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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 2024.

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

16382 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 262 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (April 20).

From This Moment On ...

April

Sun 21: Jamie Toms Quartet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Holy Grale, Durham. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: The Jazz Defenders @ Cluny 2. Doors 6:00pm. £15.00.
Sun 21: Edgar Rubenis @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blues & ragtime guitar.
Sun 21: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Art Themen with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. +bf. JNE. SOLD OUT!

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30-3:30pm. £12.00. ‘St George’s Day Afternoon Tea’. Gig with ‘Lashings of Victoria Sponge Cake, along with sandwiches & scones’.
Tue 23: Jalen Ngonda @ Newcastle University Students’ Union. POSTPONED!

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 26: Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 26: Abbie Finn’s Finntet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 27: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Book Review: Music is Forever - Dizzy Gillespie, the Jazz Legend and Me by Dave Usher w. Bert Falbaum

Jazz tomes these days are becoming increasingly more accessible, by which I mean that they tell a story the non-dedicated jazz person can relate to.
Edward Allan Faine's The Best Gig in Town gave us an insight into the various artists who appeared at the White House during the Nixon administration and Music is Forever also pays a few visits to the White House.
Music is Forever  is a fascinating recollection by Dave Usher of his association and deep friendship with Dizzy Gillespie - a friendship that began when Usher was 14 year-old and gave Dizzy and his wife a lift from a concert hall to their hotel. During the war years age restrictions on driving were lifted thus enabling young Usher to meet his idol and be of service.
This isn't a book riddled with "..and then Dizzy recorded 8 sides for RCA" or a technical analysis of solos accompanied by pages of musical notation. No, this is a personal recollection by a guy who was maybe Dizzy's closest friend. We get inside info on many of the trumpet star's state sponsored trips abroad. Like the South American jaunt where fellow trumpet player Joe Gordon complained he wasn't getting any solos. Dizzy said, "You can play Night in Tunisia on the next gig" The next gig happened to be in Quito, Ecuador, the highest capital city in the world where the air was extremely rarified - it almost killed the poor guy!
But the warmth that comes through in this book is incredible - these were two guys who had a bond forged through jazz. Dizzy, a black musician, Dave, a white, Jewish non musician, found. as I'd like to think all BSH readers do, that jazz transcends race, religion, politics - it certainly did with Diz (although he did run for President in 1964 against Johnson and Goldwater - imagine if he'd made it!) His manifesto included Charles Mingus as Minister of Peace he'll take a piece of your head faster than anyone I know! and Jon Hendricks as Poet Laureate.
Diz didn't make the final cut but he did play the White House in 1972 under Carter and 1978 when George H.W. Bush was top man.
Apart from Diz, Usher also has his own story to tell.
The family business was re-cycling oil and, before he became president of the company, he'd developed pioneering techniques and methods for cleaning up oil spills etc. He also, after meeting Dizzy, formed the Dee Gee label. Remember The Champ? that was on Dee Gee - I wonder why it has slipped out of the current bop bands' repertoires? 
Dave Usher was also involved with Chess Records via their Argo label recording artists such as Sonny Stitt and Ahmad Jamal.
Co-writer Berl Falbaum, who got in on the ground floor of the Usher/Gillespie association, realised there was a story to be told. It took him 20 years to get the project off the ground but I'm pretty damn sure it was worth waiting for. Can you wait for Christmas?
Lance.

1 comment :

Hilary S said...

Mike and I were newly wed and living in Glasgow. In 1972-3 our dear late beautiful friend Ruby Carter who was the vocalist in the Locarno band which Mike worked in, had been invited to a party that a local business man was giving in a large marquee. Lots of live music (even a pipe band) I can't now recall some of the other bands names.
In one corner Ruby saw Dizzy and trio setting up with the one and only Carmen McRae. We stood in awe listening to their set. Mike, being a trumpet player, was a huge fan of Dizzy. We were invited back to their hotel for drinks.
Being newly married to a musician I wasn't aware that one had to remain cool at all times in the presence of the great and good. Mike and I had just acquired a kitten and named him Dizzy. I started to tell the great man this, when I was aware of a certain pressure on my arm from Mike (trying to shut me up) However as Dizzy had this wonderful beaming smile on his face, I continued. Everyone relaxed and started to laugh as Dizzy said, “Gee you guy's called a little kitty cat after me?" Carmen then said laughingly, “I always knew you were an old dog John, I never knew you were a kitty cat".
Many years later when Zoe and I met the lovely Jeanie Bryson, Dizzy’s daughter, in New York, I told her the story...she also laughed.

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