nathan Blake.
This year’s long distance travellers were Cardiff University Big Band setting off at stupid o’clock (the sort of time any self-respecting student would be arriving home after a half-decent night out). The band arrived on time (just) and proceeded to give a very good account of themselves. Altoist Jack Mcdougal opened on Sussudio, the second number in the book introduced another impressive vocalist - Elise Parish - who sang with some style on Everybody Needs a Best Friend (comp. Seth Macfarlane and Walter Murphy) and Radiohead’s High and Dry closed the set, drawing approval from the many student players of the other bands listening with a beer in hand.
It had been a busy day and it was left to the Customs House Big Band to bring down the curtain. Porter, Strayhorn, Goodwin. You can’t go wrong. Add vocalist Ruth Lambert and you’re onto a winner. Led by Peter Morgan, the band from South Shields never fails to entertain. Love for Sale (tenor solo from Alan Marshall), Take the A Train (strong solo from trumpeter Mick Hill, typically good piano from Bill Brittain) and Gordon Goodwin’s Sing Sang Sung worked as a good blow out number interspersed by Lambert’s fabulous vocals on Teach Me Tonight and Mambo Italiano.
Ten bands, variety, great playing all round, the adjudicators - Paul Jones and Pete Long - were faced with an unenviable task. Deliberations concluded, Bill Watson assembled the cast. Marie Nixon (Chief Executive, Sunderland University Students’ Union) thanked all and sundry, happy to confirm the institution’s continued support for the event. Pete Long offered the adjudicators’ comments on the many performances and the winners were duly announced. Three adjudicators’ additional awards went to:
Caterina Comeglio (vocalist, Big Band Theory), Beth Aggett (voice, Durham University Big Band) and Lancaster University Jazz Orchestra’s drummer Michael Jay. 
Winner Best Balanced Programme: Big Band Theory.
Winner Best Section: Cardiff University Big Band (Brass).
Winner Best Soloist: Matt Sulzmann.
Winner Best Band: Huddersfield University Big Band. So, a busy day, an inspiring day. Congratulations to all. Tomorrow’s competition features school and youth bands. Another grand day is guaranteed. Down beat 11.30.am.
Russell.                       

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