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Bebop Spoken There

Greg Osby: “I have my own style, my own attitude, my own opinions about things. I'm not a follower". DownBeat, February, 2024.

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

16221 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 103 of them this year alone and, so far, 47 this month (Feb. 18).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024

Wed 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 21: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 21: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 22: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Remi Coulthard-Boardman (voice).
Thu 22: Crooners @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. £30.00., £27.00., £24.00., £18.00.
Thu 22: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 22: Soznak @ The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 22: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Kevin Eland (trumpet); Josh Bentham (sax); Garry Hadfield (keys); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 23: Mark Williams Trio @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 23: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 23: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 23: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 23: Salty Dog Trio @ The Greenhouse, Tynemouth. 7:00pm. £8.00. (£6.00. adv.).
Fri 23: Crooners @ The Maltings, Berwick upon Tweed. 7:30pm. £30.00., £28.00.
Fri 23: Strictly Smokin' Big Band w Dennis Rollins @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Sat 24: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). Free (donations). A Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra event, all welcome.
Sat 24: Bradley Creswick’s Western Swingfonia @ Hexham Abbey, Hexham. 7:30pm. £15.00. A fundraiser for Hexham Abbey.
Sat 24: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 25: Musicians Unlimited @ The Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 25: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 25: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 25: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man + Lee Maddison @ Laurels, Whitley Bay. 4:00pm (3:30pm doors). £11.00., £8.80. inc. bf. SOLD OUT!
Sun 25: Bex Burch + Rachel Musson @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £11.00. Two solo performances. JNE.
Sun 25: Jazz Jam @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 27: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm (7:00pm doors). £12.00., £10.00. (adv.).

Friday, October 07, 2016

Interview with Ellery Eskelin

Russell interviewed saxophonist Ellery Eskelin ahead of the New Yorker's UK\tour and the Jazz North East/Jazz Coop gig at The Globe, Newcastle on October 14. 
Hi Ellery
You were raised in the Baltimore area and fortunate in being able to work with the likes of Gary Bartz, Bob Berg and Tom Harrell. It would appear that Baltimore had a healthy and vibrant jazz scene at the time?
Hello Russell,
Yes, I was raised in Baltimore but for the record, I did not work with the musicians you’ve mentioned.  They performed in Baltimore and occasionally I would have the opportunity to sit in with such recognized folks.  I feel that Baltimore had a wonderful tradition but I don’t know that the jazz scene was as vibrant when I was coming up in the ‘70s as compared to the ‘40s and ‘50s.  My feeling is that things changed dramatically in the 1960’s not only in Baltimore but all over.  Popular tastes changed, television became a dominant force and youth culture became more emphasized. 
And what is the city like these days?
I’m not sure I can give an accurate assessment, as I have not lived there in over thirty years.  But I do get back from time to time for performances and teaching seminars and my sense is that there are some very dedicated folks who are taking this seriously, creating and maintaining a scene. 

Gene Ammons was an early influence. Who put you onto him?
My stepfather bought me my first Gene Ammons record when I was about 14 years old.  I think he had heard Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt play live a number of times.  I later heard Sonny Stitt play live but regrettably never Gene Ammons.

In the 1980s you relocated to New York. Did you go there with a definite plan or did you play it by ear, as it were?
Well, my plan was to stay although I didn’t really know exactly how that would work.  I had enough money saved from being on the road (with trombonist Buddy Morrow) that I knew I could last a year even if I had no work.  But fortunately I was able to gain enough traction and so here we are.

Looking at your resumé, drummers figure prominently in much of your work - Jim Black from way back, Han Bennink, Gerald Cleaver, Gerry Hemingway, Bobby Previte. All of these guys have played gigs in the north east of England, so we know how good they are. One senses that they’re important to you, is that right?
Sure thing.  Rhythm is the basis of this music.

Trio New York explores the Great American Songbook. In a recent interview with online journal Point of Departure you said swing is ‘not a historical practice to be left behind’. A further revelation ‘amplified sound is often ruinous to the music’ suggests you have a real affinity with the so-called ‘tradition’ yet you are working in a contemporary creative field of music making. Do your peers share your thinking on these matters?
I’m not so sure.  I don’t know that folks necessarily disagree with me on this but I do know that the general orientation of the music has changed rather strongly over time.  This is, of course, natural.  But as I am now 57 years old I’m recognizing that it’s important that I share my experience and values.  If things are taken too much for granted we lose important aspects of our culture.

You are a regular visitor to Europe. Have you ever considered an extended stay?
That’s crossed my mind but as I have a family here in NYC I’m not inclined to make such a major change.  Also, as challenging as NYC can be I do feel very strongly that the great variety of people and approaches to music available greatly fuels my creativity.

Your British tour, organised by Kim Macari’s Orpheus project, will see you working with guitarist Chris Sharkey and pianist Matt Bourne. One assumes you know little about them and their approach to improvisation. Will you have some time to get to know the guys, or will you simply hit the road and see what happens?
We will take some time before the first concert to get familiar with each other and try some things.  But I think we all share the attitude that the music will reveal itself in the performances.

The final date on your tour - Newcastle, October 14 - is familiar territory for this blog and Chris Sharkey. Chris hails from Gateshead just across the river. You’re sure to be given a tour of the hot spots! Enjoy your visit, we look forward to hearing you at the Globe on October 14. Thanks for taking time out to speak to Bebop Spoken Here.     

Thank You Russell, I’m looking very much forward.
Ellery Eskelin Trio: The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm £10/£8 concessions. JNE/Jazz Coop.

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