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Bebop Spoken There

Maurice J. Summerfield: "Over dinner one night Barney [Kessel] told me about his seminar The Effective Guitarist, and in 1972 my company presented the first of twelve annual UK seminars in Newcastle upon Tyne." - (Just Jazz Guitar, September 1997)

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

15080 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 99 of them this year alone and, so far, 99 this month (Jan. 30).

From This Moment On ...

February

Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 01: Moonlight Serenade Orchestra UK: Glenn Miller & Big Band Spectacular @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm.

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 02: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests: Dave Archbold (keys); Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewwitt (alto sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Dilutey Juice @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Smoove & Turrell @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £25.00.
Fri 03: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibiton Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 04: Alligator Gumbo @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 04: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: John Pope - Up Your Rhythm Game. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 04: King Bees @ Grainger Market, Newcastle. 6:30pm (doors). Live music, comedy, DJs, food stalls. £10.00. advance, £15.00. on the door. Blues band King Bees on stage 9:45-11:15pm. A Great Market Caper event.
Sat 04: Jives Aces @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 04: Renegade Brass Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors).
Sat 04: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00.

Sun 05 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 05: Rivkala @ Cumberland Arms, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Sun 05: Jive Aces @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Sun 05: Dale Storr @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 05: Jam No.13 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students alike).

Mon 06: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 07: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums). Jam session reverts to a first & third Tuesday in the month schedule.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

XPQ @ Opus 4, Darlington - October 20

Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor saxophone), Nigel Price (guitar), Paul Edis (piano), Paul Susans (double bass) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell)
A Friday night in mid-October sees all and sundry heading to the Traveller’s Rest in Cockerton. What’s the occasion? The annual visit of Vasilis Xenopoulos, that’s what! As they queued down the stairs, drinks in hand, a voice said: It’s a tenner tonight. Another replied: I’d pay thirty quid tonight. Such is Vasilis Xenopoulos’ reputation that an increase in the usual admission price didn’t deter the faithful.
An added attraction at this Darlington Opus 4 Jazz Club gig took the form of the brilliant guitarist Mr Nigel Price. Add in the best piano trio around – Messrs Paul Edis, Paul Susans and Russ Morgan – and it had all the makings of a memorable occasion. XPQ are Vasilis Xenopoulos, Nigel Price and, on this gig, the aforementioned A-list rhythm section.
On June 21st Xenopoulos and Price went into the studio to record material associated with several of the great saxophone/guitar partnerships in jazz history. The album Sidekicks (review to follow) is the result of their endeavours, and here at Opus 4 not only was the physical product (CD) available to buy hot off the press, the evening’s two sets featured cuts from it! 
 The London-based headliners had some of the jazz greats listening in on the gig (see photo) as the quintet opened with Vincent Youmans’ Without a Song (Sonny Rollins-Jim Hall, 1962). Nigel Price (NP) took the first solo. Gargantuan it was, simple as. Vasilis Xenopoulos (VX) replied, big style! This 52nd Street gig (Opus 4/52nd Street – same thing!) couldn’t have got off to a better start. Cheering fans, of a certain age, in the upstairs room of a suburban Darlington pub, hard to believe, but true. And this established the pattern for the evening.

The Right Time (Geoff Simkins-Dave Cliff, comp. Dave Cliff) heard VX in swinging, bluesy mode. A strange thing happened…more cheering! O Pato (Stan Getz-Charlie Byrd), an Edis solo feature on  When Joanna Loved Me (Paul Desmond-Jim Hall) reminded all present that this was an A-list five-piece outfit…cue cheering. A searing tempo on Ready and Able (Ronnie Cuber-George Benson) is something else to listen to, what must it be like to play it? The cookin’ rhythm section – Edis, Paul Susans and Russ Morgan – more than matched VX and NP. More cheering.

The interval – phew! A refill (Theakston’s Black Bull – more on this later). The unanimous view was it had been an unbelievable first set. Seasoned musicians in the audience were fulsome in praising XPQ.

John Coltrane-Kenny Burrell to resume. Lyresto started where we left off with more cheering as the A-list rhythm section took a few bars as an imperious piano trio. Uh Huh fuelled greater excitement as VX booted, honked and swung his way through the Grant Green-Hank Mobley showstopper. NP had his say with shuffle-rhythm accompaniment before ceding to a Paul Edis piano solo which VX offered enthusiastic encouragement urging his friend from their days working together in London to play on. Yep, more hollering!

Nigel Price revealed that at one time Wes Montgomery was his mobile ringtone! Full House tore it up with solos all round. From Johnny Griffin-Wes Montgomery to more homegrown jazz talent with a hear-felt tribute to a now well again Jim Mullen. Price said: This goes out to Jim Mullen, adding and he’s back with a vengeance! From one guitarist to another, Price led XPQ on Mal Waldron’s Soul Eyes (Dick Morrissey-Jim Mullen). Shirley Scott’s Ladyfingers trained the spotlight on Stanley Turrentine-Kenny Burrell. Solos all round, Paul Susans excelling. It was almost time to go. Vasilis Xenopoulos suggested one for the road. Sonny Rollins’ If Ever I Would Leave You from What’s New? is where we came in – Sonny Rollins-Jim Hall. Yet more astounding solos (VX briefly quoting St Thomas) with the exceptional Russ Morgan, drums, taking it home.

XPQ at Opus 4 Jazz Club is currently top of your reviewer’s Gig of the Year list. And you’re thinking Damn! I missed it! Well, my earlier mention of Theakston’s Black Bull serves as a reminder. Tomorrow night (Sunday 22) they’re going to do it all over again at the Black Bull on Bridge Street in Blaydon. No excuses, all roads (Sat Navs) lead to NE21 4JJ. Eight o’clock start, a tenner on the door. Arrive early to claim a seat, it’s going to be busy. Gig of the Year MKII.                              
Russell

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