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Bebop Spoken There

Charles Lloyd: "I'm raring to go out to play, because I know I'll find something to explain the inexplicable." (DownBeat August 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

14477 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 755 of them this year alone and, so far, 53 this month (August 18).

From This Moment On ...

August

Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri. 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Ayr Jazz Club, Fairfield House Hotel, Fairfield Rd, AYR KA7 2AS. 7:30pm. For accommodation call the hotel on 01292 267461. For tickets call Ayr Jazz Club Secretary, Stuart McLean, on 01292 590773.
Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Harry Keeble Duo + Northern Monkey Brass Band. £15.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Fri 19: Mo Scott @ The Millstone, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Scott w Gary Dunn, Neil Harland & Paul Smith.

Sat 20: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Riviera Effect + Alter Ego + Graham Hardy Quartet + Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie + Ivo Neame Quartet. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sat 20: Anth Purdy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations).
Sat 20: Boys of Brass @ Brandling Villa, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 21 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 21: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Lindsay Hannon & Alan Law + Knats + David Gray’s Flextet + Ben Gilbert Trio + Emma Rawicz. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sun 21: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.

Mon 22: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 23: FILM: Space is the Place @ Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle. 6:25pm. Dir. John Coney (1974). Starring Sun Ra!
Tue 23: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).
Tue 23: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Steve Glendinning, Paul Grainger, Abbie Finn.

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 24: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 25: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 25: La Sonora Boreal’s Latin Jam Session @ The Globe, Newcastle (7:45pm). Free (donations). Monthly Latin jazz performance & jam session.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Knats' farewell gig w. guests Ladies of Midnight Blue + a mystery band!
Thu 25: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm. Paul Skerritt & James Harrison.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Book Review: Trevor Barre - Convergences, Divergences & Affinities (Compass Publishing 2017)

Not being over-familiar with the genre, free improvisation, it would be unfair of me to pass judgement on this well-written and equally well-researched historical treatise. Nevertheless, before moving on to the Press Release, I will make a few observations. Steve Beresford claims that Free Improv. is not jazz...some of it sounds like jazz but they're not playing it. This equates with what Charlie Parker said about Bebop, that it's not jazz. This has, forever, been the problem with any new art form and music in particular. The listener judges the 'new thing' using the values of its predecessor. Neither better nor worse, the key word is 'different'.
At one point, someone - it may have been the author - opines that everything that happened after the 1970s was a form of revivalism. Not just in jazz but all art forms. I'm saying that it was the author but it may actually have been someone I was discussing the book with. If it was, I apologise, but it may well be true.
A quote from the press release below is a good summing up: Written in a non-technical way, inviting newcomers to free improvisation to learn about what can initially appear a very opaque scene, as well as wanting to appeal to those older fans who like a good story, Convergences will attract, not repel.
The author's wife, when asked to define the differences between the '60s and the '70s said: "It was when trousers went straight".
The fact that a mouldy old figge [by today's standards] like me found it near-unputdownable says much for the writer. I'll certainly be looking at improv. with a less jaundiced view in the future thanks to Trevor Barre.
However, in case you think this is not without its pitfalls there are a couple of minor points I feel obliged to make.
1) An index would have greatly enhanced it as a tool of reference.
2) The regional scene isn't given quite as much attention as promised. In our neck of the woods, the North Eastern Musicians Collective and Spectro are mentioned briefly and there's an oblique reference to Sunderland. York and Leeds too are cited but I'd have liked more.
However, these are minor quibbles and - whatever your views - it's a very good read.
Lance.
----- 
(Press Release)
Sub-titled The Second Wave Of Free Improvisation In England, 1973-79, this is Barre’s second book about English Free Improvisation, and follows his Beyond Jazz, The Golden Age Of Free Music in London, 1966-72, an account of the genre’s formative years. Beyond Jazz was well received and gained many favourable reviews in the press. In particular, it seemed that the book both shone a light on, and provided a much-needed account of, a music that had previously been next to ignored in the media. It was, in fact, the first such book of its kind, surprising given the lionisation of most other genres from the ’60s and ’70s.

 If Beyond Jazz suggests a Golden Age, then Convergences can be said to cover a seven-year Silver Age, when free improv developed and changed, whilst remaining challenging and provocative, England’s very own avant-garde, which paralleled and interacted with more popular strains like punk and post-punk. A fair amount of recorded evidence exists and is discussed in the book, and we are lucky that it is complemented by the contemporary magazine Musics, which is also studied in some detail as the house organ of the “movement”. The emergence of a “second generation” is studied, and the continuing work of the first, and the formation of several musical collectives/cooperatives across the country, gets the attention it finally deserves. The figures of Steve Beresford, Lol Coxhill and Terry Day are identified as key mischief-making talents that represent the serious fun that the music provided, and get their own dedicated sections in the book.

Written in a non-technical way, inviting newcomers to free improvisation to learn about what can initially appear a very opaque scene, as well as wanting to appeal to those older fans who like a good story, Convergences will attract, not repel.

Along with Beyond Jazz, Convergences, Divergences & Affinities continues the history of this fascinating and divisive art form. The two books together chronicle the first 15 years of English free improvisation, a hard to generify area of music that is still manifesting

As well as encouraging those new to the genre to listen without prejudice, the book will prompt veteran listeners to reinvestigate its roots, dig out old recordings and venture out to witness the music live – the best way, in Barre’s view – to appreciate its joys and challenges.

About the author
Trevor Barre has been a fan of the music since the early ’70s. Since retiring as a mental health practitioner, he has found the time to translate his enthusiasms into the written word. Many moons ago, he managed a record shop, which aided his burgeoning vinyl dependence. He has lived in London for 32 years, usually within striking distance of improvised music venues, is married, and has three children.

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