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Bebop Spoken There

Abbie Finn: "Even though there's a lot of great work being done to promote women in jazz, I still come up against some attitudes! I pulled up at a recording session with my drums in the car and the studio owner said, 'I'm sorry, this space is reserved for the drummer!'" - (Jazzwise April 2023).

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!"


15245 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 264 of them this year alone and, so far, 77 this month (March 25).

From This Moment On ...


Tue 28: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 28: Sanaz Lavasani Trio + Abbie Finn @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 8:00pm. £12.00 (£10.00. adv).

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 30: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £2.00. All welcome.
Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. Back to 1:00pm stomp off. Free.
Thu 30: Castillo Nuevo @ Revolución de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Thu 30: '58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm. Free.
Thu 30: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 31: Lewis Watson Quartet @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm. CANCELLED! Back next week (April 7).
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo @ Revolución de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Fri 31: Jasmine Myra + Waclaw Zimpel @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Fri 31: The Revolutionaires @ The Shack, Boldon Colliery. 7:30pm. £10.00. The Revolutionaires' big band (horn section) line-up.
Fri 31: Andrew McCormack @ Maltings, Berwick. 8:00pm. £20.00.

Sat 01: The Big Easy @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 01: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning - In a Minor Key. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 01: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington Covered Market, Darlington DL1 5PN. 6:00pm. New venue, live jazz!
Sat 01: Boys of Brass @ Stack, Seaburn. 7:00-9:00pm.
Sat 01: Hot Club du Nord @ Pleased to Meet You, Bridge St., Morpeth. 8:00pm. £79.00. A charity fundraising event.
Sat 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. RESCHEDULED to next week (Sat 08).

Sun 02: Smokin' Spitfires @ The Cluny. 12:45pm.
Sun 02: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.

Mon 03: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

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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