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Farewell Blues

R I P Terry Shannon - November 5, 1929 - October 29, 2022
R I P Oliver Soden - ? - November 6, 2022
R I P Top Cat Daphne - ? - November 24, 2022.
R I P Louise Tobin - November 11, 1918 - November 26, 2022

Bebop Spoken There

Kenny Barron: "During the pandemic I got to do a lot more cooking. As long as you can read you can cook." - (DownBeat December, 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

14865 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 1114 of them this year alone and, so far, 20 this month (Dec. 6).

From This Moment On ...

December

Thu 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Last one of the year, resuming Jan 26.
Thu 08: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 08: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm.
Thu 08: Christmas Crooners @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm.
Thu 08: Musicians Unlimited @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. £5.00. on the door.

Fri 09: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £25.00. 'Afternoon Jazz with Festive Lunch'.
Fri 09: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 09: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: Jason Isaacs @ Northern Rugby Club, Gosforth, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £25.00 (inc. two course Xmas meal). Isaacs performing with backing tapes.

Sat 10: Lindsay Hannon & Martin Douglas: Life Drawing & Improvised Music @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. TBC.
Sat 10: Alan Barnes Octet: A Jazz Xmas Carol @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £20.00. All-star band!

Sun 11: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 11: Spanish City Rollers @ Northumberland Square, North Shields. 12:30pm. Free. Community band inc. Graham Hardy.
Sun 11: Am Jam @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. Jam session, all welcome.
Sun 11: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Xmas party feat. Mick Donnelly Quartet. 4:00pm. Tickets: £6.00 (admission from 12 noon).
Sun 11: Paul Skerritt @ Liberty Brown's, Sunderland. 1:00pm.
Sun 11: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Sun 11: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 11: DC Blues Band @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free. Blues Band.
Sun 11: Jason Isaacs @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 5:30pm. SOLD OUT!
Sun 11: Boys of Brass @ Stack, Seaburn. 6:00pm. Free.
Sun 11: Elda with Faye MacCalman + John Pope & John Garner @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 12: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 12: Central Bar Quintet plays Kind of Blue @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 7:30pm. Concert performance + jam session. £5.00 (free admission to sitters-in).

Tue 13: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (table reservations 0191 386 5556). Feat. Johnny Murphy (keyboards).
Tue 13: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Murray Wankling, John Pope, John Bradford.
Tue 13: Abbie Finn Trio @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 7:30pm. Xmas party.
Tue 13: King Bees @ Cumberland Arms, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Superb Chicago Blues Band.

Wed 14: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 14: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 14: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 14: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Alice Grace Quartet @ The Cherry Tree, May 18

Alice Grace (vocals), Pete Gilligan (piano), Paul Grainger (bass) and Russell Morgan (drums)
(Review/photos by JC)
The frenetic and mass produced sameness of the restaurants and bars on Osborne Road in Jesmond has been a mainstay of Newcastle nightlife for a bit too long in my view.  The noisy and youthful hordes that gather there at weekends bring to mind Dorothy Parker's remark while observing a debutante's ball in Yale that 'If everyone in this crowd was laid end to end...I wouldn't be at all surprised'. 
However, for more than a few years now there has been one oasis of great food and music at the city end of the street, the Cherry Tree restaurant, which is just far enough away from the mayhem further up the road to allow one to forget its existence. 

As well as providing excellent cuisine, the owner Peter has a strong commitment to presenting quality jazz musicians on a weekly basis and all the best local artists have appeared there as well as distinguished visitors from further afield. Having noticed recently that there were some weeks with no jazz I was pleased to hear from Peter that there are still going to be regular sessions but perhaps on a slightly less frequent basis (every three or four weeks).
Anyway, the gap in the schedule had made us even more keen to go and, having heard Alice Grace before, we knew this would be a good one.
The band were straight at it from the off with Grace scatting assuredly on Devil May Care and Pete Gilligan producing one of his many fine piano solos. This was followed by Blue Skies which gave Paul Grainger a chance to show what he could do. The restaurant quickly filled up with appreciative diners and a nice rapport developed between the musicians and the audience. St. Louis Blues was taken at an appropriately slow pace but with an undercurrent of raw blues energy particularly exemplified by Gilligan's piano. It was also an example of a number of the songs featured in the set where Grace and the band gave the song space and time and let it breathe which really drew the listeners into the music (more on this later). Another was Lush Life, the Billy Strayhorn song, which has a long intro section that Grace made the most of and she demonstrated her vocal technique over the complex arrangement. Apparently Strayhorn wrote the song when he was in his teens - so how come he knew Geordie slang?
Other songs were Do I Love You, No More Blues and another Strayhorn number Take the A Train which always brings me back to listening to Willis Conover's Jazz Hour on the Voice of America radio station in the kitchen at home in the 60s as it was the programme's theme tune. There was great scatting from Grace on this number and a very nice drum and bass interplay.
The second half continued the high standard with swinging versions of Bye Bye Blackbird and I Remember You (Grace forewarned us that on this one Russell Morgan would be getting his shaker out). Then another of those songs that the band do so well, You Don't Know What Love Is, with Alice Grace stretching out the melody and the lyrics so that the audience was hanging on every word. One listener was so entranced by the performance that she started to applaud when Grace paused after 'You don't know...' in the last line and stopped abruptly when she realised the song was not finished. However, the singer responded with real style saying that the applause was a compliment and showed that she was really into the music - very nicely done.
Then Just In Time, Nature Boy featuring some fine interplay between voice and drums, and Beautiful Love.  But another highlight for me was Parker's Billie's Bounce with Grace's vocalese and Gilligan's piano going at breakneck speed with great support from Grainger and Morgan. By contrast, a request for Blame It on My Youth saw the band equally at home with this beautiful ballad and a storming version of I Can't Give You Anything But Love ended the night on a high.
As others have said, this quartet is really the business and combined with the excellent food and great service why go anywhere else on Osborne Road?
JC

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