Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Lakecia Benjamin: "From my early days with Clark Terry, he told me 'they see you before they hear you'... I'm just not from that school of thought where I'm gonna wear my jeans and T-shirt on stage and that's going to be respectable." - (Jazzwise, February 2023)

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

15056 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 75 of them this year alone and, so far, 75 this month (Jan. 25).

From This Moment On ...

January

Sat 28: Tyneside Improvisers Workshop @ Ye Olde Cross, Ryton. 2:00-4:00pm. All welcome.
Sat 28: Secular Sounds in a Sacred Place @ Holy Cross Church, Ryton. 4:30-7:00pm. £10.00. Continuous performance featuring: Christian Alderson, Faye MacCalman, Sally Pilkington, John Pope. Event preceded by a Tyneside Improvisers Workshop (2:00pm, see above).
Sat 28: Entartete Musik @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Brundibár Arts Festival event.

Sun 29: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.

Sat 28: Revolutionaires @ Brandling Villa, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 9:00pm. Rhythm & blues band.

Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Revolutionaires @ Greens, Low Row, Sunderland. 6:00pm. Rhythm & blues band with a horn section (inc. Pete Tanton).
Sun 29: Hypnotic Brass Band @ Cluny, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). £20.00.
Sun 29: Jam No.12 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students).
Sun 29: Origin @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 30: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: ???

February

Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 01: Moonlight Serenade Orchestra UK: Glenn Miller & Big Band Spectacular @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm.

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 02: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Will Todd's Mass in Blue @ Newcastle Civic Centre

Newcastle Choral Society Conductor and Musical Director Mark Anyan
The Will Todd Trio (Will Todd – piano; Geth Griffith – bass; Jim Fleeman – drums. With:  Lorna James – soprano (vocal) and Sue Ferris – alto saxophone.
(Review by Hugh C).
My attendance at this performance was a triumph of the power of advertising – having seen the flyer which has been at the top right of Bebop Spoken Here for the past couple of weeks. 
The event was held in the mock baronial splendour of the banqueting suite at Newcastle Civic Centre (Asian weddings a speciality according to the publicity).  This venue proved to have a reasonable acoustic.  The Choral Society sang without amplification; the instrumentalists and the soprano being gently helped by modest electronic enhancement.  The choir seating was tiered and the soprano soloist and MD were raised on a platform, the audience and instrumentalists were all on the level.
I personally was unfamiliar with the work of, Will Todd (despite him being a County Durham lad).  My interest was sparked by the concept of a choral concert with a jazz twist.
Will Todd started to play piano as a child and soon became interested in the chromatic palette offered by twelve bar blues – much to the dismay of his piano teacher!  This, combined with his love of, and participation in, choirs and choral music came to together in Mass in Blue.  Originally written in 2003 as a commission by Hertfordshire Chorus (named Jazz Mass at that initial stage) the Mass has been performed on many occasions both in the UK, Europe and the US – often with the Will Todd Trio.  This success was apparently much to the surprise (and delight) of the composer, who as with many artists, suffered from self-doubt.
Mass in Blue is in the standard liturgical format:  Kyrie – Gloria – Credo – Sanctus – Benedictus – Agnus Dei.  The text is in Latin throughout, but was helpfully printed in full in the programme with an English translation adjacent. 
Each of these involved the Newcastle Choral Society – who appeared to be greatly enjoying themselves.  There was apparently initially some concern among some of the singers that it was too difficult and they had never sung anything in the jazz oeuvre before.  Conscientious practice under the direction of MD, Mark Anyan seemed to have dispelled any of this! 
The trio were on fine form (very familiar territory for them, obviously!) with subtle melodic interplay between the piano in particular and the soprano soloist,  who also often weaved  a virtuoso vocal line around the choral parts – this being beautifully delivered by the very capable Lorna James.
The saxophone part is optional.  I am glad this option was chosen!  Sue Ferris (well known locally as a jazz saxophonist and flautist, but also an orchestral flautist according to the programme notes) delivered a flawless account on alto sax (I must admit I initially thought it was tenor until I saw Sue walking out clutching an alto!).
The Mass contained elements of jazz, blues, gospel, and spiritual (and, I’m sure, others I did not discern).  All in all this was a very interesting and rewarding experience for all present, both choir and audience. 
After the interval we were treated to “Songs for Christmas” – a combination of both sacred and secular items including the old favourites and two audience participation numbers, both delivered with gusto.  There were even a few brave car-key jinglers during Jingle Bells!  The accompaniment (piano mainly, with organ for the audience singing) was ably provided by Mike Dutton  - well known as an accompanist on the local choral and classical vocal scene.
Hugh.

No comments :

Blog Archive