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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

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

16527 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 407 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 12).

From This Moment On ...

June

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 20 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £4.00. Note new venue!
Thu 20: Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £29.00., £23.00. Folk/jazz duo.
Thu 20: Richard Herdman & Ray Burns @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 20: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Dave Harrison (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

AMBLESIDE DAYS – A celebration of world class contemporary music Thursday August 31 to Sunday September 3, 2017












(An appreciation by Hugh C/Photos - apart from final one - courtesy of Nadja von Massow https://nad.works/

Nestling below Fairfield, where West Coast meets East Coast at the Northern end of Windermere, lies Ambleside, perhaps an unexpected location for a venue boasting world class musicians in the line-up. 
Some thirty-seven years ago, Derek Hook, one-time rock drummer and butcher, first opened Zeffirellis, a compact complex of cinema, vegetarian restaurant and jazz bar.  Over the years Hook has managed to attract a host of jazz luminaries to perform at Zeffirellis, many of whom were represented at the festival.  In 2016 Gwilym Simcock, Mike Walker and Iain Dixon played at Zeffirellis as part of the Lake District Summer Music Festival.  It was following this event that Derek Hook had the idea for a celebration of the best in contemporary music.
The festival was dedicated to the late John Taylor (piano) who had been a long-time supporter of the venue and in 1992 had composed and recorded (with John Surman) a suite of music, Ambleside Days, a commission by Zeffirellis with the assistance of Northern Arts.

The festival ran over four consecutive days, taking place on the small stage in the main cinema.  Each evening performance consisted of two sets, a 60-minute set, followed by a long interval (to permit rearrangement of the stage) and a second 90-minute set.  The only permanent fixture on the stage was the Steinway B, chosen by Derek Hook with John Taylor in the early days of Zeffirellis to replace an old Bluthner grand piano.
Each set over the course of the festival involved a different mixture of musicians, all of whom had an association with Zeffirellis and a connection with John Taylor - either having played with him, been taught by him or just revered his work.

Thursday evening commenced with Crème Anglaise, a five-piece band led by John Helliwell (of former Supertramp fame) on tenor sax.  Mike Walker featured on guitar (as he did on many of the sets).  The band set the bar high for those following, a particularly poignant rendition of Georgia sticks in my mind.  The second set featured the appropriately named Ambleside Days Quintet (Simcock, Holland, Walker, Sirkis, Sulzmann).  Fine solos were interspersed by sensitive ensemble playing.  Naturally, Ambleside Days featured as one of the pieces played.

Friday commenced with (yes, you guessed it) the Ambleside Days Trio (Simcock, Holland, Walker) on a crowded stage already filled by vibraphone and drums in readiness for the second set.  The trio gave us Simple Goodbye in memory of John Taylor.  This piece was composed by Gwilym Simcock and Mike Walker before John Taylor's death and then named It Could Have Been a Simple Goodbye.  During and after this piece there was not a dry eye in the house or on the stage.  The second set featured New York vibes maestro Joe Locke with his quartet comprising Simcock, Sirkis, double bass player Darryl Hall (all the way from the South of France) and joined by special guest, saxophonist Tim Garland, sporting a vibrant silver and black jacket.  The memory of fellow vibes player Bobby Hutcherson, inspiration and mentor to Joe Locke, was celebrated by Locke's Make Me Feel Like It's Raining – based on a response by Bobby Hutcherson to an interviewer who asked what he (Hutcherson) wanted  a new, unfamiliar piece of music to do for him.

Saturday featured a trio of Simcock, Locke and Garland in the first set.  The second set featuring The Printmakers (Norma Winstone, Nikki Iles, Mark Lockheart, Mike Walker, Steve Watts and James Maddren), whose CD Westerly was actually recorded in Derek Hooks' other venue: Yewfield  - a vegetarian guest house conveniently located just outside Ambleside and concurrently providing accommodation to the musicians involved in the festival.

Sunday's offering was An Evening with Dave Holland, Holland playing unaccompanied double bass in the first set and joining with Norma Winstone, Gwilym Simcock and Mike Walker for the second set, with other musicians joining later in the evening.

The musicians spoke eloquently of the feeling of “family” associated with the event itself and Zeffirellis.  Indeed, many of the musicians not playing in a particular set were present in the audience with other family members.  The family feeling was extended to the audience, who were mingling freely with artists in the small bar area before, in the intervals and after the gigs.  The intimacy of the venue (and comfort of the cinema seats!) lent itself to what one might consider the “chamber jazz” featuring on stage.

I was not able to be present for the whole festival (despite the tempting reduction on a festival pass).  The two days I was there, however, were very special.  Other BSH regulars may be able to add a comment regarding the gigs I missed. 
I understand from conversations at the festival that this sort of event may be repeated in the future – I certainly hope so!  Furthermore, the concerts were recorded for promotional purposes – perhaps consideration could be made to making selected recorded material available in the future.

The original CD by John Taylor and John Surman, Ambleside Days, is sadly out of print – but used copies can be obtained from the usual fluvial sources priced from £95 upwards!
Hugh C. 
Photos.
Personnel:
Dave Holland  - double bass
Norma Winstone – voice
Nikki Iles – piano
Mike Walker – guitar
Stan Sulzmann – saxophone
Gwilym Simcock – piano
Joe Locke – vibraphone
John Helliwell – saxophone
Mark Lockheart – saxophone
Tim Garland – saxophone
Steve Watts – double bass
James Maddren – drums
Asaf Sirkis – drums
Darryl Hall – double bass

6 comments :

debra said...

You've summed it up perfectly Hugh. We were at the Saturday night gig with Locke/Garland/Simcock trio and The Printmakers. The trio were stunning - Joe Locke on vibes & his interplay with Gwilym Simcock's piano was extraordinary. The Printmakers managed to follow it up with a compelling, entirely different set. Gig of the year.

Russell said...

Enjoyed reading your review, Hugh. It made me think I should have been there.

Lance said...

From the Twitter photo it looks like "A Great Day in Ambleside"

Hugh said...

Fantastic venue, fantastic atmosphere, and yes the weather was pretty good too.

Made me feel like it was raining...

but when we went outside, it wasn't!

Hugh said...

I am reliably informed there WILL be a repeat next year.

Watch this space!

Hugh said...

Tickets now available here: http://www.amblesidedays.co.uk/

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