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Bebop Spoken There

Greg Abate: "So many sounds are ugly now. There are no harmonics, no chords. What do people hear these days? Why do things have to change from that good music?" (JazzTimes June/July 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:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14378 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 597 of them this year alone and, so far, 2 this month (July 2).

From This Moment On ...

July

Sat 02: Hot Fingers @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Steve Glendinning: Latin jazz. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 02: Talk: Storytelling & jazz as an expression of urban life @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:45pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sat 02: The Commandments + On Parole @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Geordie Jazz Man @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Screening of Abi Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.
Sat 02: The Delta Prophets Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Swing Manouche @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Swung Eight & King Bees @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Swing dance + ace Chicago blues band.
Sat 02: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Patrick Cromb @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 03 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 03: Ruth Lambert & Martin Craggs @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Wild Women of Wylam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jazz Jam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 04: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 06: Michael Bublé @ Durham County Cricket Club, Chester le Street. Doors: 5:00pm.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 06: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 07: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 07: Lara Jones + Echo Juliet @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 07: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free admission (donations).
Thu 07: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 08: Alex Clarke Quartet @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00.
Fri 08: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 08: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.

Sat 09: Jazz Stage @ Mouth of the Tyne Festival: Zoë Gilby Duo (12 noon); Vieux Carré Jazzmen (1:35pm); Harmony Brass (3:10pm); Ruth Lambert Quartet (4:40pm). Outdoor stage adjacent to Tynemouth Priory.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Solweig Elizabeth Grönlund

(By Simon Spillett)
It's with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Liz Grönlund, Tubby Hayes's partner for the final two years of his life, who passed away in St. Thomas' Hospital, London, in the early hours of Tuesday September 22nd, following a fall. She was in her mid-80s.
Born in Finland, Grönlund came to the UK in the early 1960s, initially working as a translator for an English aristocrat, Lord Dundonald. Already a jazz fan, while visiting Ronnie Scott's club with a friend in late 1962, she met Tubby Hayes. “It was such a small club that I couldn't avoid meeting him. I had to go to the loo and pass him, so contact was unavoidable,” she recalled in 2008. The attraction was instant and mutual and although Hayes was married, the pair began a brief affair. After an amicable split, Grönlund and Hayes agreed to keep in touch, maintaining a sporadic exchange of letters which ended when the saxophonist’s drug habit bit deep during the mid-1960s.
A chance encounter in the company of Hayes's close friend, trumpeter Jimmy Deuchar, led to the couple re-establishing their relationship in late 1971 , with Hayes moving into Grönlund's Gloucester Place basement flat soon after.
Following his recent heart surgery, Grönlund was shocked to find Hayes a shadow of his former self, experiencing “great difficulty to accept that he couldn't do things he was able to do before.”
Nevertheless, with Grönlund at his side Hayes embarked on the last phase of his career, a period which found him visiting Scandinavia several times (including a trip to Grönlund's native Helsinki), taking an interest in free music (with the band Splinters) and reforming both his quartet and big band. During a trip to Oslo in 1972, Hayes told journalist Randi Hultin that in Grönlund he had found the kind of steadying personal relationship that had eluded him all his life, adding “I couldn't manage without her.”
Grönlund also gave Hayes something close to a conventional home life for the first time in his life and their flat soon became a familiar port of call for London's jazz fraternity, and, on occasion, international visitors too, including Roland Kirk and James Moody, both of whom eager to taste Liz's legendary chilli. Of the many things she later recalled from their final eighteen months together, she spoke warmly of Hayes's self-mocking humour, of his love of the music of John Coltrane, of his cavalier disregard for the deadlines imposed by commercial composing commissions and his affection for their two pets, Mynah bird Nappy and cat Noddy.
When Hayes fell ill for the final time in May 1973 and was hospitalised in order to undergo the surgery that ultimately failed to save him, it was Liz to whom the jazz community expressed their sorrow and regret. One of the many letters of condolence she received in the weeks after Tubby's death, from the Musicians Union, was addressed to Mrs. Hayes, a title which she certainly deserved in emotional terms if not legally. Almost single-handedly, she organised Hayes' funeral and wake, even ensuring that a photographer captured some of the event on film, all the while attempting to deflect the grief that would shortly overwhelm her.
Recording her thoughts on Tubby some months after his death she said simply “they don't make men like that anymore. They never did. He was the only one.”
During the years immediately after Hayes's death, Grönlund remained in the flat they had shared, keeping it almost as a shrine to the saxophonist’s memory. She even began a tradition of uniting old friends like Ian Hamer and Spike Wells once a year to share their memories of Hayes, but as his music began to sink out of sight in the late 1970s, she became increasingly bitter about a jazz scene that appeared to have forgotten his contributions.
In the late-1980s, she assisted in the production of Barbara Schwarz's Tubby Hayes discography, but remained wary of the press after the way it had handled some of the “facts” surrounding Tubby's death. Almost unbelievably, via a circuitous route she contacted the author in 2005, agreeing to finally share her memories, resulting in her story becoming central to the recently published biography Tubby Hayes: The Long Shadow of The Little Giant – The Life, Work and Legacy of Tubby Hayes (Equinox Publishing, 2015). Along with giving a lengthy and fascinating interview and providing rare photographs, she also granted permission for Hayes's personal tape archive to be explored and catalogued, eventually leading to the establishment of the Savage-Solweig label, dedicated to the release of previously unissued recordings by the tenorist’s various groups.
One of the final pieces Tubby Hayes composed was in dedication to Liz, the bossa-nova Solweig, titled after her Finnish first name and which he performed on his last BBC radio session as a leader in March 1973, a few months before his death. It was Grönlund who also encouraged Hayes to play the Jimmy Van Heusen ballad I Thought About You – one of her favourite themes - a composition that drew out the saxophonists lyrical flair.
Various versions of this survive, including one taped in Stockholm in February 1972 (available on the Storyville CD Tubby Hayes - Quartet in Scandinavia.)
On a personal note, this writer would like to pay tribute to Liz's kindness and generosity. She once said she had waited a very long time indeed to see Tubby's memory honoured in print. Her contribution to The Long Shadow of The Little Giant was invaluable and helped transform the latter part of the book. In fact, without her contribution, much of the confusion and misinformation about Hayes's later days would have simply persisted. In that, jazz fans owe her a huge debt.
Simon Spillett
PHOTO: Tubby Hayes and Liz, at Tubby's Mum's house, Easter 1972

1 comment :

Lance said...

Thank you Simon for that beautiful insight into the life of Tubbs and Liz who must have been a great inspiration to him - may she rest in peace.

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