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Bebop Spoken There

Ambrose Akinmusire: “ I am certainly always aware of what the masses are doing. And when I see too many people going one way, I'm going another way - even when I don't know what's over that way". DownBeat, March, 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

16246 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 128 of them this year alone and, so far, 72 this month (Feb. 29).

From This Moment On ...

March
Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Wind Ensemble + Big Band + Jazz Combo + R&B Band @ Boiler House, Newcastle University. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 01: Joseph Carville Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 01-Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. From 8:00pm Friday. Weekend ticket: £20.00.
Fri 01: King Bees @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blind Pig Blues Club.
Fri 01: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. £10.00. Day 1/3. Musicians Unlimited + Festival Band.

Sat 02: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £15.00.. Day 2/3. Senior bands in competition.
Sat 02: Frog & Henry @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.£10.00. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club. Superb Anglo-American band!
Sat 02: The Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Repas7 by Night, 7 West St, Berwick TD15 1AS, 07900 627562. Tapas Specials from 5.00pm - showtime 8.00pm.
Sat 02: Cuba Libre @ Revolución de Cuba, Cloth Market, Newcastle. 6:00-9:00pm. Free.
Sat 02: Jeffrey Hewer Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 02: Durham University Big Band @ Durham Students' Union, New Elvet, Durham. 7:30pm. £8.00.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. The band’s 25th anniversary gig!
Sat 02: John Logan @ The Dyvels, Corbridge. 8:00pm. Rat Pack-style swing.

Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £10.00.. Day 3/3. School & Youth bands in competition.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ the Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm. £7.50.
Sun 03: Alan Law Trio plays Ahmad Jamal’s At the Pershing: But Not for Me & more @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The music of Ahmad Jamal.
Sun 03: Alice Grace & Ben Helm @ St Francis’ Church, High Heaton, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. £12.00. (children free admission). A Children’s Society fundraiser. Two x 30 mins sets. Refreshments available, child-friendly event with participation of children encouraged!
Sun 03: Sax Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. Free (donations). Monthly workshop, all welcome (participant and/or listener).
Sun 03: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 03: ’58 Jazz Collective @ St George’s Venue, Park Road, Hartlepool. 3:30pm (refreshments from 2:30pm). £6.00.
Sun 03: Down for the Count: A Century of Swing @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: SH#RP Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Mostly Moonlight @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Vocals/piano duo.
Sun 03: Remy CB @ Blues & Bourbon, Nelson St., Newcastle. 9:00pm. Free. Newcastle University music student Remy Coulthard Boardman.

Mon 04: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 05: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Joe Steels, Paul Grainger, Michael Mather.

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 07: Ray Stubbs R & B All Stars @ The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 07: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. Guests: Mark Toomey (alto sax); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax); Garry Hadfield (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums). 8:30pm.

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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