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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 2024.

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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'"

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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.


16462 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 342 of them this year alone and, so far, 54 this month (May 18).

From This Moment On ...


Tue 21: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Alice Grace Vocal Masterclass @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 6:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 22: Daniel Erdmann’s Thérapie de Couple @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 23: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Thu 23: Immortal Onion + Rivkala @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Jeremy McMurray (keys); Dan Johnson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 24: Hot Club du Nord @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Swannek + support @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. Time TBC.

Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Paul Edis Trio w. Bruce Adams & Alan Barnes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:30pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sat 25: Nubiyan Twist @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 25: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Jazz North East/Schmazz - Olie Brice Quintet @ Jazz Café. May 31

Ollie Brice (Double Bass); Mike Fletcher (Alto); George Crawley (Tenor);
Alex Bonney (Cornet); Jeff Williams (Drums).
(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
What to do on a cold Tuesday night in almost June?  Number two son is toying with a trip to the cinema to don his 3D specs like Cyclops and save the world from the bad mutants once more. A slight nudge and there's an excuse for a trip to the Caff for some live Jazz.
I couldn't afford a sports car for my mid-life crisis so a couple of bright coloured shirts more suitable for a man half my age and a couple of band shirts a kid a third of my age would've outgrown will have to do. Sun Ra proved perfect for some free, mutant jazz from somewhere in outer space, two stars to the left of the upstairs gents at the caff.
Sorry pianists and guitarists but I'm always drawn to bands without any obvious comping instrument. Back in the fifties, Peck Morrison left the Gerry Mulligan Sextet because of the demands on a bass player in a band without a piano, so it's perhaps no surprise that the leader of this band is the bass player. 
He told me he's done it the old-fashioned way, without a university education, at least not in music. This could explain his unorthodox style, or at least it seems that way to a non-musician, lay-person like myself. His technique includes some bass slapping like Mick Shoulder doing his rockabilly thing, only different. 
For once I was ahead of the game; a handwritten set-list from the man himself, which turned out to be illegible and he didn't stick to it anyway. It made no difference which is increasingly becoming the norm, and no bad thing either.
The first set kicked off with a lengthy cornet/ bass duo before the rest of the band joined in for what seemed to me like funeral music, but of the joyous southern black celebration variety.
The second piece began slowly with full ensemble before the tenor was away with bass and drums in support. Back to the head then it's the turn of alto, honking and squeaking like Trane (on soprano) half way through fifty seven minutes of 'my favourite things'.
Next up, some Zappaesque doodling, free, with no discernible pulse throughout; what Frank used to do to set up his explosions
The set ended with the only non-original of the night; If You Were the Only Girl in the World, cornet taking the first solo and by the time tenor takes over the source material is barely perceptible. This earns him the first applause of the night for a solo. Alto is up next and is similarly rewarded, perhaps more protocol than spontaneity, and there's nothing for bass and drums. Perhaps another topic overdue for discussion!
Set two opens with more of the same, followed by what the composer referred to as a sort of ballad entitled What Might Have Been. Drums open things up with the sticks with the nice furry pompoms and the band comes in behind another alto solo, honking away happily, followed by a much smoother more polished solo on tenor bringing some great contrast.  
Then it's time for me to leave; the bad mutants defeated, Apocalypse vanquished and the X Men back with the bald guy in a wheelchair in his school for gifted youngsters, and number two son needing a lift home.
Steve T.


Paul Bream said...

Applause for solos? An interesting topic, and one where the norm (the 'protocol', as the review puts it) definitely seems to be shifting.
And 'protocol' is just what the practice had become; back in the days when virtually every jazz performance followed the same trajectory of theme statement, round of solos, and then back to the theme (with maybe a few fours or eights thrown in), it seemed to be de rigeur for audiences to applaud every solo, even when they weren't very good! But most of the more interesting contemporary jazz doesn't adhere strictly to that pattern, with the intercutting of composed and improvised sections, a good deal of collective improvisation between two or more instruments, and other variations that have blurred the distinction between solo and ensemble performance . . . so at what point is it appropriate to break into applause? It's perhaps significant that the only occasion on which there was such applause at the Olie Brice gig was when the band played 'If You Were the Only Girl in the World', a tune even older than I am, and perhaps subconsciously awakening memories of old practices!
Perhaps because Jazz North East has increasingly favoured the more contemporary approach in its programming, the audience has largely got out of the habit of applauding solos, even when bands do follow the old head-solos-head pattern. This can be disconcerting to some older musicians (on more than one occasion I've been asked "Didn't they like me?"), but in general I think it's a welcome development; jazz at its best is a collective endeavour and experience, not a competition for prima donnas, so it's all to the good that it's increasingly the whole rather than the parts which draw the applause.

Steven T said...

I agree entirely, audiences are becoming increasingly confused as to when to applaud, myself included.
I recall seeing Esperanza Spalding, Gerri Allen and Terri Lynne Carrington at the Barbican; they operate the policy of only letting people in between pieces but the only indication the staff have is when the audience applaud and I remember hordes of people piling in following a drum solo. It was hilarious.

Hugh said...

Thanks Paul for an interesting post. As a music lover (but not a musician) I have often wondered, when successive solos are played, whether the soloist following on is miffed by the fact that the applause for the previous soloist overuns the beginning of his/her solo.

I must admit I have sometimes thought the first person to applaud after a solo may wish others to know that they know when the solo ended!

Lance said...

It's a tricky one. There are obvious moments, such as a tender ballad where, however good the solo the ambience would be lost by applause, however well-meaning. By the same token, there are some solos that it would be churlish not to acknowledge. Also, the artists themselves frequently request acknowledgement of a colleague after a solo. I remember an Alex Welsh gig where Alex would point to the soloist and say 'make him happy' irrespective of how unhappy he'd made us! Although, in fairness, this was rarely the case with the Welsh band. For me, the early JATP recordings, got me into jazz. The honking tenors, the screaming trumpets, the drum battles, the crowd roaring them on. Jazz has changed so much since then and I take the point Paul makes that it is the whole rather than the parts which now draw the applause on the contemporary scene. Nevertheless, if a solo moves you put your hands together. I did that listening to a CD recently - at home!

Steven T said...

Never applauded a CD but I do now find myself applauding solos at rock, soul, blues, folk, whatever gigs.
Applause for the initial solo at Ollie Bryce I felt was genuinely spontaneous though people had hitherto been hesitant, and I thought the next applause was protocol. Ideally, applause should be for a 'good' solo rather than any solo.
It gets tricky when it's kids who you want to encourage but Doctors Edis and Birkett are very good at orchestrating this.
Grownups should (wo)man-up and not get upset if they don't get applause but put more into it if they can't hack not getting recognition.
A similar issue is the encore and sometimes you really don't need another but get it anyway.

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