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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 20, 2016

Interview with Michael Lamb

Bebop Spoken Here spoke to Michael Lamb, leader of the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band ahead of tonight’s gig at Blaydon Jazz Club:

BSH: SSBB seems to be going from strength to strength, tell me about its beginnings and how it has developed.
SSBB started when I was still at school in lower sixth – that’s about 15 years ago! It was a collection of friends playing all the wrong instruments for a big band, but I guess I got the bug then. We slowed down for a few years while I was studying; then as my musical network expanded everything started to ramp up. The band’s quality is in its component musicians – I’m honoured to have some of the best musicians in the region playing in the band today.

BSH: How about yourself? What or who inspired you to take up the trumpet as opposed to saxophone, guitar or even sport!
I honestly couldn’t tell you – I remember being offered the opportunity to play an instrument at school and declared one day that I’d like to play the trumpet! I did listen to a lot of Louis Armstrong and Chet Baker when I was growing up, and really got into big bands through the Basie band and Buddy Rich.

BSH: SSBB has a large pad. Do you get charts from inside the band alongside the imported ones?
We’re knocking on 400 charts in our pad with about another 200 waiting to be added! There are several arrangements by band members in the pad, the most recent of which is a chart composed by Pete Tanton named ‘To Heaven Overnight’ - we’ll be featuring that in gigs soon. The majority of the pad is bought in, but my aim when purchasing music is to find material that will stretch our playing and our audiences. The band is originally rooted in big band swing, but the range of music we love playing now is vast, both in terms of style/ genre and composer. Our pad boasts some of the best classic tunes played by bands like Miller, Ellington and Basie alongside a huge number of amazing contemporary charts by composers and arrangers like John Fedchock, Bob Mintzer, Callum Au, Kenny Wheeler, Adam Bartczak to name a few.
You can’t nail the Mintzer without knowing the Miller! 

BSH: Away from the big band you occasionally pop up at jams. Is this a release valve to get away from the responsibility of being a bandleader or do you just enjoy blowing anyway?
Absolutely! It’s lush to just turn up and play without having to organise music, book musicians, find a room, build the PA, direct the ensemble. It’s also a release in terms of the musical form – big band music can sometimes be viewed as restricting, arrangements need to be followed for the group to function. That’s obviously not always the case in a small band or in a jam.

BSH: Favourite trumpet player/ big band (apart from SSBB)
I’m a big Chet Baker fan, there is something about the fluidity of his playing which appeals to me. To select one big band which is a favourite is impossible – The Buddy Rich and Basie Bands swing like nowt, I love compositions and arrangements by guys like Chris Walden, Bobby Watson, Tom Kubis, Tim Davies and a current favourite is a fella based in Denver named Adam Bartczak. I feel his music really fits with our philosophy – material that takes the long tradition on big band music and develops it for a new audience, challenges the bands playing (both personally and as a unit) and therefore improves it, and makes punters think about, but still enjoy, what they’re listening to without alienation.

BSH: Next SSBB gig our readers should look out for is, in fact, tonight (Sunday, March 20), at the Black Bull, Blaydon. A great, albeit small, venue. Does this inhibit the band in any way?
I personally love it - big band, small room! It can be tricky when the back wall is only 10 feet away from the end of your horn and there are 19 musicians all going at it, but the atmosphere at those gigs is always ace! These venues and clubs are generally also receptive to a more varied repertoire.

BSH: Other gigs?
We’re always at the Millstone Pub on the last Thursday of the month for a free gig, so that one is next. After that we’re at Sage Gateshead on 15th April playing a full gig, Hoochie Coochie on 19th June and at the Jazz Bar in Edinburgh on 10th July. All the details for those are on our web site at www.strictly-smokin.co.uk
We’ve also just released a new CD, which is on sale at gigs from Sunday. It’s a live disc from our gig at Hoochie Coochie in December 2015.

BSH: Thanks Michael I’ll look forward to hearing the new album.

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