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Bebop Spoken There

Maurice J. Summerfield: "Over dinner one night Barney [Kessel] told me about his seminar The Effective Guitarist, and in 1972 my company presented the first of twelve annual UK seminars in Newcastle upon Tyne." - (Just Jazz Guitar, September 1997)

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

15087 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 106 of them this year alone and, so far, 4 this month (Feb. 1).

From This Moment On ...

February

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. Guests: Dave Archbold (keys); Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewwitt (alto sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Dilutey Juice @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Smoove & Turrell @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £25.00.
Fri 03: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibiton Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 04: Alligator Gumbo @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 04: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: John Pope - Up Your Rhythm Game. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 04: King Bees @ Grainger Market, Newcastle. 6:30pm (doors). Live music, comedy, DJs, food stalls. £10.00. advance, £15.00. on the door. Blues band King Bees on stage 9:45-11:15pm. A Great Market Caper event.
Sat 04: Jives Aces @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 04: Renegade Brass Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors).
Sat 04: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00.

Sun 05 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 05: Rivkala @ Cumberland Arms, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Sun 05: Jive Aces @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Sun 05: Dale Storr @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 05: Jam No.13 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students alike).

Mon 06: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 07: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums). Jam session reverts to a first & third Tuesday in the month schedule.

Wed 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 08: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Free. TBC.
Wed 08: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 08: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 08: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Vicissitudes of Love. The Ruth Lambert Trio @ St. Cuthbert’s, Crook, May 13

Ruth Lambert, vocals, Giles Strong, guitar and Mick Shoulder, bass.
(Review/photos by Jerry)
A conversation overheard summed it up: “A fab evening.” “Yeah, it was great!”
St. Cuthbert’s offered its customary warm welcome (augmented by a glowing log burner) and dished up pizza at half-time: the trio offered their customary first-class musicianship and dished up a sumptuous mix of tunes from the songbooks (Great American and Great North-Eastern!)
Two numbers defy categorisation: The Snake (jazz/funk/Northern Soul?) featured a scat finish with subtle guitar work from Giles and Lullaby (in the newly invented spooky-acoustic-folk genre?) was hauntingly melodic. All the others, standards or originals, were reflections (mostly negative) on love. Another common denominator was that they all featured delightful lyrics which repaid careful listening e.g. “When the summer dies with the first caress of autumn’s lips”. Carmichael? Porter? Gershwin? Shoulder, actually!
Two further originals clearly had back-stories: How Could I? included the lines “My heart has no feeling / Where life has no meaning…” and Love That Never Dies was introduced as being “about the love of my life who turned out not to be”! Both featured great guitar work – electric on the former, with a “clean” solo (I can think of no other adjective for notes so precisely and clearly articulated) then acoustic, fitting well with the bitter-sweet tone of the latter. Love That Never Dies also had a great bass riff leading to a resonating bass finish. (Have I been reading too many real ale tasting notes?)
The perennial anxiety of love underpins You and the Night and the Music - you may live for the moment but: “After the night and the music, will I have you?” Another Lambert/Shoulder original, So Tell Me, poses the question: “Is it safe or should I run away?” The extended metaphor that is Detour Ahead is unequivocal in its advice – turn round and stay on the “smooth road” if you want to avoid the car-crash that is love!
So, how to respond to the problems? Giles Strong’s Everything Was Beautiful suggests that, if you accentuate the positive (or move to The Sunny Side of the Street – introduced by Ruth as “the most positive song ever written”) then even failed love can become a treasured memory: “When I’m old I’ll think of you/And the time when everything was beautiful”. Do you simply get older and wiser as in That Old Feeling: “There’ll be no new romance……it’s foolish to start”? Or, like T.P. Kirk do you take the opposite view and simply go for it? “Don’t even stop and sigh/It doesn’t help if you cry” Those who hesitate or dwell on things risk losing out entirely and are fools – Devil May Care is the only approach to life and love.
Frank Loesser’s Never Will I Marry is brilliantly paradoxical – seemingly pessimistic (“born to wander solitary /born to wander till I’m dead”) so why the cheery, upbeat tempo and singalong melody? Close examination of the words (only about 70 in the whole song and most of them are repeated) suggests that once you embrace solitude, you’ve cracked it: “No burdens to bear/ No conscience, no care/No memories to mourn”! Alternatively, like the speaker in The Man I Love, you could remain determinedly optimistic: “Still I’m sure to meet him, one day”.
Of course, there are GASbook songs celebrating the joy of love: “amorous/glamourous/awful nice/paradise”, Gershwin’s ‘S Wonderful is breathlessly joyful – even the musicians got a bit head-over-heels here! Arlen’s I’ve Got the World on a String is a perfect antidote to much of the foregoing suggesting that being in love gives you a measure of control and Porter’s You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to (impressive vocal gymnastics from Ruth here and an energetic bass solo as well) suggests that a domestic idyll is achievable.
Cleverest song of the evening? – No Moon at All with complex music (Redd Evans?) and lyrics (Dave Mann) which poke fun at the conventions by having a couple fall in love in the total absence of stars and no moon at all. Most moving song of the evening?- Love for Sale, a groundbreaking (and in its day banned!) song inviting the audience to empathise with a street girl expert in “old love, new love/any love but true love”. Ruth’s vocals wrung out every drop of emotion in this poignant number. Brilliant!
Jerry.

2 comments :

Russell said...

Great review Jerry. Devil May Care, what a tune! I can hear Ruth now!

Steven Tulip said...

Certainly northern soul insomuch as any genre can be labelled as an easily defined category. Northern soul is particularly slippery with the sub-Motown tag the most commonplace but strictly speaking it doesn't necessarily need to be either northern or soul but is a record played by a northern soul DJ and/or at a northern soul night which could be in London, Japan, Australia or almost anywhere nowadays.
In his book Northern Soul top 500, Wigan Casino no. 3 Kev Roberts ranked the Snake as fourth most important ever, but by the emergence of Jazz funk it was considered a joke, alongside Dobie Gray Out on the Floor ( rated second ) and Frank Wilson Do I love You? ( rated first ), although I personally think by the final reckoning all three will be considered, not the greatest discoveries ever, but nearer the top of the pile than the bottom.
But now we're really getting away from Jazz - or maybe not in a world post any meaningful structures.

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