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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 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

16462 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 342 of them this year alone and, so far, 54 this month (May 18).

From This Moment On ...

May

Sun 19: BTS Trombone Day @ Mark Hillery Arts Centre, Collingwood College, Durham University DH1 3LT. 11:00am-5:00pm. Free to British Trombone Society members (£10.00. & £5.00. to non-members). Recitals, workshops and mass blows.
Sun 19: Anth Purdy @ The Links, Blyth. 12:30-1:00pm. Free. ‘Blyth Battery: Blyth Goes to War Weekend’.
Sun 19: Women Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. £25.00. Tutor: Andrea Vicari. Enquiries: learning@jazz.coop.
Sun 19: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free. Sun 19: Ransom Van @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 19: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 19: Andrea Vicari Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 20: Harmony Brass @ the Crescent Club, Cullercoats. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 20: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:00-8:00pm. Free. Opus de Funk: Horace Silver.
Mon 20: Joe Steels-Ben Lawrence Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.

Tue 21: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Alice Grace Vocal Masterclass @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 6:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 22: Daniel Erdmann’s Thérapie de Couple @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 23: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Thu 23: Immortal Onion + Rivkala @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: The Doris Day Story @ Phoenix Theatre, Blyth. 7:30pm.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Jeremy McMurray (keys); Dan Johnson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 24: Hot Club du Nord @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Swannek + support @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. Time TBC.

Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Paul Edis Trio w. Bruce Adams & Alan Barnes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:30pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sat 25: Nubiyan Twist @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 25: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The "Real" J Hendricks

(By Frank Griffith)
With all due respect to Jimi Hendrix, an equally important and innovative icon of 20th-century American popular music, I would like to share my work with singer/lyricist Jon Hendricks in the wake of his recent passing.

As a saxophonist/arranger, resident in NYC from 1980-96 I first met Jon in December 1993 when an arranger colleague of mine, Mark Lopeman, asked me to assist him with some last minute orchestrations for Jon in anticipation of some gigs around Christmas of that year. Jon had been writing lyrics to several of Miles Davis’ solos from Gil Evans’ arrangements from their 1957 "Miles Ahead" LP on Columbia. These included "My Ship", "I Don't Wanna Be Kissed", "New Rhumba" and "The Maids of Cadiz". These were also performed the following year for Jon’s Christmas week-long engagement at NYC's Blue Note club. The band included such luminaries as Wynton Marsalis, Red Holloway, Benny Golson and Al Grey.
Without getting too technical, my task was to transcribe the original Gil orchestrations (no published scores existed then) and transpose them into Jon's key as his tenor voice was considerably lower than Miles' trumpet and to re-orchestrate them to a nonet with 5 horns. So, in the end, quite a few "plates to spin" concurrently but this was mitigated by the sheer enjoyment of getting to know this great music intimately by going through the process of transcribing and adapting it.

Jon's enthusiasm with this new and forward-looking project was so infectious and inspiring that only a fool would turn down this arranging opportunity. Hard work, yes, but well worth it in so many ways.

Later on, I adapted Gershwin's ""Bess Oh Where Are You Now" from the 1958 "Porgy and Bess" LP. After copying the chart by hand we discovered at rehearsal that its key of Db was not suitable due to one high note at the end being beyond Jon's reach and it had to be recopied into the key of C! Sadly, this was before computer music software allowed one to transpose a chart at the push of a button so I had to recopy the chart again. Oh well....all part of the fun.

I also did several gigs with Jon's nonet during this time which were all very enjoyable as his ebullience on stage with both the band and audience was infectious even if the music went awry, on occasion.  I can also remember ringing Jon to discuss his key for "The Maids of Cadiz" and I suggested Eb instead of E to which he asked, "Which one's higher?" Not sure if he was serious or not. 

In my visits to Jon and Judith's rather spartan 2 bedroom apartment in Lower Manhattan's Battery City, it would not be uncommon to find him still in his pyjamas at 2PM in the afternoon. The second bedroom was the office often full of staff tending to matters to do with publishing royalties and gig bookings etc. Lots going on in that place. Jon and Judith's lifestyle and work were inseparable - leaving no demarcating lines between them. I believe that this could have played a role (along with his good genes) in his longevity (96). He was naturally a good-natured and optimistic kind of guy and this certainly came through each time he picked up the microphone.

As many LJN (and BSH) readers will know, pianist, vocalist, choir leader and arranger (is there anything that he doesn't do?) Pete Churchill, had collaborated with Jon over the last ten years to adapt and orchestrate an entire programme's worth of Gil/Miles material for the twenty-five strong London Vocal Project choir (www.londonvocalproject.com). The LVP performed this material at St Peter's Church in NYC in February 2017 all to great acclaim. Jon did attend the event but did not perform. His presence would certainly have greatly imbued the event. The concert was documented in both audio and video formats and we all await the forthcoming release of this with great anticipation. I am also very pleased (and honoured) to have been involved in the beginnings of this project twenty-three years ago and never would have imagined that it would have reached the stages that it has through the efforts of my friend and colleague (and neighbour), Pete Churchill.

Maybe they should rename the NYC venue of the premiere St Peter's Churchill?
(Or maybe not...?)

The "Real" J. Hendricks was a truly inspirational and positive force in the world of vocal jazz. Long may he and his music live.
Frank Griffith.

1 comment :

Roly said...

A heartfelt and beautifully written tribute.

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