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Farewell Blues

R I P Terry Shannon - November 5, 1929 - October 29, 2022
R I P Oliver Soden - ? - November 6, 2022
R I P Top Cat Daphne - ? - November 24, 2022.

Bebop Spoken There

Michael League: "We flew back from Europe, and the second gig we [Snarky Puppy] did was in Arcata, California. There were two people. And one of them was the bartender." - (DownBeat December, 2022)

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

14806 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 1074 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (Nov.24).

From This Moment On ...

November

Sat 26: Rat Pack - Swingin' at the Sands @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 7:30pm.
Sat 26: Jean Toussaint @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Sun 27: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 27: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 27: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 27: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 27: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. Sitters-in & audience welcome.
Sun 27: Nu Civilisation Orchestra @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Sun 27: Jamil Sheriff's Five Gold Rings @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 28: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 28: Jeremy McMurray & Friends @ Billingham Catholic Club. 7:30pm. £5.00. at the door. A SVP fundraiser for Xmas food hampers.

Tue 29: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

Wed 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 30: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Wed 30: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 30: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 30: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

December
Thu 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 01: New York Jazz Night feat. Zoë Gilby @ The Keys, Yarm. 7:00pm. £30.00. (inc. meal). Tickets from Skiddle. Gilby w. Noel Dennis, Mark Williams & Andy Champion.
Thu 01: Bold Big Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Cluny 2.
Thu 01: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm. Paul Skerritt & James Harrison residency.
Thu 01: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 02: Swing Manouche @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00.
Fri 02: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: Durham University Big Band + Durham University Jazz Orchestra @ Kingsgate Bar, Durham Students' Union, Dunelm House, Durham. 7:00pm. £3.00. & £2.50. Fundraiser for Coppafeel.
Fri 02: Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm.
Fri 02: Alligator Gumbo @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm. Xmas party.
Fri 02: Struggle Buggy's Almost Xmas Party @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Blind Pig Blues Club.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Cookers @ Sage Gateshead - November 14.

David Weiss, Eddie Henderson (trumpets); Craig Handy (alto); Billy Harper (tenor); Danny Grissett (piano); Cecil McBee (bass); Billy Hart  (drums).
(Review by Lance/Billy Harper photo courtesy of Pam Young).
It had been some 18 months since these gentlemen of the road last appeared at Sage Gateshead and, as the minutes ticked by I began to think it might be another 18 months before they got here - well done British Airways! In the event, the delay was only 45 minutes and it soon became obvious that jetlag wasn't going to be a problem.
Because of the later start, the concert was one non-stop set without the customary intermission which, no doubt, affected the bar takings.
It was a cracking set composed mainly of originals by Harper and McBee with the only ringer being Freddie Hubbard's The Core which was also the closer. 
Listening to these venerable musicians (Grissett at 41 and Weiss at 52 the new kids on the 52nd St. block) was like seeing the Battle of Hastings through the eyes, or rather eye, of King Harold. They'd been there, done it and got the tuxedo. Not that they were wearing tuxes tonight. Grey lounge suits as befitted the music - casual but not sloppy.
Billy Harper, a most prodigious tenor player, whom I first encountered playing a tune titled Fingers on a Thad Jones/Mel Lewis LP. Last night, I swear, he'd grown an extra ten fingers since that first encounter. Down the middle tenor, occasionally  looking to the outside with shimmering sheets of sound. My kind of saxophone playing. Craig Handy wailed as only alto saxophonists can - my kind of wailing.
David Weiss (no, I haven't missed the er off) played with the fluency of a Clifford Brown or a Lee Morgan - my kind of trumpet playing. By contrast, Henderson played with a fuller tone albeit with less notes. Nothing wrong with that, he made every note count. Also my kind of trumpet playing.
Danny Grissett was a new name to me, Faced with stepping into the shoes of George Cables must have been a daunting prospect but the shoes fitted. My kind of footwear. Cecil McBee, a bass playing, jazz composing legend. 81 year old and still walking the dog. My kind of bassman.
Which just leaves Billy Hart. Did I say 'just'? When the (drum) roll is called up yonder he'll be there and pretty close to the right hand of you know who. Hopefully not  for a long time yet. To describe him as phenomenal is an understatement and I'm not just talking about his lengthy, yet imaginative, drum solo at the end but the backing he gave the soloists and the ensembles. When it comes to driving he could give my taxi driver a lesson [don't ask!] No wrong turns with Billy Hart. He knows where he's going and how to get there. My kind of legend. 
My kind of band.
Lance.

4 comments :

stevebfc said...

Not surprisingly given their horrendous journey and the increased pressure put on the band by their delay I thought the performance was a little undercooked. Despite the obvious class of all the band members the gas could have been turned up a couple of regulos

Steve T said...

The musicianship spoke for itself and I liked it a lot but didn't love it. Maybe my expectations were high; how often do you sit in a well short of full Sage 2 level 1 with Sir Lancelot, Lord Paul, Admiral Hardy, Lord and Lady Clark, Duke Bream, Viscount Russell, Count Eales, a lady and a princess whose names I don't know (not to mention the other Steve), and apologies to everyone I've missed.

Funny story. Following a stint with pre- Headhunters Herbie, Eddie Henderson became one of the big names in Jazz-funk.
Mahal was one of my favourite albums of the (sub) genre and featured a track called Cyclops which some bright-spark DJs started playing at 45. This wasn't an isolated incident and I wish I could remember the other record which suffered this indignity. I believe Cyclops even came out on a 12" single (probably unknown to him) pre-sped up.

I often wonder how this happens: did somebody play all albums at 45 just in case? Did the same person play all singles at 33? I have visions of Lance digging his 78s back out.
It's probably far less interesting and somebody just thought it was a good record but too slow for the dancefloor. I always preferred it at the speed he recorded it at but I love the idea of young people googling 33, 45 and 78.

Paul Bream said...

I'm with both Steves on this. I had been anticipating this gig with tremendous enthusiasm (especially as I had missed the band's previous Sage appearance), but it fell some way short of my expectations. Certainly the nightmare journey from Germany that the band had suffered won't have helped, and the rushed preparations perhaps accounted for some of the sound problems, but I just felt that there was an overall lack of focus in the performance as a whole and in many of the solos. I don't usually have a problem with long solos (and I've sat through some monsters in my time), but there were occasions here when I sensed that the musicians were recycling ideas without much sense of structure or direction. Artists of the quality of Billy Harper and Craig Handy (indeed, all seven members of the band) are rarely going to play badly, and they didn't do so here, but equally there were few real heights in anybody's performance.

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad to have been at the gig, I remain in awe at the musicianship of all the artists, and there were a handful of standout moments (Eddie Henderson on his ballad feature was beautifully measured), but "even great Homer nods", and nobody was on consistently top form throughout the concert. Which won't stop me going to see them again if the opportunity comes round.

martinrp said...

I took an old friend from Edinburgh as a birthday treat, who hasn't seen them before. We both thought they were outstanding and I actually thought it was a better gig than last years, good as that was.

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