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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

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

16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...

June

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 20 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £4.00. Note new venue!
Thu 20: Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £29.00., £23.00. Folk/jazz duo.
Thu 20: Richard Herdman & Ray Burns @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 20: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Dave Harrison (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

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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